Biological Contaminants - What they are and how to combat them?

We hear so much about different types of air pollutants but our focus remains on dust & debris. However, when the term ''Air Contaminants'' is taken, a lot more is meant than is understood. One such contaminant is the Biological Contaminants. Very few people know about these pollutants and only fewer know what to do to make the home safe from them. Let us help you understand the truth about Biological Contaminants, how harmful they can be and how to combat them.   

Biological Contaminants - What are they?

Biological Contaminants are basically living organisms that are hazardous for living beings i.e humans/animals if inhaled, swallowed or otherwise get absorbed in the body. This type of contaminants are caused by;
- Bacterias, carried by humans, animals or plants (yes, PLANTS)
- Viruses
- Mould
- Pet saliva and pet dander
- Dropped off body parts of living or dead insects and pests
- Pollens
- Dried urine of rats and mice
- Unmaintained central heating/cooling system (become home of bacterias)

And here an important question arises. What are the places in the home where biological contaminants are supposed to be present in abundance? Roughly, there are two such places;
1. Damp areas like wet bathroom floors, cooling coils, pans of humidifiers, ductwork (in case there is dampness)
2. Places where there is high accumulation of dust, like; curtains, draperies, carpets and bedding etc

Biological Contaminants

Are they harmful? Like how?

An impression comes from the name ''Biological'' that this type of contaminants can't be harmful or at least can't be so very harmful. Wrong wrong! Not only can Biological Contaminants be harmful, they can also become life-threatening depending on the severity of the situation. However, the common problems caused by this type of contaminants are;
- Watery eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Sneezing
- Dizziness
- Coughing
- Fever
- Digestive problems
- Lethargy
With a continuous exposure to the biological contaminants, the illnesses may go unusually serious as said earlier.

Ways to reduce exposure to Biological Pollutants

Instead of using high-cost appliances, medicines and other anti-allergens, there are simple practices that if followed can reduce the exposure to Biological Contaminants and thus automatically reduce the risk of consequential illnesses.

- Don't let water stand in i.e, bathrooms, around HVAC appliances, on kitchen slaps and other such places. Dampness is a perfect ground for the Biological Contaminants to originate and grow
- Make in time use of exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Exhaust contaminants before they could spread in the indoors
- In case Humidifier or other similar appliances are being used at home that needs refilling of water regularly, be very precise about following maintenance instructions. Refill water regularly as suggested by the manufacturer
- If you face basement flooding, fix it as early as possible. Better go for a reliable waterproofing solution
- Don't leave water damaged property, i.e carpets etc to dry on their own. Clean/dry/replace them as early as possible, preferably within 24 hours
- The level of Biological Contaminants can significantly be reduced just by keeping more cleanliness
- Maintain relative humidity level of 30% - 35%
- Last but not the least, if you're too lazy to keep all those careful approaches, consider installing an Air Cleaner

Things aren't as simple as they seem and aren't as demanding as they're depicted. It is only by using a careful and responsible approach towards our health and homes that we can make the indoor environment a place of healthier, cleaner and fresher breathing.