There is nothing more essential than the air we breathe in keeping us alive and healthy. But as well as life giving oxygen, air is the medium through which we are exposed to millions of bacteria and viruses every day, as well as dangerous fumes from all manner of chemical hazards.
In today’s post-Covid19 world, people are spending more time indoors than ever before. The pandemic means that more of us are working and entertaining at home, often in houses and apartments that are stuffy and badly ventilated. This poor air quality can then create a breeding ground for bugs to flourish and harmful vapours to accumulate to dangerous levels. After a time this can result in a condition known as Sick Building Syndrome.
Sick Building Syndrome was first identified in the 1970s and has developed into a complex health issue which can affect people of all ages. It occurs when chemical and biological contaminants circulating through buildings are inhaled by humans and subsequently manifest into a range of illnesses and conditions, from the common cold to more severe breathing problems.
In the past, Sick Building Syndrome has been typically associated with open plan office spaces where hundreds of co-workers would be breathing recycled air circulated through old-fashioned ventilation units. But more recent research shows that Sick Building Syndrome also be caused by contaminated air in residential properties.
The causes behind this can be wide and varied, from poor drainage systems in modern city centre apartments to the circulation of fungal spores in traditional period properties, but the syndrome is almost always exacerbated by poor ventilation which allow contamination to build up over time. And because this adulterated air has a tendency to circulate quickly, from room to room or even building to building, it is often tricky to treat.
There isn’t one singular cause of Sick Building Syndrome. Rather, there are a range of activities inside and outside a residential property that could spark a case of Sick Building Syndrome in the home – from microwave radiation to smoke from a wood-burning stove. The most common causes, however, do tend to be the spread of chemical contaminants within the building.
These might originate from the outdoors – such as from vehicle exhaust fumes and plumbing vents which enter the property through windows and other openings. Properties in urban areas can be particularly impacted by pollutants from other busy roads, nearby buildings, and industrial businesses.
Alternatively, these chemical contaminants might originate from indoor sources – even from the use of everyday substances in the home such as cleaning products, adhesives, and upholstery disinfectants. These products can sometimes emit volatile organic compounds which can cause serious health conditions if they are consumed at high levels.
The current fashion for wood-burning stoves, scented candles, oil burning diffusers and incense is also increasing the risk of potentially harmful emissions in the home. Even home scents such as air fresheners and perfumes have been proven to contain volatile organic compounds – meaning that masking an unwelcome scent can actually make the problem worse.
In addition to these causes, biological contaminants such as pollen, viruses and spores can also pose health risks. Without adequate ventilation and sanitation these bugs tend to cause reoccurring infections, making it difficult to ensure a healthy living space and often leading to a case of permanent Sick Building Syndrome.
The symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome are hugely varied and include headaches, eye and throat irritation, dizziness, nausea, dry and itchy skin, rashes or even breathing problems and asthma attacks. They can develop as new symptoms, or even worsen pre-existing conditions such as asthma and hayfever. As the symptoms tend to become more serious the longer the person is in the building, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk factors to stay fit and healthy.
One of the best ways to lower the risk of Sick Building Syndrome in the home is to keep indoor air quality to as fresh and clean as possible. This might involve opening windows regularly to improve ventilation or going outside to take in some fresh air at regular intervals.
By allowing fresh air to circulate throughout the home, the air quality will dramatically improve. At the same time, it’s also wise to reduce the use of cigarettes, candles and incense in the house and maintain a high level of cleanliness of regular sanitising of all surfaces and upholstery.
Of course, sometimes opening the windows and going for walks isn’t always a practical option. There might be external pollutants which could enter the home from outdoors, or heat loss during winter might be too much of an issue.
In many cases, a more convenient and long-term approach to keeping the air clean is to invest in an air purification system which quickly and constantly removes all contaminants – such as mould, bacteria, and viruses – from the air. These types of fans use specialist technology to improve air quality and provide indoor home environments with odour-free and breathable air.
One of the best and most convenient products on the market to reduce the risk of Sick Building Syndrome is the Airius PureAir purification system with its integrated PHI Cell technology from RGF Environmental, one of the worlds leading specialists in air, water and food purification. This offers the very latest in advanced active air purification technology and reduces viruses, bacteria, and harmful gases by up to 99%+, as well as mould and odours by over 90%, creating clean, healthy, and odour-free indoor spaces.
The Airius PureAir fan is perfect for residential homes as it continuously purifies the air and also regulates airflow circulation, reducing or eliminating damp and mould problems. It is an ideal solution for people who are looking for extra protection in their homes and wanting to keep their household clean and free of bugs, damp and mould.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put health at the top of the agenda and with people spending more time at home than ever before, the Airius PureAir PIV Series can provide the peace of mind that everyone is safe and breathing air that is pure and healthy.
To discuss how the Airius PureAir system can keep your house a healthy and happy home then please call us on 01202 554 200 to find out more.