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Warning: Breathe At Your Own Risk

9 minutes to read

Unfortunately, we’re all familiar with air pollution. It’s an inescapable part of modern life. There are cars and trucks spewing fumes throughout our cities, smokestacks giving birth to black clouds over industrial parks, and monstrous machines spraying unpronounceable chemicals all over the countryside. It doesn’t matter where you live, the air you breathe is full of particles that, in the end, are poisonous to your body.

There’s Something In The Air

The signs of air pollution are easy to see in our environment. You can’t miss the big black cloud hovering over a factory. Your eyes become irritated and your throat closes when a badly tuned diesel truck rolls by, leaving you to suck down the fumes of burned oil and fuel. You can see, smell, and even taste the pollution in the air. The signs and the danger are obvious.

The World Health Organization estimates that about 7 million people die prematurely every year as a result of simply breathing polluted air. That’s one out of eight deaths globally. Air pollution has been linked to higher occurrences of health problems like heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute lower respiratory infections in children. In fact, the WHO has listed air pollution as the largest single environmental health risk in the world.

An Invisible Intruder

While all of that might sound scary, it’s not even the worst part. The really scary part of all of this is that often indoor air pollution can be worse than what we see outdoors. Poor ventilation and air circulation systems can actually cause the buildup of toxic particles in the air we breathe as we go about our days.

You walk out of the urban smog at the end of your morning commute to work, relieved to be entering a new environment where everything seems cleaner and quieter, but you just might be better off outside. The effects are not so obvious. You can’t see it. You don’t smell anything strange. There’s no taste in your mouth. But it’s there. It’s there all day long, as you put in your 8 hours (or more), day after day, month after month. It is slowly but surely compromising your health and shortening your life.

The WHO considers indoor air pollution to be a factor in 3.8 million premature deaths each year caused by non communicable diseases like stroke, heart disease and lung cancer. As design goals have changed over the years, with more focus on energy efficiency, buildings have become increasingly closer to being airtight structures, which causes a buildup of toxic contaminants in the air — ultimately making the problem of indoor air pollution worse.

The Damage Is Reversible

The good news is that this is not a problem without a solution. In fact, the solution is fairly simple. Increasing ventilation and employing air filtering systems in any building will decrease levels of harmful particles in the air, and help to improve the overall health of anyone who spends any significant amount of time in that building.

A study conducted in 2011 found that people exposed to filtered air for 7 days showed 30% lower levels of C-reactive Protein, an indicator of inflammation and precursor to cardiovascular problems. Another study showed that by increasing ventilation rates and improving air quality in office environments, worker productivity is increased. Finally, a study conducted in 2015 showed that office workers scored an average of 101% higher on cognitive tests when working in an environment with higher air quality as opposed to working in a standard office environment.

Improving the quality of the air around us not only helps eliminate bad effects caused by pollution, it has beneficial effects. We actually function better when we are breathing cleaner air. Our organs, and especially our brains, work better when the air we breathe is purer.

The Solution Can Be Simple

Changing the quality of the air in your home or work environment doesn’t need to be a major project. Simply using proper filters in existing ventilation systems can make a big difference, but there are also stand-alone air purification solutions that can be used virtually anywhere if modifying central ventilation systems is not an option.

Camfil provides solutions for just about any type of environment, from making the air in your home healthier to meeting the strictest standards required by technical and medical cleanrooms. Air purifiers like the Camfil Air Purifier CITY work great in settings like offices, schools, and even medical facilities.

For larger areas, or locations that require a higher level of filtration, the CamCleaner line can take on everything from welding smoke to chemical fumes, removing it all through ultra efficient Absolute Hepa filters. CamCleaner systems are available in vertical, horizontal and portable configurations. There’s even a ceiling mountable unit. You can put one virtually anywhere to remove harmful pollutants from the air.

Changing The Air Can Change Your Life

The benefits of taking steps to improve the quality of indoor air are both numerous and well documented. You can improve your day-to-day life and the well being of everyone around you, from family and friends to coworkers and customers.

Indoor air pollution is not a static thing.  It builds up and gets worse with time. By taking advantage of air cleaning devices and filters, you can stop the process and reverse the effects that this invisible killer has had on you.