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Air Quality: Is There An Issue?

Humans can survive few weeks without food,
few days without water and only few minutes without air.

Daily intake of an average adult is:
1 - 1.2 kg food; 2 - 2.5 l water; and
15,000 - 18,000 l air.
Most of us are very careful when selecting what to eat and drink, but

Indoor Air Quality

In Nature the pollution caused by either human activities (industry, cars, heating,cooking etc.), or by natural disasters (volcanos activities, bush fires, dust storms, etc.) is "cleaned" by nature's forces like wind and rain. However, these nature's forces can not help indoors, as modern buildings, being designed primarily with energy conservation concerns in mind, often have inadequate ventilation both in quantity and in quality. Limited intake of fresh air can not "clean" the cocktail of particles from different size and origin which present in the air indoors. As we don't want to use too much energy in order to heat too much fresh air during the winter, neither to cool too much fresh air during the summer, indoors we have recirculation of one and the same polluted air.

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Australian Academy of Science indoor air pollution can be many times higher than outdoor air pollution. Indoor air has all outdoor pollutants from the local area, or so called "criteria" pollutants including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, photochemical smog and lead. Apart of this indoor air can have wide diversity of "other" pollutants including big variety of chemical, biological and physical particles.

Since people today spend most of their time indoors, and indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, improving indoor air quality is of paramount importance as the quality of indoor air has significant impact on people's health and wellbeing.

Till recently most of the public attention was focused on outdoor air quality. Fixed site monitoring stations provide continuous data for "criteria" pollutants, while there is no permanent data collection for the "other" pollutants and also for indoor air pollution. Another difference between indoor and outdoor air pollution is that the former is more constant than the later, which depends in great degree on meteorological factors. Third difference is that as individuals people have little control over the quality of outdoor air, but much greater control over the quality of indoor air.

Evidence for Adverse Health Effects Caused by Air Pollution

There is plenty of Evidence from studies all over the world for adverse health effects caused by exposure to polluted air, even when exposure is at levels which are below current standards.

Sources of Air Pollution Indoors

  • Building materials, paint, carpet, furniture

  • HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)

  • Cleaning materials, pesticides from pest management

  • Pollutants from the outdoor air

  • Conventional vacuum cleaners

Types of Air Pollution Indoors

Chemical: approx. 1000 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) have been identified in indoor air. (Ref 22)
Biological: over 400 species mould fungi and 30 types of mites
(Ref 23, 24, 25, 26)
Physical: particulate matter of different size and origin like dust, pollen, exhaust from engines and combustion, etc.
Synergistic Effect from pollutants: exposure to combination of more pollutants in one place is associated with increased occurrence of all symptoms and adverse health effects are registered even at very low levels of pollution.
(Ref 22, 34)

Health Effects from Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution

Short-term exposure effects:

Long-term exposure effects:

Options to Solve the Problems Caused by Indoor Air Pollution

Visiting your Doctor (Ref 30)
Visiting your Pharmacist

Using an Air Purifier for targeting the cause

Approaches to the Problems Caused by Indoor Air Pollution

Implementing our air purifier improves the quality of indoor air by significantly reducing the number of particles polluting the air indoors. This may improve people's health and wellbeing, may reduce sick leave days and may improve productivity of the staff.

For more information visit:

Department of the Environment and Heritage www.deh.gov.au 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov

US Indoor Air Quality Association www.iaqa.org

American Lung Association www.lungusa.org

World Health Organization www.who.int

CSIRO www.csiro.gov.au

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