December 9, 2019
If air pollution disappeared tomorrow, what health impacts could we expect to see? A group of researchers from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies set out to answer that question by compiling research from around the globe. They recently published their findings in a comprehensive report, Health Benefits of Air Pollution Reduction. Below, we’ve listed five compelling facts from their groundbreaking study.
It’s no secret that outdoor particulate pollution (PM2.5) from wildfires is associated with an increase in hospital admissions and deaths. More recent studies show that improving your indoor air quality during environmental disasters can help lower your health risks. Better home air filtration after a Southern California wildfire prevented 11 to 63 percent of the hospital admissions and 7 to 39 percent of the deaths attributable to wildfire particles (PM2.5).
Outside of environmental disasters, improving your indoor air quality can reduce daily asthma and allergy symptoms. Research shows that individual, home-based air quality interventions (e.g. installing HEPA filters and air purifiers) significantly decreased exposure to common indoor allergens and reduced asthma symptoms and morbidity rates of children in urban areas.
When it comes to outdoor air pollution, it’s easy to feel powerless. You may not be able to influence outdoor conditions, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t significantly lower your exposure. A study conducted in China found that installing air filtration systems in homes and workplaces reduced PM2.5 exposure by 26 to 79 percent — roughly the same particulate matter reduction associated with shutting down a local coal factory.
Another New Zealand study found that installing less-polluting heating systems (such as electric heat pumps, wood pellet burners, and flued gas heaters) in the homes of children with asthma reduced symptoms as well as school absenteeism, healthcare use, and pharmacy visits.
As average socioeconomic status and education decrease, average indoor air pollution levels increase (along with serious health risks). These findings reveal how important air quality education and affordable ventilation and filtration solutions are to global health outcomes.
Researchers have estimated that the monetary healthcare benefits of the Clean Air Act (passed in 1963) will reach $2 trillion in 2020 — about 32 times greater than the cost of implementation. These benefits are largely attributed to the number of deaths avoided per year due to lower concentrations of outdoor particulate matter (PM).
Regardless of the air quality in your region, Awair Element can give you insight into your indoor air quality and empower you to create a healthier home, office, and beyond. To learn more about Awair Element and start taking control of the air you breathe, follow the link below.
You walk into the conference room with a sharp mind and a clear objective. Twenty minutes later, your eyes are glazing over, your focus is waning, and you’re struggling to keep up with the conversation. No matter how much you try to corral your attention, you can’t seem to shake the dazed feeling that has overtaken the room.
While it’s easy to visualize “air pollution” as images of cars idling or toxic gases coming out of smokestacks, the indoor environment can also be impacted in subtle ways. Since air quality is largely invisible, it’s crucial to monitor its effects at home and in businesses because pollutants can come from inside sources, such as household cleaning chemicals and upholstery polishes, or outdoor air can enter buildings and impact human health. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has said that “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” Everything from aerosol sprays to building materials can play a role in releasing harmful byproducts that pose threats to health, safety, and comfort.
Today, diagnosing and treating seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis) is fairly easy. If you suspect that your symptoms are linked to outdoor allergens, you can take an allergy test to reveal exactly what your immune system is reacting to (and what to avoid). But what if your allergy symptoms don’t track to a clear source or follow a predictable pattern?