Smoking in confined areas or exhaustive cooking of food items or use of insecticide sprays can lead to indoor pollution in the absence of a proper ventilation system in our homes.

This was the message that was sought to be highlighted for members of different residential welfare associations at a forum meeting organised by commonfloor.com in the city on the World Earth Day. Other issues that came up discussion and debate were fire safety and household waste management.

Many among us are aware of outdoor pollution and its adverse effects but not many know about indoor pollution.

Experts told the gathered members that indoor pollution is as dangerous as outdoor pollution but not much is being done to address the problem and it involves more participation of citizens than the government.

Few activities which generate air pollution are use of body sprays, cell-towers, emissions from sewerage water treatment plants, emissions from refrigerators, release of unburnt fuels, floor cleaning agents,

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted from paints, the experts pointed out.

Remedial measures

Taking timely remedial measures and precautions helps in bringing down levels of indoor pollution in apartment buildings and gated communities where the problem is more compared to independent houses, observed Veerana, junior scientific officer, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB).

Precautions

Indoor pollution has to be identified at the source level and some steps such as ensuring proper ventilation at home, routine cleaning of carpets and rugs were suggested to check indoor pollution.

On fire safety issues, P. Sravan Kumar, president, Fire and Security Association of India, said in most apartments, residents do not stress for installation of fire safety equipment. Though many buildings have fire exits, they either remain locked or closed.

He advised the welfare associations to conduct fire drills at regular intervals to keep residents prepared for any sort of emergency.