Christmas Changes Air Quality – Know Your Facts


Christmas is coming. As they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone is getting busy at their homes, with decorating, shopping, cooking, cleaning we all having amazing yearend after all with the exhausting pandemic season.

Due to the cold season, we all are spending much time indoors, don’t you also worry about our indoor Christmas atmosphere’s little bit weird than usual. For several reasons, if you don’t know exactly, Christmas is a one-off lousy season of the bad atmosphere.

From today’s know your facts, let’s talk about why Christmas indoor atmosphere is worst and what can we do about that. Check out you are also on that list too. Read and enjoy.

1. Wood burning Fireplaces and Stoves

Setting up the fire and running stoves is a familiar thing you can see in the winter season due to cold weather and large scale of cooking the is going on Christmas season more often.

But according to the American lung association, this wood smoke creates extremely inhospitable and polluted breathing in a short time in a limited indoor area. According to the records, fireplaces and stoves contribute to more than 8% of air pollution during Christmas.

According to the reports of the EPA, wood-burning stove smoke can be highly toxic; they are releasing more than 200 chemicals, including heavy metals. They estimate that this impact is 12 times higher than secondhand cigarette smoke in usual.

Woodburning Fireplaces and Stoves make worse indoor in Christmas

But the latest technology has passed this barrier with great level to increase its caution.
When wood-burning is directly related to an increase following air pollutant levels in the existing area.

  1. Carbon oxides ( CO2/CO)
  2. Nitrogen’s oxides (NO2/NO)
  3. Particulate Matter (PM 2.5/ PM 10)
  4. Volatile Organic Compounds
  5. Methane

Also, they are leading to several lousy health conditions like,

  1. Wheezing
  2. Coughing
  3. Asthma attacks

In a short period and when you are exposed for a long time, this might lead to;

  1. heart attacks
  2. lung cancer
  3. premature death

There are several things we can manage to do to control this condition at Christmas in the primary and secondary levels. We can discuss it below later.

2. Christmas Fireworks

According to records of health ministries worldwide, Christmas and the new year are the highest level of air pollution that can be recorded by air pollution due to fireworks. Also, there is more than a 25% increment of normal air pollution than usual in that period, under the same reason.

In the ignited fireworks atmosphere, you face a higher level of polluted atmospheric conditions for a shorter period of time, leading to cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity.

According to research findings of the Netherlands, in the time period of 1995-2015, there was a significant increment of firework air pollution level in December. Mostly in Particulate matter level in PM10.

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Light fireworks away from the residential area

They have identified this level in 29 μg/m3 concentration near the Christmas days, and there is a considerable rise in new year festivals up to 277 μg/m3. In some areas, this value had gone up to 598 μg/m3.

Usually, most fireworks contain 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal, and 10% Sulfur. In the ignition process, these chemicals can quickly generate several air pollutants in a short period of time.

Primarily this toxic dust has included particulate matter, which is small than the diameter of our hair and quickly gets through our respiratory system, which is particularly harmful to our health. Mostly, this smoke makes;

  1. headaches
  2. pneumonia
  3. Abnormal lung function
  4. high blood pressure
  5. reduced lung function
  6. irregular heartbeat
  7. heart attacks
  8. breathing problems

When fireworks have been lit near a residential area, more significant outdoor atmospheres are practical can be suitable for a hangout for the community due to abnormalities of the unbreathable air can exist for a shorter period.

But when it counts indoors, that impact might stay awhile, which creates a hazardous environment to live in.

According to the records of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Germany, fireworks produced 5,000 tons of particulate matter (PM10 — particles measuring less than 10 microns in diameter) at the end of Christmas and new year eve, which is 17% of the increment of the total air pollutant by vehicles in traffic throughout the year.

3. Scented Candles in the Christmas

Scented candles are adorable decorations at Christmas, and it creates a “Christmas vibe” with a warm and calm environment inside our home. But did you know that smoke after lit a scented candle is practically harmful to your respiratory system?

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Reduce the usage of Scented Candles

Usually, these candles are designed with paraffin, synthetic fragrances, and dyes. These are direct bi-products of petroleum. Therefore with the light of these candles, harmful results can be expected. Like,

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs)
  2. Ultrafine Particles ( PM 2.5)

When these air contaminants are gathered in a limited area like in a bedroom, they might cause deadly health problems while sleeping.

4. Party Poppers

Party poppers are famous parties at most parties, and Christmas is undoubtedly one of them.
Party poppers are generally a tiny pack of colored plats glittering pieces that activate pulling a string with a popping sound.

Even you assume that these are specific and innocent things in the parties, they have included harmful ingredients to humans other than plats glittering pieces. Mostly it includes;

  1. red-phosphorus
  2. potassium chlorate
  3. potassium perchlorate

These are set-off explosives in the pack to make low-intensity explosives. These chemicals are directly harmful to humans and clearly should avoid direct contact.

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Party Poppers are harmful to health

Also, when they are mixed up with foods can cause severe eye trauma other facial injuries.
This is why party poppers are banned in India by the law. But poppers with compressed air mechanism is allowed to use.

5. Cooking and Cleaning in Christmas

Festival times are the most cleaning and cooking period of the year and Christmas is doing significant role among them.

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Use limited amount chemicals in cooking and cleaning process

These cleaning and cooking processes are mostly filled with harmful chemicals, gases, and particulate matter.

  1. Dishwashing Liquid
  2. Detergents
  3. Oven Cleaners
  4. Chlorine Bleach
  5. Air Fresheners

If you are also ready to clean or cook in this season of Christmas, buckle up and be ready to minimize the impact or the damage it can cause on your health (Reference).

What Can we do to Manage Christmas Problems?

We can do multiple things to stay safe at Christmas to have an adequately cleaned indoor atmosphere. Here are a few of them.

  • Maintain your distance between people from outside when you are getting together
  • Try an Air purifier for personal use and indoor areas clean up
  • Try HEPA filters with higher filtration capacity
  • Replace your filters in regular time intervals
  • Try indoor plants with better air purification capability
  • keep being updated with Allergy conditions and other new medications
  • Try potpourri bowls inside the home instead of scented candles

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Use potpourri instead of scented candles
  • Try essential oil for diffuse
  • Use a Power heating system instead of a wood-burning
  • Use fireplaces with high-performance air purifiers
  • Try alternative woods prepared in a more extended period before the winter
  • Upgrade indoor ventilation system
  • Shut down all the outlets when fireworks have ignited

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Fireworks with safe
  • Minimize fireworks near residential areas
  • In the cleaning process, use fewer VOCs included products
  • Use warm water in cleaning steps
  • Minimize grills barbecues events and use air purifiers in locations

Read here to know 7 Good Tips for Keeping Your Home Warm in this Winter.

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