Air Cleaner Home Textiles to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution: A Preliminary Study

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Air Cleaner Home Textiles to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution: A Preliminary Study

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Arindam Basu, Girendra Pal Singh, M.S.Parmar

Northern India Textile Research Association, Sector-23, Rajnagar, Ghaziabad-201002

Abstract:- Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from in door sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the area. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants. In this study cotton fabric is treated with natural mineral (expressed as natural mineral1) and exposed with carbon mono oxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur di-oxide gases individually. After passing through the fabric samples (untreated and treated with mineral), these gases were analysed quantitatively. Study indicated that there was a sharp reduction of these gases after passing through the mineral treated fabric as compared to the untreated fabric.

Key words: Mineral, Home textiles, Indoor, Pollutants, Toxicity tester


Indoor air quality (IAQ) has been of concern to scientists since long but recent trends of IAQ in north India especially in winters is big matter to concern. It is recognized that exposure to air pollutants, found in the indoor environment, plays a significant role in human health. Generally a human spend a significant proportion of his/her time indoors (1,2). Some effects on health may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person's exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants (CO, CO2, NO2, Formaldehyde etc), symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened. Exposure concentrations vary and depend on a number of factors including individuals behaviour and activities, pollutant sources, and geographical location etc. The statistics suggest that the world's largest single environmental health risk", where 3.3 million deaths are blamed on indoor air pollution in contrast with 2.6 million deaths blamed on outdoor pollution in 2012 (3).In developing countries, health impacts of indoor air pollution far outweigh those of outdoor air pollution. Studies show that atmospheric pollutants concentrate indoors to high levels. Indoor concentrations are usually 2 -5 times and sometimes 100 times higher than outside concentrations (4).

There are multiple and complex factors that affect the range and magnitude of indoor pollutants and associated health problems. Dampness is known as a major factor contributing to this, but the relationships are not fully understood (5). Hazards induced by these pollutants vary, but can be summarised to exacerbating known respiratory diseases, sensitising to airborne agents, and reducing lung functionality. A comprehensive Italian study on children (n = 20,016, mean age = 7 years) and adolescents (n = 13,266, mean age = 13 years) concludes that avoiding mould and dampness alone decreases the occurrence of related illnesses by 4 to 7% (6). Of course, the actual case of exposure is to a wide array of different pollutants in situations where complex social factors are at play (7).

The industry in response has already introduced a wide range of air cleaning/treating products to the market, and the removal of both chemical and biological indoor contaminants.

A plethora of devices have been designed to enhance indoor air quality through the use of filters, UV light, chemical or biological agents. Such devices can be energy intensive, contribute to some other form of contamination, and have a short operational life. It is possible that a passive solution can overcome such limitations. For example, Home textile which is widely used in every household around the world such as curtains, bed sheets, sofa covers and carpets etc. In the present study, effect of natural mineral treated cotton fabric, in reduction of indoor pollutant gases is experimented.


2.1 Material2.2 Methods2.2.2 Application of mineral on cotton fabric2.2.3 Testing pollutant gasesExposure time in HoursExposure Time in HrsExposure Tine in Hrs

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