When we think of pollution, most of us think of the air we breathe outdoors, mainly on the streets of the big cities. After all, that’s what the devices responsible for assessing pollution levels measure, and what the media talk about when a problem that kills ten million people a year is brought to the table, according to calculations by the World Health Organization (WHO). Cars, factories, chimneys… In the collective mentality, pollution is associated with the open air.
But what about the air we breathe inside? After all, a majority of the population spends most of the day at home, at the study center or at work. According to some studies, between 80 and 90% of our life we spend it inside, and more and more.
This pollution also kills, and many. This is confirmed by a study that has just been published in the journal Nature, who made a rough estimate of the damage caused by this type of invisible poison: more than 3 million people in 2020, almost as much as outdoor pollution.
Indoor pollution is made up of compounds that are also found outdoors, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, of burning coal. Pero también de otros como los óxidos de nitrogen de la calderas de la gaz natural y products quimicos de compuestos sinteticos en products de limpieza o diversos tejidos, así como la humidity de los edificios por falta de una ventilación correcta o los diversos virus y bacteria present en the atmosphere.
According to those responsible for the study, this contamination mainly affects the poorest countries on the planet where sanitary conditions are lower, also in interior spaces. For example, it is estimated that around 700,000 people died in sub-Saharan Africa in 2019 due to the effects of particulate matter from indoor biomass stoves.
As in the case of external pollution, internal pollution causes serious health problems. It increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, strokes and lung cancer. All of this affects a greater proportion of the vulnerable population, especially children and the elderly.
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