Air Purification Safeguards Priceless Works of Art in the Sistine Chapel

With high pollution levels putting some of the world's most famous masterpieces housed in the Sistine Chapel at risk, the through new air purification systems

With high pollution levels putting some of the world’s most famous masterpieces housed in the Sistine Chapel at risk, the Vatican is hoping to save artwork through new air purification systems, The Associated Press reported.

The head of the Vatican Museums recently announced pollution in the Sistine Chapel have reached levels that may further damage its artwork. Recent studies indicate that the chapel’s almost 5.5 million annual visitors are adding to dust and humidity that pose a risk to various pieces of art, according to Religion News Service.

During the peak tourism season for the Sistine Chapel, 20,000 people walk through its halls each day – a figure that is three times the number of visitors compared to the last 30 years – bringing in dirt and dust along with them. In addition to Michelangelo’s painting depicted on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, the chapel contains the works of Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Luca Signorelli.

Restoration at the chapel last took place in the 1990s, with the frescoes ending up brighter than what Michelangelo would have envisioned, according to critics of the restoration. Director Antonio Paolucci was hesitant about having another major restoration. He said restoration is “traumatic” for the artwork.

“There won’t be any more restorations,” he said. “But maintenance continues.”

Air Filtration Systems Help Preserve Artwork’s Integrity

Instead of having another restoration, the Vatican Museums plan to maintain the integrity of its valuable artwork through the use of air purification systems. Paolucci said levels of dust, humidity and carbon dioxide are expected to be controlled through the chapel’s set of air purifiers as well as a new air conditioning system. These systems will be installed at what is usually the site of papal elections and should be operational by the end of 2014.

The Vatican aims to reduce the amount of pollution to a maximum of 800 particles per million. During the Sistine Chapel’s highest concentration of pollution, this level is more than 1,600 particles per million, according to officials.

While Paolucci said he was confident the new air purifying and conditioning system will help reduce the dulling and discoloration of the chapel’s artwork, if pollution inside the chapel is not curbed, the Vatican may be forced to limit its number of visitors.

“If this project doesn’t work, I’ll be forced to impose a limited number (of visitors),” Paolucci said. “But that would be a painful solution.”

Air Pollution in School Buildings Can Cause Illness

Schools Are Vulnerable to Poor Air Quality, Which Can Affect Student Performance and Health

Schools and other educational facilities are vulnerable to poor air quality due to air pollution, which can affect student performance and health.

New research is highlighting poor air quality in schools and the effects of air pollution on students, USA Today reported.

Air quality is especially terrible when school buses are idling, according to Patrick Ryan, researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study.

“The concentration of air pollutants near schools often significantly exceeds background levels in the community, particularly when idling school buses are present,” Ryan said.

The study shows fine particles that measure 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller are concentrated in the air while buses and cars are loading and unloading passengers. Ryan is also author of a study that found a connection between outdoor pollutants and indoor air quality. He said air quality was generally good at the four schools he studied, but there was a difference in the quality of air inside if outdoor air pollution was reduced.

EPA Links Outdoor Pollutants With Indoor Air Quality

Ryan’s study is also supported by studies cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that list outdoor pollutants or vehicle exhaust as a cause of poor indoor air quality in schools. Other causes of indoor air quality problems include moisture and water damage, animal and other biological allergens, low ventilation rates and cleaning product chemicals. Air cleaners could lower the amount of pollutants causing indoor air quality problems and potential negative health effects.

The EPA cited scientific studies that state indoor air quality problems can lead to respiratory infections as well as adverse reactions to chemicals. The result of indoor air quality issues includes negative health effects in students as well as lowered ability to learn.

“Research links key environmental factors to health outcomes and students’ ability to perform,” according to the EPA on the effects of indoor air quality and student performance. “Improvements in school environmental quality can enhance academic performance, as well as teacher and staff productivity and retention.”

Despite schools and educational facilities having a variety of pollutant sources to control, there are different ways they can clean up indoor air quality. In order to help improve students’ ability to perform, schools could increase their outdoor air ventilation rates or eliminate the sources of pollutants, according to studies listed by the EPA. Studies also indicate reducing the amount of airborne particles, such as through air purification systems, could improve the health and comfort of building occupants.

Indoor air pollution and air quality news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc.

Air Purifier Performance and Longevity

Extend Product Life with Regular Filter Maintenance

Air Purifier Performance and Longevity 1

The sources of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings have increased over the years. Luckily, so have methods to fight the ill-effects of those pollution sources, methods which have proven to safeguard the health of building occupants.

One of the most effective ways to reduce indoor air pollution is to use air cleaning systems that include filtration. But the only way to generate optimum air quality – and boost system performance – is through filter maintenance.

IAQ & Contaminant Types

Indoor air quality broadly refers to the cleanliness level of air inside buildings. Business owners, building administrators, and management companies all have a responsibility to keep their indoor spaces as pollutant-free as possible. This is important not only for the welfare of their workers and occupants but for their guests and patrons, as well.

What is considered “good” IAQ? According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, good indoor air quality has the following qualities: (1)

  1. Comfortable temperature and humidity
  2. Proper indoor ventilation
  3. Adequate supply of fresh outdoor air
  4. Contaminant control

Most industries are diligent about providing a clean and unpolluted environment for those who enter their places of business. But pollution has a way of existing without ever being seen.

Common contaminants generally fall under one (or more) three main categories: biological, chemical, and particulate. (2) These pollutants are caused by a multitude of job-related activities that release fumes and vapors, particle discharge, and/or create humidity fluctuations. In addition, faulty equipment, the growth of molds and bacteria, and various day-to-day activities of people at work can further affect indoor air quality. (3)

To keep people healthy, pollution should be controlled at its source and indoor ventilation should create airflow in a way that redirects dirty air away from occupants’ breathing space. After source control and proper ventilation, the next step in creating a healthy IAQ is air filtration (purification). (4)

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers (aka, air cleaners, air filtration units) are designed to filter out dirt and contaminants from the air that passes through them, then return clean “purified” air back into the indoor space. Cleaning units usually consist of a filter (or multiple filters) and a fan that draws in, then recirculates the air. Typically made of paper, fiber (often fiberglass), or mesh, filters require regular replacement to maintain efficiency.

Filter Performance

The purpose of an air filtration unit is to draw in contaminated air, remove the impurities, then release fresh, clean air back into the room. These systems can be provided through a building’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system (HVAC) or through portable or ambient units. Many air purifiers are made up of a multi-stage filtering system that can accommodate a variety of different filter options including prefilters, secondary, carbon, and primary HEPA filters.

But air filtration equipment will only work well if properly maintained and operated. This includes regular filter maintenance.

Benefits of Regular Filter Maintenance

The benefits of regularly changing your filters are manifold:

  1. Functionality: Your unit can remain at peak performance only with clean filter pathways.
  2. Cost savings: Energy usage (thus cost) is lower when air cleaners have unclogged filters.
  3. Longevity: The life of your air purifier will last longer with routine filter maintenance.

The upshot? It is less expensive to regularly change your unit’s filter than it is to replace an air cleaner.

What Happens if Not Maintained

When an air filter is not changed regularly it becomes clogged with dirty particles, slowing down airflow. The reduced supply of clean air decreases the physical space the unit can cover, even though the unit is working harder and using more energy. And in some cases, an overly dirty filter can become an additional source of pollution because the very contaminants that were collected have nowhere to go and are blown out by the unit’s fan into the very space it was meant to keep clean.


To maximize the health benefits of pollutant-free air and to keep your cleaning unit working at its best, filters should be replaced regularly. But how often?

There are several variables that effect filter life and how often replacement is necessary. A filter change schedule will depend on your unit, number of filters in your unit, pollutants being collected, and pollution concentration levels.

At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. our Clean Air specialists guide and advise our customers on the frequency and specifics of filter maintenance based on their air cleaning product and application need. Contact us today for a free estimate and analysis and ask about our Filter Replacement Program.

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The Dental Clean Air Purifier is portable and easy to use and it provides the protection and peace of mind your staff and patients need.

At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc., we provide our dental industry customers with our 30 plus years of indoor environmental experience as well as our high-quality air cleaning products. Contact us today and ask about our Extract-All 987 Dental Clean Air systems.