WHAT IS IAQ?
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is the quality of air within and around buildings. Research has shown that IAQ can affect humans in multiple ways, from aspects of their health such as immunity and mental health to cognitive functions such as processing information and making decisions. Ensuring good indoor air quality is vital to promoting everyone’s well-being.
2.5 microns is 24 times smaller than a human hair
AN INVISIBLE ENEMY: THE DANGERS OF INDOOR AIR
The average person spends nearly 90% of their time indoors—a pre-Covid-19 statistic which has only increased since the start of the pandemic—and the more vulnerable among us (infants, the elderly, and the sick) tend to do so even more. This is alarming because indoor air quality(IAQ) can be upto 5 times worse than air quality outdoors. The WHO estimates that every year, 4.3 million people die because of air pollution within their homes.
On average, humans take in almost 3000 gallons of air every day. When this air is polluted, as we know outdoor air to be, it can pose major risks to a person’s health; air pollution is the third most common cause of death within health risks in India. While the threats of outdoor pollution have led to measures such as regulating industrial work, curbing traffic, and major policy changes, the danger of indoor air has often been ignored.
When outdoor pollutants circulate with indoor pollutants within a small enclosed space, concentrations of some pollutants can be far higher than those outdoors.
The Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) found that after high blood pressure, smoking of tobacco, and malnutrition, air pollution kills the most number of people in India. Nine out of ten people worldwide breathe polluted air; the WHO estimates that globally polluted air leads to almost 7 million premature deaths in a year.
Indoor air pollution not only aggravates pre-existing respiratory conditions, but is also responsible for other health problems.
We assume that our homes are the safest places for us but the air in indoor spaces can pose many risks. how can you make your home truly safe?
The quality of indoor air—and many sources of indoor air pollution and pathogens present in it—can vary significantly from space to space and effective methods to improve IAQ are also specific to the type of environment in question.
- Retrofit your central system with Merv 14 or higher filters.
- Invest in the right product. Air cleaners with HEPA filters are far safer than ionizers or electrostatic precipitators, which produce hazardous by-products like ozone.
- Avoid smoking inside. Secondhand smoke impairs respiratory health.
- Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove cooking fumes & steam.
- Bathe pets regularly and keep their beds clean to reduce allergens in the air.