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The importance of IAQ and breathing clean air

04.10.2021

Air is the most essential element in human's life

   

The air that we breathe must be the purest as possible because air nourishes with oxygen the lungs, the blood, and, consequently, the rest of the organs. Yet, surprisingly, according to several WHO studies, indoor air is five to ten times worse than outdoor air, even in urban areas.

The air that we breathe must be the purest as possible because air nourishes with oxygen the lungs, the blood, and, consequently, the rest of the organs. Yet, surprisingly, according to several WHO studies, indoor air is five to ten times worse than outdoor air, even in urban areas.

In addition to fungi, mold, viruses, bacteria, or animal hair, among the pollutants found, we can mention carbon monoxide, VOCs, sulfur dioxide, ozone, household chemicals, nitrogen oxides, radon, and tobacco smoke.  All these air pollutants are harmful to health and can also cause allergies that affect the respiratory tract.

Recommendations to refresh air indoors

To improve the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) in homes and workplaces,

  • Reduce the exposure of people to polluting agents. 
  • Avoid the presence of children and sensitive people when cleaning. 
  • Turning on fans when cooking or avoiding lighting candles and air fresheners in the house are ways to prevent or reduce exposure.
  • Carry out adequate ventilation practices that include open windows (and doors if necessary) to air renewal in the interior space. The time of opening will depend on the conditions of the exterior space, but the most effective is to do it a couple of times a day in the homes. In public establishments and workplaces, the ideal is to combine mechanical ventilation with natural ventilation.
  • In addition, HVAC units and air filters should be checked regularly to ensure that they maintain suitable air quality. Another good way of improving indoor air is air purifiers and disinfectants.
  • Another issue affecting air quality is humidity and temperature. When both environmental factors are very high, the air is of lesser quality, posing a greater risk to health as organisms such as viruses, fungi, and molds can proliferate.

Tobacco is the biggest indoor pollutant

Finally, all the institutions in charge of studying air quality (WHO, Ministry of Health, Environment, various ministries, international institutions) define tobacco smoke as one of the components that contribute most pollutants to the house's interior and discourage smoking, especially indoors.

Air quality is a fundamental right demanded by the WHO. European Union countries already legislated and included this in various regulations for new constructions, workplaces, etc.

The benefits of breathing quality

  • higher quality of life, which translates into a longer life
  • higher productivity at work
  • improving sleep
  • providing quality of rest
  • reduction of sick leave
  • and, in general, bring greater comfort.

    

And considering that human beings breathe up to four billion liters of air annually, it is in our hands to improve the air we breathe for our better and longer lives.

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