Indoor Air Pollution Affects Employers’ Bottom Line

Air pollution in China is pushing employers to purchase air filtration systems to protect their workers while indoors.

Air pollution in China is pushing employers to purchase air filtration systems to protect their workers while indoors.

Demand for air filtration systems is expected to rise in one of the rapidly growing markets: China. Employers in China are likely to become major buyers for air purification systems as cities around the country are blanketed in a haze of smog and air pollution, according to Forbes.

As winter approaches, Chinese citizens are becoming more aware of the nation’s expanding pollution problem as burning coal to heat homes and other buildings becomes more prevalent, CBS News reported. Outdoor visibility was reported to be less than 50 yards, according to state media sources, and more residents are becoming concerned about indoor air quality.

“I couldn’t see anything outside the window of my apartment, and I thought it was snowing,” Wu Kai, a Chinese citizen, said in a telephone interview with CBS News. “Then I realized it wasn’t snow. I have not seen the sun for a long time.”

While less than 0.2 percent of Chinese households own air purifiers – in contrast to 27 percent of the U.S., 42 percent in Europe and 70 percent in Korea – this emerging market is expected to pick up quickly. The Chinese market for air purifiers is expected to expand at a growth rate of 34 percent per year for the next five years, according to a recent report by TechSci Research. Sales of air purifiers may reach over $33 billion as employers want to lower the levels of PM2.5, or small airborne particulates that can reach into the lungs.

Indoor pollution results in GDP loss
Indoor air pollution is the worst threat to the quality of the environment, as well as gross domestic product (GDP) growth, according to Slate.

A report by Project Syndicate, which compiles a scorecard of 10 key areas – including health, education and biodiversity – with the help global economists, addresses major environmental concerns. The Project Syndicate study said the most significant environmental issue was indoor air pollution, which ranked as a bigger concern even more than climate change.

Project Syndicate said indoor pollution caused by cooking and heating amounts to a loss of 3 percent of global GDP. In contrast, indoor air pollution cut into 19 percent of GDP in 1900 and is projected to decline to 1 percent of GDP in 2050.

With the cost of indoor air pollution negatively affecting GDP, employers may consider purchasing air filtration systems to reduce costs and improve indoor air quality.