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Indoor Pollution

How polluted is your HOME? Is it safe for you and your family? If you feel that family members are falling sick more often than they should, perhaps there's a reason for it.

Are you an aromatherapy fan? Are you fond of collecting pot-pourrie and decorating your houses with it? Big mistake. Get rid of all those air-fresheners and other supposedly 'purifying' chemicals. If you are worried about the odour in your toilet, get an exhaust fan fitted. 

Do you enjoy the aroma of scented candles? Do you love the excitement, romance and ambience they add to an evening? Here's some news for you: scented candles are bad news. It's okay to use them once in a while, but if you store them for months on end, you're only accumulating indoor pollution. Get rid of them. In fact, get rid of anything scented: scented soaps, hand washes, body gels, lotions… yes, even perfumes and after-shaves. Okay, so we understand that your heart will break at the thought of getting rid of all your expensive perfumes. If you must keep some scented products, let it be only your perfumes. 
Hang on to them if you must, but be sure you get rid of the other scented soaps and lotions. Use them off if you must, and don't replenish your stock. 

Don't use a disinfectant soap. The only place such soaps are required, are at the hospitals. Overuse of disinfectants reduce the body's immunity. The body is unable to fight and ward off infections on its own, without exposure to disinfectants. Gradually, over a period of time, germs will develop new streams that are immune to the disinfectants. Disinfectant soaps are not really required. Regular soaps do kill bacteria, and they are all we need. 

Get rid of fancy disinfectants - something to clean your pot, another to wash your windows, yet another to clean your drain pipe. They are not needed. You house will function just as well without them. Just like the overuse of antibiotics is harmful, so also the overuse of disinfectants is counter-productive and should be stopped. Kitchen sponges, washes, sprays all fall into this category. 

Advertisements promoting the use of disinfectant household items essentially prey on people's fear of germs and bacteria. Advertisers use this fear to their advantage, and exploit it as best as they can, urging you to buy that soap or that dishwashing liquid to get rid of germs. Similarly, the growing use of cling film is not a good sign. If you are gifting fruits and want to use cling film as a wrap, do so by all means. It does make a basket of fruits look more appealing and presentable. But if you pack your daily tiffin in cling film, you're making a mistake. Similarly, aluminium foils are bad for health, so stop packing your children's chappatis in cling film or foil. 

Do you use commercial fabric softener? Bin it, along with scented laundry detergents. You don't need the scented stuff. Stick to non-scented detergents. 

Finally, open all windows, and do whatever you can to ensure that your home is well ventilated.

Three decades ago the major childhood illnesses were measles, mumps and chicken pox. Now, the major childhood illnesses are asthma, cancer and Attention Deficit Disorder. A strong link has been found between increasing use of household chemical items and the growth of ADD. Similarly, infertility rates are increasing. Research suggests that one of the prime causes of infertility is the increasing use of pesticides and detergents. The more commercial household cleaning brands are found in a house, the more detergents and scented products found lying around, the more the cases of ADD. Not many beggars on the street will be found suffering from cancer, and not many of them apply perfume on a daily basis. Food for thought? 

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