February 8, 2023

A Historical Look At The Evolution of Air Purification Technology

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A Historical Look At The Evolution of Air Purification Technology

Air Purifier History and Advancements in the Modern Workplace

Throughout history, the concept of clean air has been a concern concerning public health. In the early 1500s, when Leonardo di Vinci was a military engineer, he was credited with the concept of the first personal respirator when he suggested dipping a fine woven cloth into the water before wrapping it around soldiers’ mouths and noses to protect them from chemical exposure. True or not, what went without dispute was the need for individuals to be protected from dirty air. Whether you call it air purification, filtration, or air cleaning, the goal is the same: providing air that is free of gases, fumes, and particulates that can make people sick and threaten their well-being.

The History of Air Purification

Depending on who you ask and which sources you consult, the timeline for air purification technology will focus on different inventions. Insofar as indoor air quality is concerned, it was workers’ health at the outset of the industrial revolution that created the greatest need to date. Firefighters, factory workers, and bakers, for example, faced air quality dangers not unlike coal miners and soldiers on the battlefield, but with the added obstacle of being stuck indoors with no source of fresh air. Workers in all those professions suffered significant health problems resulting from simply doing their jobs.

Here’s a rough timeline of air purification technology to date:

1823 – John and Charles Dean invent the air filter mask to protect firefighters from indoor soot and smoke 

1848 – The Haslett Lung Protector is the first US patent for an air purification device

1854 – John Stenhouse’s charcoal-based filter mask is created for coal miners’ protection 

1871 – The first personal respirator is invented by John Tyndall

1940 – The US Army Corps develops the original HEPA filter to guard against radioactive and chemical particles

1963 – Klaus & Manfred Hammes design the first filtration system for domestic coal ovens

Though these inventions were conceived to be used during specific applications, each paved the way for additional advances and innovations.

Modern-Day Air Cleaners

In 1970 the Clean Air Act was passed, requiring the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set public policy regarding air quality in order to reduce and control air pollution nationwide. The ensuing years brought more focus and research on the health hazards of air pollution indoors. In fact, the EPA asserts that indoor air pollution is 2-5x more harmful than outdoor pollution.

Modern air cleaners not only remove harmful particulate matter but also release clean, fresh air into an individual’s breathing space. Purification methods vary based on the filters used; HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), carbon, and ionizers are three popular types of modern filtration devices.

The Future of Air Purification Technology

Air quality industry reports indicate that the pervasiveness of airborne diseases, coupled with the increasing air pollution levels, will increase demand for air cleaning products throughout the foreseeable future. HEPA filtration, specifically, will dominate the current and future U.S. market as it is the most effective technology for trapping harmful airborne particles. According to Businesswire.com, The HEPA filter market was the largest segment of the air purifiers market by technology, accounting for $820.6 million or 52.6% of the total market in 2019, and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment going forward.

Extract-All® Air Purifiers are the ultimate portable air cleaning systems. Our products can be customized for any number of personal, professional, medical, or industrial uses. Medical facilities, manufacturing plants, offices, homes, schools, and senior living facilities, to name only a few, benefit from our high-quality air purification equipment. Each of our mobile fume extractors and portable air scrubbers comes equipped with a multi-stage filtration system that includes top-performance HEPA and activated carbon filter media. These units effectively remove sub-micron particulates such as mold, dust, smoke, mists, germs, and harmful fumes and vapors.

Extract-All products are dependable, versatile, and proudly made in the USA. Contact us today to set up your free estimate with one of our air purification specialists.

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