Clearing the ‘air’ on indoor pollution

Studies find that air purifiers with HEPA filters have shown promise for improving asthma outcomes in children and adults.

A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that outdoor air pollution has become a major environmental health problem across the world.

But as people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, exposure to outdoor air pollutants is more likely to happen inside homes and other indoor environments. Poor air quality creates risks especially among pregnant women, children, the elderly, and those with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma.

With the recent uptick of respiratory diseases such as influenza and ever-evolving Covid-19 variants and strains, new approaches to protect our well-being must become part of the norm in safeguarding public health.

To highlight this awareness on indoor air pollution and its negative impact on health, Philips Domestic Appliances has developed a white paper independently reviewed by key academics and physicians in the fields of air pollution and respiratory health.

Meanwhile, here are three facts surrounding the importance of clean indoor air:

1. Indoor air can be polluted air.

In the Philippines, a Greenpeace report showed that coal factories and vehicle emissions are the country’s main sources of air pollution.

Indoor quality isn’t only affected by outdoor air circulating indoors, it’s also affected by sources such as pet hair, home products like pesticides, mold, and even fumes from cooking. Besides Covid-19, exposure to indoor air pollution can cause allergies and asthma, or in the worst cases, cancer, heart disease and other ailments that affect the brain or kidneys.

2. Indoor air quality can be improved.

Controlling sources of pollution and ventilating spaces with outdoor air, if clean, are the most effective approaches for improving indoor air quality. When air pollutant source reduction and dilution by ventilation are insufficient or impractical, there are several measures available to individuals to reduce their exposure and risk of adverse health effects. One such measure is the use of portable air purifiers with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

Portable air purifiers using HEPA filters as the primary mechanism of air cleaning offer many advantages over other air cleaning methods currently available for in-home use. These advantages include simple installation without the requirement of a central air handling system, flexibility in location and a lack of harmful by-products.

 

Photographs courtesy of Philips
PORTABLE air purifiers offer many advantages such as simple installation and flexibility in location.

3. Portable air purifiers can positively impact health.

Studies find that air purifiers with HEPA filters have shown promise for improving asthma outcomes in children and adults. Intervention studies with HEPA-based air purifiers have also shown promise for improving nasal or rhinitis symptoms in adults and children with allergic rhinitis and/or conjunctivitis.

Choosing a home air purifier

Indoor air purifiers vary greatly in terms of technology, operation, cost, energy usage and maintenance requirements. Among factors to consider are a device’s level of filtration technology, noise levels, ease of operation, real-time air quality monitoring, and a high airflow rate.

For clean indoor air at the push of a button, the Philips 800 Series Air Purifier quickly and effectively filters viruses, allergens, or pollutants in spaces up to 48 sqm. It uses multi-layer filtration technology present in all Philips Air Purification Solutions. The pre-filter catches dust and air, while the NanoProtect HEPA filter is designed to capture over 99 percent of particles as small as 0.003 microns, smaller than the smallest known virus.


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