Is your environment making you chronically sick?
According to British Columbia (BC), The term “air quality” means the state of the air around us.
Now more than ever it is imperative that we are conscious of the Air Quality in our environment and take the necessary steps to make it cleaner, clearer and unpolluted.
Our bodies pick up on everything, even if we can’t visually see it. Use this cue to see the unseen – Air Quality in your environment.
In this issue, AOFI are going to provide 7 top tips to promote good Air Quality in your environment.
7 Tips to promote good Air Quality in your environment!
Firstly, by bringing plants into your environment will instantly change its atmosphere, this is known as ‘Biophilia’. There are many Air Quality and health benefits to adding plants to your environment such as purifying the air, removing volatile organic compounds and other harmful chemicals, as well as converting CO2 into oxygen during the day and night.
Like our human bodies, our environments (home/work) need to breathe too. A well-ventilated environment removes contaminated air, removes stale air, reduces dampness, and freshens the environment with fresh oxygen-rich air. By opening windows, doors and skylights into the environment, this provides natural ventilation. Introducing extractor fans/roof ventilators to bathrooms and kitchens keeps the air circulating and finally installing mechanical means by way of in-built ventilation systems all can improve your environment’s Air Quality dramatically.
In the last few decades, the Air Quality in our outdoor environments have gone from bad to worse. Due to the increase in the number of vehicles and industries contributing on mass to toxic pollutants in the atmosphere. Introducing electric/hybrid cars, promoting and creating effective public transport systems are just a few ways to implement change.
Common health effects of high levels of dust in your environment are: nose and throat irritation, congestion, runny nose, asthma, coughing, and wheezing. Dust mites and other allergens from carpets, curtains and furniture fabrics can cause these health effects. By vacuuming regularly with HEPA filter or better still change your flooring materiality to wooden, lino or stone.
A leaky roof, leaky windows, poor ventilation, leaky pipes, humidity, condensation and flooding are all the typical signs you have mould in your environment. Fix the source of the problem i.e. fix the water problem completely and clean up all the mould before you paint or use a water-proof filler and monitor humidity indoors. Air purifiers or filters can be effective in removing VOC’s, bacteria, mould and fungi.
Creating an environment that can provide Thermal Comfort for the majority of its occupants natural body rhythm is different for every individual. If we reduce the reliance on AC use, improve the buildings envelope, design and specify materials to reduce the over – all load. Along with designing environments in a more holistic manner, can all have a profound effect on people’s Thermal comfort.
Maintaining the Air Quality in our environments is not the responsibility of any one entity. It is the responsibility of us all. It is a collaborative effort that every human being needs to be committed to on a long term basis, so that we can all live healthier, cleaner, clearer lives.
Image 1 – 3D Rendering of ventilation system – Image courtesy of Brilliant Eye – source istock
Image 2 – Fungus (Aspergillus niger) – Image courtesy of Jannicke Wii-K-Nielson – source istock
Image 3 – Dust particles & light through window – Image source – Jumpstory
Download printable article Air Quality – Article