Why Indoor Air Quality?

THE SAFE INDOORS
Indoor air quality

Coronavirus Indoors

Scientists who initially warned about contaminated surfaces now say that the virus spreads primarily through inhaled droplets, and that there is little to no evidence that deep cleaning mitigates the threat indoors (Source).

Along with social distancing, mask wearing is the first line of defense against breathing contaminated air indoors, said Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr., a professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University School of Medicine, who has consulted with HVAC companies. “HVAC systems are of great significance in reducing the amount of airborne particles since this virus can be spread in an airborne fashion,” he added, calling the tiniest aerosols “the most dangerous.” (Source).

This is why Air Brilliance has opted to use a combination of these technologies to remove contaminants from the air.

 

Airborne Transmission

To visually illustrate the risk of airborne transmission in real time, The Washington Post used an infrared camera made by the company FLIR Systems that is capable of detecting exhaled breath (below). Numerous experts — epidemiologists, virologists and engineers — supported the notion of using exhalation as a conservative proxy to show potential transmission risk in various settings (Source).

According to experts, the footage underrepresents the potential risk of exposure from airborne particles. Those particles may spread farther or linger longer than the visible exhalation plume, which dissipates quickly to a level of concentration the camera can no longer detect (Source).

Infrared video shows the risks of airborne coronavirus spread. Washington Post. December 11, 2020.

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Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

Studies have found that in North America and Europe we spend 90% of our time indoors (Source). To put this in perspective, by the time we hit 40, most of us will have spent 36 years indoors. For all of this time spent indoors, we tend to focus much more on outdoor air quality (Source).

 

But how does the air indoors effect us?

1. Outdoor air pollution getting into our space via leaky homes and buildings. Globally, outdoor air quality is deteriorating due to pollution. Outdoor air pollution: Is associated with a number of human health effects including heart attacks, asthma attacks, bronchitis, hospital and emergency room visits, work and school days lost, restricted activity days, respiratory symptoms, and premature mortality. (Source | Source)

2. Indoor air pollution coming from inside our homes, called VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs can come from building materials, paint chemicals, furniture, and much more. Indoor contaminants can be 3-5 times HIGHER than outdoors. For many pollutants, the number can even be 10 times higher or more (Source).

3. Neighbors! Especially in multi-level buildings or multi-family homes. In newer mixed buildings, 9% of the air you breathe will come from your neighbors. In older buildings, this can raise to an average of 35% of your air coming from your neighbors (Source).

 

All of these allow for us to breathe in and digest pollutants, viruses, pathogens, and bacteria indoors. We’ve seen how this has effected the pandemic, but we need to focus on indoor air quality for our longterm health.