It is no secret that people in the Middle East spend plenty of time indoors, shielding from the warm climate outdoors. What the vast majority might not be aware of, is the fact that the indoor air we expose ourselves to for most of the day is up to a staggering five times more unclean than outdoor air (1).
Now, you might wonder why this is the case, but there are endless unseen contributors that affect the air around us on a daily basis. Besides the likes of dust and bacteria, indoor pollution is caused by cooking, cleaning, use of perfume or hair spray, smoking and even candles. Giving your indoor space some ‘fresh air’ from time to time won’t necessarily help with this either, as it can help the polluted outdoor air making its way into our homes through already contaminated air conditioners that are active throughout the day and night.
From a health perspective, this is concerning, especially as communities are generally uneducated about the consequences of their unclean indoor surroundings, which is linked to fatal health issues, including respiratory diseases, allergies or even cancer (2), infections and asthma. It can also cause less serious side effects such as headaches, nasal congestion, nausea, fatigue and dry eyes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 4.3 million people a year die from exposure to household air pollution worldwide, and in the UAE alone more than 290 deaths and more than 89,000 health care visits per year in the UAE may be related to exposure to poor indoor air quality (3). While this is a significant threat to the general population, air quality is especially important for children because they breathe higher volumes of air in proportion to their size compared to adults, and their lungs are more sensitive. Even while developing in the womb, air quality can have a detrimental effect on their respiratory system before they come to life in the ‘real world’.
So, what changes can you make? Your best defence against indoor air pollution is to try to avoid having pollutants enter your home. Creating a well-ventilated space that allows fresh, clean air to flow in is a great start for keeping your indoor air free of outdoor pollutants.
Everyday household tasks can also help to reduce air pollution and keep the air cleaner at home, such as vacuuming and dusting. However, using air purifiers to filter pollutants is a very efficient tool to keep the air indoor clean. A high-performing air purifier will efficiently remove bacteria, virus, dust, pollen and toxic chemicals all-in-one. Using air purifiers is also an absolute game-changer in reducing exposure to common household pollutants like cooking odours and chemicals from cleaning agents. Finding an air purifier that does the job isn’t a given, a tip is to look for an air purifier with high CADR (clean air delivery rate), The HEPASilent technology used in Blueair products combines two filtration technologies that trap even the smallest particles and has a high CADR rate, and also clean the air efficiently in the by AHAM recommended 5 air changes per hour, every 12 minutes. It can even remove virus from the air, a factor that is more relevant than ever before.
We knew from consumer insights that even prior to the current pandemic, viruses and bacteria are one of the main causes of concern to public health worldwide – this is when the idea of our latest product came to life. After three years of development, we invented our most advanced air purifier to date: HealthProtect. Blueair can confirm that the HealthProtect is proven effective at removing the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus in independent third-party tests under laboratory conditions. Blueair air purifiers have not proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 or reduce or prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Ultimately, we spend 90% of our time in an indoor space, whether as adults it be at home, at work, or our children in schools. Unclean air is a silent threat but one that we can all take measures to protect against, for the sake of our health and our family’s.
3. Funk, W.E., Pleil, J.D., Pedit, J.A., Boundy, M.G., Yeatts, K.B., Nash, D.G., Trent, C.B., El Sadig, M., Davidson, C.A. and Leith, D. (2014) Indoor Air Quality in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 709-722. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jep.2014.58072