The increase in indoor carbon dioxide during this Corona virus stay home could reduce the thinking ability
To combat the alarming global Corona virus pandemic governments have put measures to the population to stay in theirs homes in order to contain the virus. during this stay home 90% of the people spend their time in indoors, in rooms with poor air quality and ventilation, Hence it is more important than before to make sure that the indoor air quality is healthy and CO2 levels are maintained at no more than 600ppm. Studies have shown that there are several times in a day when the CO2 in a room spikes to 1000ppm and more. This is indeed an unhealthy level of carbon dioxide and a cause for concern.
The elevated levels of carbon dioxide or CO2 impairs our cognitive ability. It known that carbon monoxide and other VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) caused problems like asthma. CO2 was ignored and was not considered a gas that could be harmful. Yet many types of research conclude otherwise.
In studies done ,they found modest changes in the indoor air quality to have a major impact on a person’s decision making ability.
How does it affect our thinking ability?
According to medical research increased level of CO2 in the blood decreases the cerebral metabolism of oxygen. In simple words, the brain becomes oxygen deprived and has an impact on our thinking abilities. It is a well documented fact of what high levels of carbon dioxide can do to the brain. Space travel, scuba diving, fire fighting, airplanes and submarines are examples where high carbon dioxide levels have lead to fatalities.
Read about: The unforeseen effects of sanitizers and disinfectants on soil microbes during disease outbreak
Carbon dioxide dissolves in our blood and reacts with the water in our blood to create carbonic acid. This, in turn, dissolves into ions of hydrogen and bicarbonate. If there is an increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions in our blood the blood acidity level increases and creates electrolyte imbalance, causing increased discomfort and decline in intellectual performance. If you feel tired after just a couple of hours indoor (when you have had a restful night), feel sleepy, it could mean that the indoor air quality needs to be inspected for CO2.
People can argue that they spend at least an hour outdoors every day but, does that help? With our current lifestyle, most of us spend 90% of our time awake indoors in addition to the time we sleep. Whether it’s your home the quality of the air circulating within could be poor with concentrated amounts of carbon dioxide. So, irrespective of the number of hours you spend outdoors, if the air quality indoors isn’t healthy you end up feeling sick.
How can the indoor air quality be improved?
Improving the indoor air quality is important and here are a few easy and effective ways to improve your indoor air quality and reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide.
· Make sure your home has a periodic supply of fresh air. Opening windows for a few minutes two or three times a day can improve the air quality to a large extent
· Keeping a few indoor plants that release oxygen especially at night helps improve the air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, even after the sun goes down. Aloe Vera, Peepal, Tulsi (Indian Basil), and Gerbera are a few examples
· Make sure that nobody smokes indoors. Indoor air quality turns poor with secondary smoke and is an important contributor to indoor air pollution
· Installation of exhaust fans especially in kitchens helps reduce carbon dioxide released during cooking. Making sure that the smoke released during cooking does not circulate indoors. The absence of exhausts will increase the levels of carbon dioxide. This is especially important for smaller restaurants and houses
· Regular maintenance of your HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) will ensure that there is no accumulation of CO2 indoors