Do you know what “interior air quality” means?
Every year in the world, 4.3 million people die as a result of exposure to poor interior air, especially due to poor quality house heating (source: WHO). Qualified estimates show that polluted air causes the death of up to 300,000 EU citizens per year and that almost every other European is suffering from some of the manifestations of allergy!
The situation in the Czech Republic is not good either:
- A hundred years ago, only 0.5 % of the population suffered from allergies. Today, it is more than 40 % of the population!!! In 2016, doctors treated up to 2 times more patients with allergic symptoms than in 2015. There was an abrupt increase of allergy in children (30 % of the population, the proportion stagnates since 2012) as well as asthma (10 % of the population, increasing proportion).
The quality of outdoor air is increasing, although slowly – there is a decreasing trend in emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O, methane, ozone, freons, etc.), acidifying substances (SO2, NOx and NH3), ozone precursors (VOCs, NOx, CO and CH4), primary particles and precursors of secondary particles (NOx, SO2, NH3). The largest sources of pollutants include thermal power plants, industrial production, car traffic, house heating and waste incineration. However, the biggest problems are still caused by flying dust (PM10, PM2.5), benzopyrene and ground-level ozone. (source: Report on the Environment in the Czech Republic 2015 and other knowledgeable sources)
Poor quality interior air causes a number of health problems, from the less serious and temporary (fatigue, breathing, skin/eye symptoms, migraine) to the fatal (cancer, death). The problems concern not only small children, pregnant women and elderly persons or people with other illnesses, but also otherwise healthy individuals. The consequences can be both short-term and permanent (including toxic for the organism, carcinogenic and mutagenic). Symptoms of diseases may appear soon after the exposure to polluted air or after a long time (in several years).
- The most common are immune reactions – allergies (to pollen, grass, dust, mites, animal allergens, moulds, cleaning agents, chemicals, bacteria, etc.). Allergy symptoms have various forms: skin (rash, urticaria, swelling, eczema), eye (sore eyes, inflammation), gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, abdominal pain), upper and lower respiratory tract (allergic rhinitis, cough, wheezing, allergic asthma). Others include respiratory disease (e.g. lung inflammation), cardiovascular diseases (blood clots causing heart attack and stroke), cancer (toxic substances cause 7 to 19 % of all cancers), diseases of the nervous system and brain (e.g. migraine, epilepsy, insomnia, loss of coordination, stroke), irritation, organ damage or failure (e.g. lung, liver, kidney) and many others.
- Polluted air also reduces life expectancy, life quality, causes a lower IQ in children of mothers that were exposed to chemical impurities during pregnancy and aggravates diseases of the elderly and already ill people. Pets are at risk as well – they stay close to the ground where they are exposed to increased levels of impurities.
Do you know how to improve interior air quality?
Control the sources of pollutants:
- stop or at least limit smoking, which is the most common cause of lung cancer
do not overheat oil, do not burn food
heat better – use good fuel and heaters and service them regularly
- use environmentally-friendly cleaning agents (e.g. free of chlorine, freons)
- use less glued materials (chipboard, plasterboard), plastic objects, etc.
- make sure your household is not affected by radon, asbestos or other harmful chemicals
- do not let dust accumulate into clumps (dust binds other pollutants) and limit the amount of dust and other impurities brought into the households (e.g. on shoes).
Ventilate adequately – briefly and intensively (whole window) at least 3 times a day
Control the humidity and remove moulds, which spread due to unsuitable interior humidity. Avoid the combination of higher temperature and higher humidity, which is ideal for the formation and spreading of bacteria and moulds.
Grow appropriate plants that convert CO2 to oxygen and eliminate a number of VOCs (e.g. formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ammonia). According to a NASA study, for example, Hedera helix (common ivy), Ficus benjamina (weeping fig), Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant), Philodendron, Dracaena, Dieffenbachia. Ideally, you should have at least a 15cm plant per 9 m2 of the room.
Clean interior air using a high-quality and efficient air purifier (air conditioning does not clean the air, only controls its temperature). Make sure the air in rooms where you spend the most time is properly and repeatedly cleaned.
REMEMBER that an air purifier cannot remove allergies or asthma (even though dealers often say that). It can, however, reduce their symptoms, because it minimizes the amount of allergens and other pollutants in inhaled air.
Do you know how to clean interior air properly and efficiently?
The air purifier should ideally run for the entire stay of people in the room.
In households with allergy and asthma sufferers, smokers, children, elderly persons, a pregnant woman, people with respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases or other illnesses, one room should be ideally cleaned for at least 2 hours (i.e. process the air in the room by the purifier 3 times per hour – 6 times in 2 hours).
If you do not have any health problems, it is enough to process the air in the room 1.5 times per hour (3 times in 2 hours).
“The faster, the better” DOES NOT APPLY HERE. On the contrary! Run the air purifier for a longer period of time (at the lowest speed) rather than briefly (at higher speeds). This achieves ideal absorption of airborne impurities in filter bodies and the most efficient removal of pollutants.
Remember that the purifier, just like air conditioning, works best with closed windows, doors and other building openings.
For complete information on how to properly use our air purifier, see the User Manual here.