Indoor Air Quality in Polluted Cities

Around the world people are waking up to the fact that air quality is an issue they cannot forget indoors. Studies around the world have shown that quality of air may be several times worse inside than outside. Given that most people spend about 90% of their time inside, the implications to people’s health are significant.

Several things may lead to poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Among them, air pollution is the one whose impact is growing around the world, especially in the polluted cities of Asia.

Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental risk, and causes 7 million premature deaths every year. Airborne particulates are classified as a group 1 carcinogen, according to WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of health conditions, including respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. A 2013 study showed that there is no safe level of particulates. Instead, for every increase of 10 µm/m3 in PM10 (inhalable particles) in the air, lung cancer rate rises 22 %. Smaller PM2.5 (fine particles) are particularly deadly, with 36 % increase in lung cancer rate per 10 µm/m3.

Common sources of air pollution are industry, motor vehicles and other combustion devices. Motor vehicle exhaust is a major contributor of ultrafine particles whose size is smaller than 100 nanometres. Ultrafine particles have several more aggressive health implications than the commonly monitored PM10 and PM2.5 particles (see our recent blog post on why particle size matters). Nanosized particles, which are the toughest to clean from the air, have the ability to penetrate tissue, be absorbed directly into bloodstream and migrate into organs, including the brain.

Genano Against Air Pollution

Genano air purifiers provide pure indoor air to offices, schools and other facilities.

Genano Technology is extremely efficient in purifying polluted air. The patented technology has been scientifically tested down to 3 nanometer size particles (PM0.003) – Genano Technology removes 99.5% of even the smallest of the particles.

As the technology does not rely on filters that especially in polluted cities get clogged up easily, Genano’s patented solutions enjoy from consistently high performance. Genano’s self-rinsing air purifiers are “low maintenance” both from cost and effort viewpoint.

Genano 120 in an office

 

Other benefits of Genano products for IAQ

Genano air purifiers not only remove even the smallest of air pollution particles, but they also improve the quality of the air we breathe in many other ways. These include problems caused by sick building syndrome (SBS) or errors in construction and material choices. These may lead to indoor air being polluted by small fibers, mold toxins and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which can all be efficiently removed by Genano Technology.

Another concerns especially in highly populated areas are airborne microbes. Genano air purifiers not only remove but permanently kill airborne viruses and bacteria. This is why many hospitals have chosen to use Genano Technology. An example is Genano’s collaboration in Saudi Arabia to prevent the MERS virus from spreading by quickly building isolation rooms.
 

Dammam Central Hospital –
Fighting MERS in Saudi Arabia

Fighting MERS in Saudi Arabia

When the MERS epidemic struck, hospitals in Saudi Arabia needed to increase the number of isolation rooms rapidly. Genano has helped in building new negative pressure isolation rooms to keep patients, visitors and health care professionals safe.

Genano Customer Case – Fighting against MERS in Saudi Arabian central hospitals

Why clean air matters

Health

On a personal level, the first concern that typically comes to our minds when thinking about clean air is health, and especially the health of our children. Especially if you are among the 10% of population with asthma, or if your child is suffering from asthmatic symptoms.

Cost

Health is also a significant cost issue: the health bill of people suffering from IAQ related illnesses is increasing every day.

In Hong Kong, the Hedley Index was developed to measure the monetary implications of air pollution. For example in 2012, the combined value of medical bills and productivity losses lead into an economic loss of HK$39.4 billion.

This is not just an issue for public healthcare systems, but also an issue for employers, who are faced with increasing sick days and healthcare-related costs. In certain areas with high air pollution levels, the best people are choosing to move away just for the sake of their health.

Cognitive performance and efficiency

Third area of importance is cognitive performance, both of adults and students. Different studies have shown significant correlation between IAQ and people’s ability to concentrate and learn. At the work place this means e.g. that you feel tired and get flu-like symptoms, your ability to explain things becomes slower, as will your typing. So even if the quality of the air would not necessarily make you sick enough to stay at home, studies are showing 6-9% drops in productivity at work. And the issues are much more common than most of us realize with some issues being experienced in at least 30% of work places.

In case of students, poor IAQ leads into poorer school performance and tests results, with some studies showing even 11% poorer results for students in schools with polluted indoor air. And while everyone suffers, asthmatic children are most at risk primarily due to being more sensitive to indoor pollution leading to worse symptoms and more absences. Some studies even show that there may be long-term impact on the development of a child’s brain when subjected to air pollution.

So the better the quality of your air is, the better the results of your students and employees.

Athletic performance

Endurance and ability to fully perform in tight spots suffers when you’re not breathing clean air. During sports, the lungs and body need more air. If the air is not clean, your performance suffers (see our recent blog post on IAQ and athletic performance). Some studies show even 16% drops in athletic performance once air pollution particles reach 50µg/m3.

How we do things differently at Genano?

At Genano we don’t just provide the best technology for professional air purification, we actually provide our customers with clean air. Our approach includes 3 main steps:

This holistic approach along with our superior technology has made us for example the #1 provider of air purifiers in Finnish schools and kindergartens. To learn more about our customers, see the case stories below: