The many health benefits of indoor air filtration
- Where domestic air filtration was used, a study published in the British Medical Journal demonstrated a 40% reduction in PM2.5 in households that either contained a wood-burning stove or that were located in a high traffic area.
- Another study showed 60% and 52% reductions in PM2.5 when using high efficiency (HE) and low efficiency (LE) particular air filters, respectively, when compared to no filtration.
- UVGI reduced the room-average concentration of culturable airborne bacteria between 46% and 80% for B. subtilis spores, between 83% and 98% for M. parafortuitum, and 96–97% for M. bovis BCG cells, depending on the ventilation rate.
- The reduction of PM2.5 exposure by filtration of recirculated indoor air using HEPA filtration for only 48 hours improved microvascular function in healthy elderly citizens, suggesting that this may be a feasible way of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- PM2.5 and Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) concentrations may decrease by an average of 72% and 59% respectively, when using high quality HEPA air filtration indoors. This indicates that air cleaning can effectively reduce symptoms for asthma sufferers.
- Nitrate concentrations in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) decrease significantly and the EBC pH values increase significantly with good quality air purification.
- From scientific modelling, the largest potential benefits of indoor particle filtration may be reductions in morbidity and mortality, thanks to the reduction of indoor exposures to particles from outdoor air.
- Among patients with allergies and asthma, use of air filters is associated with fewer symptoms.
- Studies appear to suggest that a reduction in particulate matter (PM2.5 & PM10) and allergens results in reducing symptoms and preventing disease progression across all age groups, including the elderly and children. The evidence is apparent in chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and in cardiovascular health.
- The British Guideline on Asthma Management from the British Thoracic Society recommends use of air filters for removal of pet and other allergens.
From the above it is clear that there are many health benefits that may be derived from the use of domestic air filtration; much of the technology involved is already implemented in hospitals and medical care settings.
Considering the vast amount of evidence now available to support the aggravating and causal effect of air pollution on human health, the reduction of exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution is likely to be a key factor in tackling diseases in the future.