Harmful impact on indoor air quality increases need for better product labeling – and better air filtration
A study by a Canadian environmental action organization found that commonly used cleaning products dramatically raised the level of harmful contaminants in indoor air – increasing risks for asthma and other respiratory illnesses. While the rise in indoor air pollution was higher for conventional cleaning products than for certified ‘green’ products, both elevated the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have previously been linked to long-term health problems, especially in children.
The study, released on June 17 by Toronto-based Environmental Defence, tested the air in 14 homes that were cleaned with either conventional cleaning products, certified green products, or products with unverifiable green claims. The air was tested before and during the cleaning. In eight of the households, air quality went from decent to poor during the cleaning – and by the end of the cleaning, 12 of the 14 households exceeded the German standard for indoor VOC levels (there is currently no Canadian standard).
In homes where conventional cleaners were used, VOC levels increased by an average of 120 percent. Homes cleaned with ‘unverifiable’ green products saw an average VOC rise of 100 percent. But even those households that used certifiable green products saw a troubling increase in VOC levels – on average, a 35 percent jump.
In announcing the study’s findings, Environmental Defence called on the Canadian government to require full ingredient disclosure on the labels of cleaning products and to promulgate new regulations for VOC concentration limits. These are sound steps, but there are also steps that individuals and businesses can take to reduce the harmful particles in their indoor environment – and mitigate the risks of VOCs and indoor air pollution. Chief among them: proper air filtration.
Such solutions are readily available, and cost effective, thanks to the efforts of companies like Camfil – the world’s leading provider of clean air solutions. Camfil, for instance, operates a half dozen global research centers to create a new generation of air filters that last longer, use less energy, and do a better job removing harmful particles and chemicals from indoor air than more conventionally designed filters. This enables Camfil customers – which include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals and health care facilities, educational institutions, and manufacturing companies – to realize both better savings and better performance.
Indoor air pollution is growing problem – one that we are still learning about new and often troubling things. But it is also a problem that can be tackled, and beaten back. With today’s cutting edge air filters, we can all breathe a sigh of relief – and cleaner, healthier air.
The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil provides various types of air filters for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil customers go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information, visit us online at www.camfil.us or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.