Air Quality: what do we do with that?

Door: Adriaan Cramer
The World Health Organisation recently published a new report with an assessment of the air quality around us. Their message is that 92% of all human beings breath dirty air.That means that people from practically all over the world and in all parts of the society live under bad circumstances. The result is that every year more than six million die from air population related diseases. But what do we do with that?

It must be admitted: the WHO has a very strict limit for good air quality. They claim that air with an annual average of more than 10µg/ m3 PM2.5 is bad air. It can be questioned if the limit that the WHO defined is realistic and in some cases it is even impossible to eliminate the cause. A lot of the outdoor pollutants come from transport, industry, power plants. But also more natural sources like the sea (salt), desert (sand dust) or agriculture can cause high pollution levels.

Only half of the fine dust exposure comes from outside. The other half is created while being around in your house. Things like cooking, heating, candles, vacuum cleaning of doing the laundry will constantly expose you lungs to all kinds of fine dust.

Breathing fine dust can cause diseases like stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and asthma. The finer parts go deeper into your lungs and we know from several studies that the finest parts (PM0.1 and nanoparticles) even enter your blood system, where they can affect other parts of your body. The fact that the WHO just measures only at PM2.5 gives even more uncertainty about the real air quality.

Luckily, we see that people around the world become more aware of these problems. In countries with the worst air quality it is becoming quite common to have some kind of equipment to clean the air around you. It is some kind  of symptom management, because the root cause in not taken away, but at least people can protect themselves.

The quality of equipment can diver very much. Most of the so called Air Purifiers do at least something during the first hours of use, but when the filters get clogged (and that can happen very rapidly) the effectiveness can drop to a level it won’t help anymore. Besides that units are designed to capture PM2.5 and are not effective for the smaller and more harmful particles.

We are developing sustainable solutions with technology used for medical appliances. With those solution we can take out even the finest parts for a longer period of time. With a stand-alone unit to clean one single room, or in-duct version combined with your ventilation system to cover your whole house. Keep following us how we deal with the fine dust question.

In the meantime the question remains if only fine dust is causing our health problems. VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) are organic chemicals in gas phase and can be harmful for your health too. They are no part of the fine dust fraction and therefore not monitored in worldwide studies. Nevertheless it is something which is a real threat for human beings. What do we do with that?

The full WHO report can be found here.

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