In a shocking revelation, kitchens are believed to be more polluted than the roads outside.
According to a report in 'The Times of India', Travellers in autorickshaws were found to be at the highest risk of inhaling soot, a product of incomplete fuel combustion with harmful impacts on the lungs and heart.
The study, published in Elsevier journal on environmental research, assessed people's personal exposure to pollution in Delhi. For outdoor exposure, it considered commuters in cars, buses and autorickshaws.
"Exposure to particles is lower in cars than on two-wheelers and autorickshaws, but driving a car with open windows could lead to similar levels (of exposure) as in an auto," said Pallavi Pant, lead author of the study . Pant admitted that the findings on exposure to pollution inside a car was surprising. "From the current analyses, black carbon concentrations in buses seem to be lower in comparison to other modes, but more research is needed to confirm this, both in Delhi and other cities. AC use can help reduce exposure in cars," she said.
It's not only being out on the roads that exposes you to respirable pollution particles. Your home, especially the kitchen, could be enveloping you in PM2.5 pollutants too, the study said.
It found high exposure to PM 2.5 pollutants in indoor activities such as cleaning or cooking. However, the nature of pollution indoors differs from that outdoors. According to Pant, exhaust emissions on the roads could be far more toxic than say pollutants arising from cooking or cleaning."Cooking emissions often comprise ultrafine particles that can be harmful," Pant said. "Research on ultrafine particles is ongoing, but so far we know they can have several adverse health effects." Pant suggested opening the windows and using exhaust fans during cooking or cleaning to avoid accumulation of such pollutants.