Dr Ranj warns of the hidden dangers of indoor air pollution
The TV doctor, who is known to millions of morning TV viewers simply as Dr Ranj, spoken out after a new survey found a concerning lack of understanding on the subject.
The survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by Breville who have partnered with Dr Ranj, found 46% of people had not heard of indoor air pollution and 3 in 5 (62%) though air pollution only affects us outside.
It further revealed more than half (53%) of those polled suffer with hay fever symptoms – including itchy eyes, sneezing and runny and blocked noses – which could be attributed to poor air quality at home.
Speaking to the Standard, he said: “When we think of air pollution, we think of outside and that’s normally affected by things like traffic, but actually indoor air can be three and a half times more polluted than outdoor air.
“Things we do around the house that can contribute towards reducing indoor air quality, making indoor pollution worse. Simple daily things like smoking or vaping, using certain cleaning products, if you burn things like incense or if you’ve got a wood burning fire, even mould and mildew around the house, all of these things release substances into the air that can then have a knock-on effect on our health.
“Indoor pollution worsens symptoms of asthma, COPD and bronchiectasis. It has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes.”
While the former Strictly Come Dancing star has said anyone can be affected by indoor air pollution, those living with younger people should be “particularly mindful”.
He said: “The younger you are, the more susceptible you might actually be because obviously you might be more sensitive to certain allergens. We know that allergies are more likely to happen amongst the younger members of society and your ability to fight off things like airborne infections might not be as good and you might be more sensitive to chemicals that expatiate breathing conditions like asthma and wheeze.”
Noting that it’s impossible to completely eradicate indoor air pollution, Dr Ranj said there are steps you can take to reduce it including keeping rooms well-aired by regularly opening windows and swapping your cleaning products for eco-friendly and non-toxic options.
He also advises keeping your home smoke free and regularly checking for leaks which can lead to a build-up of mould and mildew and can worsen wheezing, coughing and asthma symptoms.
If you find yourself regularly feeling sniffly or fatigued, reaching for the hoover regularly is also key.
He said: “Vacuuming regularly may seem obvious but is especially important for those suffering from allergies and have carpeted floors. This will help to remove polluting particles and pet dander that contribute to indoor pollution.”
Another tip is investing in an air purifier which he rates for also “reducing pet and pollen allergens, filtering out harmful germs, and removing unpleasant odours from the home environment.”
Breville has launched its new 360 air purifier range to reduce air pollution at home.