Silica, asbestos, benzene. Particles from cotton, flour, and wood. These are just some of the contaminants that have long been known to be unhealthy indoor pollutants. However, that knowledge came at a price: many workers got sick and died before safeguards were put in place to stop the risk of exposure from happening.
Up until recently, indoor air quality protections have focused almost exclusively on dust and fumes. Air purification to prevent viral illness was something that few outside the healthcare industry considered necessary. Then Covid19 arrived and almost overnight, the general population became conscious of airborne illness on a personal level and considered what the healthcare industry has long known – air filtration slows the spread of germs.
Pre-COVID Position on Air Filtration Standards
While there are no written regulations or air filtration standards, several government agencies have made it their goal to educate and protect our citizens from the negative impact of dirty indoor air.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which was created to protect workers and keep them safe, has warned that unclean air can negatively affect a person’s comfort and health: The quality of indoor air inside offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers’ comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Also, some specific diseases have been linked to specific air contaminants.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that indoor pollution sources that release gasses or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems.
Finally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went so far as to say, Indoor air quality is a global issue. Both short- and long-term exposure to indoor air pollution can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory diseases, heart disease, cognitive deficits, and cancer.
This was all before Coronavirus caused a global pandemic. Now, these agencies promote improving air quality for the removal of germs, as well.
To reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a layered mitigation approach – one that includes air filtration:
Consider using portable air cleaners to supplement increased HVAC system ventilation and filtration, especially in areas where adequate ventilation is difficult to achieve. Directing the airflow so that it does not blow directly from one person to another reduces the potential spread of droplets that may contain infectious viruses.
When used properly, air cleaners and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space. By itself, air cleaning or filtration is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by the CDC and other public health agencies, including social distancing and mask-wearing, filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.
At Air Impurities Removal Systems, our quiet, streamlined air purifiers work for a variety of applications in just about any setting. Contact us today for a free estimate from one of our clean air specialists.