London: The cost of using scented candles to keep your house smelling fresh is much higher than you think, according to a recent study. New report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heath has dubbed lemon and pine air fresheners; solvents seeping slowly from plastics, paints and furnishings; composite wood furniture and fittings; household cleaning products and DIY sealants and fillers; foam insulation, insecticides, scanners, joss sticks, open fires, deodorants, dust mites, mould and dander from dogs and cats as silent indoor killers.
The University of Southampton’s Stephen Holgate, an asthma expert at who led the report, said that people should live more like grandmothers and throw open the windows of the homes for a few minutes every day, the Guardian reported. He added that there has been little scientific investigation of indoor air pollution in Britain because it is an unseen problem (unlike 1950s smog). He says there is a reluctance to “interfere with industry”, too.
Holgate noted that until there is more evidence, we should use fewer domestic chemicals, adding that there are 15,000 chemicals circulating in an average human.
“We can’t introduce laws to control what people do in their houses, but we can make people aware,” says Holgate. He hopes that more people will buy portable air-pollution monitors, which work with apps to measure air quality – a bit like personal fitness-monitors. Once we can measure bad air, we can avoid it. “That’s real people power,” says Holgate. “That’s going to change things.”