The health experts are advising people to stay at home to avoid the risk of getting infected by the life-threatening COVID19 disease. What if, your home environment is also polluted? The indoor air quality of your home can be hazardous due to several reasons like density of population, synthetic household materials, kitchen smoke, tobacco smoke, word burning, coal burning, waste disposal, dung, various other chemical compounds like gasoline, aerosols, paint, ink, rubber, detergent, etc. In 1989, NASA Clean Air Study identified the best air purifying plants which can improve the air quality of an indoor space. Read this article to know about some of these beneficial filtering houseplants.
If you want to adorn a table, wall, shelf, balcony, or corner space of your apartment, plant English Ivy. NASA’s Clean Air Study discovered that English Ivy can filtrate the indoor-air from toxic elements such as xylene, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, etc which often caused sickness.
During the pandemic situation, English ivy is no less than a blessing as it relaxes the airways and helps to reduce coughs. Moreover, Ivy can reduce mold in your house.
For healthy growth, this ever green perennial plant with vines requires bright light – not direct sunlight. Don’t forget to water this plant if the soil gets dry. During hot summer, mist the whole plant.
If you are searching for a houseplant to grow in an apartment lacking enough sunlight, pick Spathiphyllum or peace Lily. According to Nasa’s study regarding air purifying indoor plants, Peace lily can efficiently eliminate airborne hazardous pollutants such as, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene etc.
This air purifying indoor plant can also check the growth of molds in your home or office. However, don’t let your child or pet ingest any part of this plant; as it’s a bit poisonous. Place this plant in an indoor space with no direct sunlight. Water it when the soil feels dry and mist the leaves during summer.
Are you looking for an indoor plant to clean the air of your home or workspace? Get a Snake Plant. Requiring less light and water, this house plant can easily grow in any indoor place. What makes this air purifying plant more blissful is its oxygen releasing capability during night-time. If kept in the bedroom, this air-cooling plant can help you sleep better.
According to NASA’s houseplant research, Snake Plant is one of the best plants that can absorb airborne toxic elements, such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, nitrogen oxide, xylene, etc. Snake Plant doesn’t require much care, as it survives in low environments without watering for weeks. Allow the soil to fully dry before watering and keep it in indirect sunlight.
The beauty of Lady Palm can add life to a monotonous corner of your home or office. With several feet of growth range this ornamental plant can augment the aesthetics of any indoor space or entryway.
NASA’s Clean Air Study revealed that Lady Palm can efficiently purify the indoor air from volatile organic compounds like xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, ammonia, etc.
Lady Palm can survive with low amount of light. But this low-maintenance houseplant requires moist soil with proper drainage to prevent its root from being rotted.
You may not like a spider at your adorable home, but a Spider Plant can make the indoor ambient more breathable. The NASA’s Clean Air Study found that Spider Plant can efficiently release at removing common household air toxins formaldehyde and xylene.
This beneficial houseplant is fairly easy to maintain. It can grow well under indirect sunlight. So you can place it in any corner of your home, balcony, or workplace. Water this plant time to time keeping the soil moist.
Besides improving the aesthetics of your home or workplace environment, Weeping Fig (Also known as Ficus tree) can contribute in reducing the indoor air quality. According to the ‘Clean Air Study’ carried by NASA, this houseplant is efficiently capable of removing indoor-air toxins such as, formaldehyde and xylene.
Though Ficus can grow fairly tall, you can pick the dwarf varieties for planting inside home. This easy-to-maintain houseplant prefers staying in the same place constantly without frequent relocating. Try to keep it somewhere with access of indirect bright sunlight. And, don’t forget to water it frequently.
Though Money Plant (also known as Devil’s Eye) can’t bring you money at your home, it can help saving your money from getting ill due to indoor air pollution. This evergreen house plant can filtrate indoor pollutants like toluene, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethene, xylene, etc.
Due to amazing survival instinct, this houseplant won’t die easily. This houseplant can decorate your work desk, table or shelf by virtue of its marvelous heart-shaped green leaves bearing yellowish-white hues.
This common houseplant won’t require much maintenance. You can keep this plant somewhere without direct sunlight. Water this plant frequently to keep the soil moisturized.
- Keep your air-purifying indoor plant in a place with the availability of indirect sunlight and air.
- Don’t place a houseplant in a closed place blocked by curtains or other objects.
- Keep the houseplant away from electronic home appliances such as fridge, AC, etc which releases hot/cool air.
- Water your plant regularly depending on the nature of specific houseplant. However, over-watering can harm the root leading to kill the plant.
- Clean dust from the leaves of your houseplant which would help it to flourish.
- Add proper nutrients to the soil besides watering and cleaning.
- Regular pruning and trimming will make your houseplant look tidy, and right-sized.
You can buy air filtrating houseplants online from the following websites.
Indian High Commission in Dhaka, along with the Ministry of AYUSH and Indian Council of Cultural Relations, has announced to host online video blogging competition titled "My Life My Yoga" in Bangladesh.
The competition is part of the Indian government's efforts to celebrate International Day of Yoga (IDY).
June 21 is widely celebrated as IDY ever since its declaration by UN in 2014, said the High Commission on Thursday.
This year, owing to various restrictions in place to control the spread of Covid-19, IDY will be celebrated online by the Indian government.
The Ministry of AYUSH has launched the global online Video Blogging Competition - ‘My Life, My Yoga’ - as part of IDY 2020.
The competition invites yoga enthusiasts to share their experience with Yoga as well as the Yogic practices they practice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Deadline for receiving entries is June 15, 11:50pm IST (June 16, 12:20am BdST).
Winners of the Bangladesh edition of the competition will receive attractive prizes and will be able to participate in the global edition of ‘My Life My Yoga’ competition as well.
Breathing exercises and yogic practices are known to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Regular practice of yoga is not only useful in reducing mental stress, but also in improving physical health.
Amateur and professional Yoga practitioners in Bangladesh are invited to share their experience of Yoga in their life through this competition.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been debates over which is more effective – hand sanitisers or soap and water.
There were rumours that sanitiser gel was more effective in removing coronavirus, which led to a soaring sale of the gel and wipes.
But is it really more effective than the simple soap and water?
Studies have suggested that using running water and soap to wash hands is more effective than a dab of hand sanitiser gel, reports Xinhua.
A study by the American Society for Microbiology last year showed that antibacterial gel cannot be adequately rubbed in during use.
On the other hand, washing hands with soap will dislodge viral cells from hands, and rinsing thoroughly with running water will remove them completely, which is key to washing away viruses.
Experts say hand sanitiser with over 60 percent alcohol content is effective in killing most viruses. However, the must-have alcohol can be harmful to sensitive skins and even cause damage to healthy ones.
A spokesperson for Japanese chemical products company Kao Corporation has said that too much hand gel can dry out the skin and remove natural oils on the surface, increasing vulnerability to infection.
So, hand sanitisers are best used in moderation, and should always come as the second choice when hand washing is not possible.
Are you returning work after the withdrawal of two-month long coronavirus lockdown period? The new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) might continue its destruction over humanity in the upcoming months. Though scientists are on the hunt for vaccine, nobody knows when it will be available for mass people. On the other hand, it is quite unfeasible for any government to impose lockdown for unlimited time. Now the new-normal life would be returning to regular lifestyle and resuming respective livelihood activities maintaining precautions. In this article, we are going to discuss some post lockdown safety precautions to prevent COVID19 contraction.
Whenever you step outside home, wear a clean face mask properly. For additional safety you can wear face-shields, Goggles, and head-cover. Don’t forget to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap in your pocket or hand bag. Stay away from wearing any metallic accessories like watch, jewelry, etc. Wear clothes which you can wash after returning home. To avoid virus contraction, the service-holder persons can carry bags which are washable or easily cleanable with wipes.
The service-holder people tend to visit tea stalls and local restaurants during their tea-break and launch hours. The virus contamination can happen through food, utensils and common spaces at the restaurant. It would be wise to carry your food and water from home.
However, if you still want to eat out in a restaurant or tea stall, make sure that your tea cup, or plate or spoons have been properly washed before serving. Preferably, visit tea stalls/ food stores who provide disposable cups/ plates. Besides this, tobacco consumption at public space enhances your risk of virus contraction.
In today’s world mobile-phone has become an inseparable part of our life. We can hardly spend an hour without using Smartphone. However, try not to touch your phone without sanitizing your hand. Don’t place your phone over a common surface which has been contacted by other people. You can put your Smartphone in a Ziploc bag while travelling outside home. While you return home, don’t allow your kids to touch the Smartphone before sanitizing it properly.
Try to avoid any place where people are gathering without maintaining at least 3-feet of distance. You may need to go out of home for emergency purpose. Just like you many other people are roaming outside. Whether you are jogging on the road, or waiting on the bus station, or visiting a bank or shopping at grocery store, try to avoid the crowd.
Plan your daily schedules skillfully, so that you can avoid crowded places. For instance, you can complete your outside task in the early office-hours. Opt for electronic systems to pay your bills instead of standing on lines. It would be safe, if you can buy regular grocery items, food and medicine from online grocery shops, and pharmacies. However, if you still need to visit physical stores, try to visit a less crowded grocery store and do the grocery shopping weekly.
As an individual you are a part of the society. Besides opting for personal safety pre-cautions you need to encourage other people to wear face-masks. However, if some people deny wearing masks you can deny their service too. For instance, don’t ride on a bus, or CNG, or Rickshaw if the driver is not wearing mask. In the same way, don’t buy from a grocery shop, where the grocer is not wearing any face mask.
If you are a shop owner or grocer, ask your customer to put on a face-mask. Furthermore, in your workplace encourage your colleagues and office attendants to wear masks. If possible, you can carry some extra fresh face-masks to offer your friend, colleague, or other people who needs it.
The best way to avoid COVID19 contraction is to work from home. However, if you are bound to join office, consult with your authority and try to re-organize your work schedules. Keep in mind that during the rush hours there would be excessive people on the road. Furthermore, there might be scarcity of vehicle in the rush hours. If possible choose office hour when the traffic would be low.
To secure the health-safety of mass people, our Government has imposed strict rules to main distance in public transport. However, this decision has led to increase the transport fare in one way. In other way, it has become more difficult for people to ride on a transport on time.
Don’t ride on a crowded bus, where the imposed safety rules have been violated. It would be wise if you can manage alternative to public transports. For instance, you can commute some distance by walking. If possible, manage other kind of vehicle, like rickshaw, motorcycle, or CNG until the morbidity of Corona Virus situation comes to an end.
What if, your work place is far away from home? If you have no other choice but to opt for public transport to commute at office, then take proper safety precautions. Try not to touch the handles, seat, window shield or other common spots on the bus. Maintain personal precautions like wearing Mask, face-shield, hand gloves, Goggles, etc. while you travel through any public transport.
Consult with your authority to re-organize desks at your workplace to maintain distance among the employees and staffs. It would be wise if the work-hours can be divided into several shifts to limit the number of employees per shift. It is recommended to maintain distance while you communicate with colleagues at workplace.
Wipe your work-desk and other touchable surfaces (like computer keyboard, mouse, headphone, pen drive, etc.) with a piece of clean cloth or tissue before you start working. Try to minimize your exposure to unclean surfaces. For instance, many of us have a common habit of leaning elbows on the work-desk or leaning on the wall while standing or touching the seat-handles while seating, etc. Try to be careful what you touch.
Proper sanitizing procedure should be maintained at the entrance and reception area of every office, and service station. In the workplace, the commonly touchable spaces like floor space, washroom faucets, lift-buttons, door-knobs, door-handles, AC remote, etc should be sanitized properly from time to time. You and your colleagues can supervise those issues by rotation or consult the authority to engage a person who can carry out these sanitizing procedures in a proper way.
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) appears this year with the theme “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”. The Habit of smoking can damage several organs of human body especially the respiratory system including lungs. More than 1.3 billion people use tobacco worldwide for diverse reasons like stimulation, stress relief, enjoyment, social situations, etc. Interestingly, above 80% of the global tobacco users belong to the low and middle-income countries. Recently, the world is suffering from another life-threatening disease COVID19. So it is a burning question: are smokers more vulnerable to COVID19? Stay with us to know some facts.
The habit of smoking can affect your lungs badly. Initially, symptoms may start with Asthma, Wheezing, Coughing, or Colds. Smoking can lead towards fatal diseases like pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, etc. Research shows that smoking is held responsible for 84% of human-deaths from lung cancer worldwide.
Cigarette smoking can also lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which also increases the risk of lung cancer. COPD refers to a group of lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, etc. Cigarette smoking causes about 83% of human-deaths from COPD around the world. COPD mainly causes difficulties in breathing through narrowing down the airways and damaging of the lung tissues. COPD may cause several symptoms in people such as ongoing coughing with phlegm or mucus, shortness of breath during physical activity, wheezing or squeaky sound while breathing, chest infections, chest tightness, etc.
The destruction of tobacco use doesn’t end here. The connection between COPD and lung cancer seems like a two-way street. A study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston shows that COPD patients have a 1.86-times higher risk of developing small cell lung cancer (SCLC) than people without COPD. It accounts for 15% lung cancer cases globally. What is more? The lung cancer patients are more vulnerable to COPD than people who don’t have cancer.
Unfortunately, the early signs of COPD and SCLC are often neglected by people in the name of ‘smoker’s cough’. However, if smoking is further continued the conditions can get worsened. Quitting Cigarette is the most effective way to slow down the progression of lung diseases.
According to the recent data of World Health Organization (WHO), Tobacco can kill around half of its users. Over 8 million people die each year worldwide due to Tobacco consumption. Among those deaths, above 7 million are caused by direct tobacco use. And, around 1.2 million of non-smoker people die for being exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS).
On the other hand, the term ‘Coronavirus’ refers to a type of virus. There are several kinds of Corona viruses, and some of those cause disease. In 2019, the newly identified corona virus SARS-CoV-2 (known as COVID19) has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness around the world. The grievous impact of COVID19 pandemic has affected more than 6 million people worldwide, while the global death toll has surpassed 3 lacs. Till date there is no scientifically proved vaccine to stop the destruction of Corona virus.
You may know that smokers are more like to contract respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold than non-smokers. Smokers also tend to have an increasing rate of tuberculosis and bacterial pneumonia. Both COVID19 infection and tobacco use tend to deteriorate human-respiratory-system. So, it can be related that smokers are more likely to experience severe complications if they get infected by the new corona virus.
The research initiatives regarding previous corona viruses reveal that smoking can worsen the impact of corona virus infections. In 2012, the outbreak of MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) caused by another kind of Corona Virus caused more deaths among the infected smokers than the infected non-smokers. In addition, people with the habit of smoking carry twice the risk of contracting influenza with further severe symptoms than nonsmokers.
Till date, the scientists haven’t got enough scope to carry out an extensive research to evaluate the risk of COVID19 infection associated with tobacco consumption. But some evidences suggest that smoking is more like to increase the severity of the COVID19 complications if you are infected by the new Corona virus.
In China, study of 1,099 patients with COVID-19 shows that smokers were about 1.4 times as likely as nonsmokers prone to experience severe symptoms. Moreover, smokers are found 2.4 times more likely to get admitted to an ICU (Intensive Care Unit), require ventilation and die in comparison with non-smoker patients who were also infected by corona virus. During COVID19 treatment in China, a small study of 78 people shows that a statistically higher percentage of smokers were found in the group whose health-conditions were adversely progressed in comparison with the group showing stabilization and improvement.
Though there is no scientifically proven evidence yet regarding the link between smoking and COVID-19, the act of smoking can enhance the risk. Let’s see how it happens.
People Consume Tobacco in several forms like smoking cigarettes, smoking water pipes (shisha or hookah), smoking biri, smoking cigars, chewing Cigarette, vaping (e-cigarette), using heated tobacco products, etc. Generally, the act of smoking involves using fingers with the lips, which facilitate the transmission of the Corona virus from unwashed contaminated hand to mouth. The possibility of contaminated cigarettes and tobacco products should also be considered.
Especially, when people smoke water pipes, the associated equipments like mouth pieces and hoses, are often shared by more than one people. This act enhances the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 infection to more tobacco users in the community.
Consumption of smokeless tobacco also involves some level of hand to mouth contact. When a person chews smokeless tobacco product, saliva is naturally produced during the chewing process. If any COVID19 infected person chews tobacco and spits out his excess saliva in a public place, the corona virus can get spread to the surrounding area and affect many other people in the locality.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends you to quit smoking or other forms tobacco use considering the associated health-risks caused by tobacco. The very moment you quit, your lungs and heart will start functioning better. Within 20 minutes of quitting, consequences like increased heart rate (HR) and blood pressure will improve. After 12 hours, the level of carbon monoxide (CO) in your bloodstream will drop to a normal state.
Within a period of 2 to 12 weeks, you will experience healthier blood circulation and lung function. Respiratory problems such as coughing and shortness of breath decrease will decrease after 1 to 9 months depending on the severity. It can also protect your family and children from the harmful impact of second-hand smoke exposure. Finally, quitting tobacco use can reduce your risk of getting affected or experiencing severe symptoms of COVID19 infection.