Five ingredients of a healthy air space at home.

I open the door the house, it  has been shut for a fortnight, it smells  of moss. I can see a trail of ants moving some destination, the putrid smell of saprophyte is also there, I realize that there must be a dead lizard or worse a rodent. Keep the bag down I do the first thing I need fresh air that will push the smells away,  I open the windows every one that I can, slowly the breeze wafts in, bringing with the smell of the fish drying on the beach at Malpe 8 kms away. yet there is a crispness that makes the smell bearable.

It occurred at that point somewhere we have forgotten what fresh air smells like.

Coming to think of it, when our neighbour went out on a nature camp her kids came home with a running nose as they could not stand the crisp natural breeze that breezed through at night.

There is also this assumption we have that air pollution is something that comes from outside, well we have two environments we are talking about here, one internal and one external. How philosophical!! antarvayu and baharvayu. Like antarjyoti and bahar jyoti.

This is one time where I will start from within, the stale musty odours of the house can be eliminated by regular sweeping and moping I use  warm water with Citronella oil, it gives me a feeling of the outside air.

Clothes that is damp particularly during monsoon. I do the laundry particularly of drapes, and heavy linen after soaking it in the prewash cycle with baking powder, about 2 tablespoons for a load, then the regular cycle of course the drying. When it comes to storing the clothes i use a fabric care that is gifted by a friend who is an Ayurveda doctor and creates spa products.

The kitchen sink has to be shining before bed, and I drop a drop of iris de-odorizer.

This takes care of the fundamental stale smell, but the actual quality of air is another story.

Irritants like lead remnants from formaldehyde, dust-mites and other things can stay back in the air tight modern house causing air contamination.

  1. My house is a no smoking zone, so that keeps the major pollutant out.
  2. Floors have to be kept clean.
    • Twice a week vacuuming and daily sweeping and moping, like I said with citronella to keep the pleasant waft.
    • Door mats are to kept to keep the dust from entering the house from outside. The mats are kept outside the house so that the dust stays outside.
    • The rule in my house is shoes out.
  3. Termites and dust-mites love humid weather, so keeping the humindity down is a great idea. Some ways of doing this is using
    • Keeping the windows open while cooking. If that is not possible then using a chimney, or at least an exhaust fan maybe a good idea.
    • Watering of houseplants should be such that there is no stagnation.
    • If possible dry the clothes outdoors, or if you are using a dryer then see that the vent is outside.
    • Keep the plumbing healthy so that there are no leaks and moisture retensions.
    • Ensure that the air conditioner and dehumidifier drip pans are emptied.
  4. There are constant pollutants that emitted by the kitchen gas which can be handled by planting a spider’s widow plant or a money plant. The same goes for the pollutants in the bathroom and toilets.
  5. Kitchen Garbage is another pollution point which I deal with using. The dumpster this not only keeps the garbage odour free, it also acts as compost for my balcony garden
  6. Then the natural fragrances of freshness like lemon or pine gives an sense of freshness particularly to fabric. This is missing in most fabricare products as they are syntheses is artificial. Many of the air-fresheners are known to emit volatile organic compounds that could be hazardous to health. like I mentioned before I use
    • Use an organic eco-friendly detergent, and for after laundry care I use a aromatherapy fragrance distilled by an Ayurveda friend of mine.
    • We have reduced use of aerosol sprays
    • A traditional technique of evening dhoop is done to keep the dust-mites and stale air out.
    • Kitchen is kept odour free with baking powder and lemon… though this is easier said than done. Iris fragrance helps.

My colleagues from the lung and chest department in the US have been talking about Granite slabs letting out a radioactive derivative of uranium called Radon, which alleged to be carcinogenic and the public health department provides information on protection from Radon.

Incidentally the traditional Ganahoma done for Ganesh Chaturthi is a nothing but a technique to dehumidify the house and flush the termites and dust-mites out.

Like Dejan Stojanovic says .. to keep the air fresh among words the secret of verbal cleanliness is essential

Along with all my hints check this out ..

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