Air Pollution and Disease: Can Air Filters Help?
Pollution is not just ugly and smelly; It is a serious health issue too. And it is not just about causing and exacerbating lung disease and sinus problems, but much more seriously there is now evidence that air pollution is a powerful factor in the causation of ADHD, autism and infertility.
We got to see just how serious air pollution could be back in the 1950s in smoggy old London. The smog was caused by the smoke from sulphur rich coal that was used in British fireplaces. The clean air act cleared the air and saved goodness knows how many lives too.
The change to burning a different type of coal and to using gas fires certainly did clear the air, but our pollution problems may actually have got worse since then.
Industry has moved on and is producing thousands of new chemical based products, many of them producing invisible vapours, which because we cannot see them seem to be innocent and inoffensive.
Modern pollutants appear as phthalates (silent “p”), plasticizers, Organophosphates, Bisphenol A and solvents. Even the names of these give me “the creeps!” and they will appear in future posts.
To tell whether or not our homes are safe now we need modern technology that can “sniff” the air in our home to check to see if it is safe and this technology is very expensive and complex to use and to interpret.
And it is not just these chemical vapours produced in our homes from the paint work, curtains and carpets that we and our family are breathing in but we are also breathing the pollution produced outside the home – emitted by vehicles and chimneys – all this spreads inside the home and cannot be kept outside.
No matter how clean you keep your home the burden of external air pollution cannot be avoided and can only be dealt with by a high quality air filter.
Air Filters For Every Use
There are various types of air filter. Yes they all filter out dust and pollution from the air but they do so with a level of thoroughness and deficiency depending on the technology they use and their price!
A basic filter will trap dust particles and remove them from being recirculated by the heating and ventilation systems again and again.
Particles come in different sizes and all filters will be able to deal with large particles and probably not be able to deal with the very small particles called “particulates”.
High efficiency filters are called HEPA filters, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and filter out even the tiny particles 1/3 of a micron in size.
Such HEPA filters can be built into vacuum cleaners and even high end cars and aircraft but are commonly used in portable standalone home appliances used in homes where someone has asthma or allergies to reduce the load of allergens that they breathe in.
The air filter mentioned in the video above has an extra unit to filter vapours from fragrances and volatile chemicals.
Photo Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources