Indoor air pollution is as much a health hazard as outdoor air pollution. The best way to protect yourself from the adverse impact of polluted indoor air is by improving ventilation, say experts. Improved ventilation of the cooking and living area especially can contribute significantly to reducing exposure to smoke that comprises harmful pollutants. There are a number of ways to achieve better ventilation and small steps can help cut down on pollution levels at home a great deal.


“Smoking indoors leaves a lot of harmful pollutants hanging in the air. Good ventilation is a must,” says Dr GC Khilnani, former head of pulmonology department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.

In the kitchen

*Use chimneys.

*Smoke hoods.

*Eaves spaces.

*Wider windows over or near the gas stove for those who don’t have a chimney.

*Open windows while cooking.

*Use of exhaust fans.

*Don’t store damp utensils in the cabinet as it could lead to growth of mould.

In washroom/toilet

*Open windows while taking shower.

*Use exhaust fan while taking shower if can’t leave windows open.

*Keep the washroom and toilets clean and dry.

*Clean the bathing tub regularly.

*Dry towels in the sun after use.

In the rooms

*Keep doors between rooms open.

*Do not smoke inside the house as pollutants stay behind on curtains, carpets, furniture etc for very long.

*Leave windows open early in the morning for about an hour to let in fresh air.

*Wash bedding regularly in warm water to kill mites.

*Dusting should be done with a wet cloth.

*Use environment friendly paints.

*To avoid fumes use baking soda instead of bleaching agents available in market to clean the floor.

*Buy energy efficient equipment.

*Grow plants such as aloe vera, chrysanthemum, palm, evergreens indoors as it helps filter toxic substances and increase the level of oxygen around you.

*Maintain your household equipment well. Get servicing done regularly.

*Avoid aerosol spray cans while buying toiletries or cleaning agents.