Every day we breathe in around 8,000 litres of air, in an average of 21,000 inhalations. While we care about what we eat and drink, and even the quality of air in our cities, are we so aware of what we are breathing?
Did you know that air indoors is more polluted than it is outside?
Several studies have shown that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, among which is the research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).1 Furthermore, we are also part of the so-called 'Indoor Generation', i.e. we spend 90% of our time indoors, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)2.
Indoor air quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the term used to refer to the nature of air inside buildings, which affects the health and comfort of occupants. This quality is determined by the levels of pollutants present in the air. A representative indicator is suspended particles or particulate matter (PM), which is a mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air.3
These particles are classified according to their aerodynamic diameter as PM10 (diameter less than 10 µm), known as fine and coarse particles; PM2.5 (below 2.5 µm), known as fine particles; and PM0.1 (up to 0.1 µm), known as ultra-fine particles. The latter two are the most harmful to health, as they can enter the lungs more easily.4
The buildings we use most often (homes, offices, recreational facilities, schools, etc.) are commonly polluted not only from indoor items, but also due to other pollutants from outside.Among pollutants inside buildings we find:
- Tobacco smoke.
- Allergens such as plant pollen, particles from animals or mites.
- Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particles or volatile organic compounds coming from heating and hot water appliances, or from the kitchen.
- Humidity that leads to fungus and mould.
- Volatile organic compounds emitted by some construction or cleaning products, furniture, decoration, DIY, etc.
The following can infiltrate from outside the building:
- Radon, a natural gas that is present in soils and rocks. When passing through the air, it emits radioactive particles that can enter the building through small cracks. Radon can be harmful to health in high concentrations5.
- Air pollutants from cars, chimneys or industrial processes.6
Harmful health effects
Prolonged exposure to indoor pollution can cause health problems, especially in children, such as eye, nose or throat irritation, headaches and breathing problems. It is therefore essential to take care of the quality of the air we breathe. To do this, experts7 recommend natural ventilation backed up with technology.
Daikin, the technology you breathe
Daikin has long been concerned with offering equipment that not only air conditions different spaces, but also ensures high-quality air. Ventilation, air processing, humidification and filtration are some of the essential components of Daikin's equipment and systems, helping to clean and purify it.