Cleaner air for urban dwellers

The world is urbanising and people are migrating to city centres for many reasons. We see this trend in statistics: more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities today and the World Health Organisation (WHO) expects this proportion to increase in coming years.urban living

This urbanisation trend is impacting the economic, social and political setup of countries and regions. Urban crowding is also affecting life at street level – the air we breathe. In many metropolises, concentrations of particulate matter and harmful gases are already higher than WHO’s recommended limits.

Vehicle emissions – especially the content of diesel exhaust – are very much the villain in this drama and we need to be more aware about the dangers of breathing everything from very fine particles (PM2.5) to harmful gases like nitrogen dioxide. Continue reading

Clean Indoor Air for health and sustainability

In a recent article published by REHVA, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations, Peter Dyment, the Building IAQ and HVAC energy consultant for Camfil discusses Clean Indoor Air for health and sustainability.

IAQ

REHVA, are dedicated to the improvement of health, comfort and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities.

IAQ Peter discusses how there is an overriding need for people to breathe clean healthy air in both residential and commercial buildings today. Many buildings may be located in polluted industrial city locations or maybe in relatively clean rural settings.

There is an increasing trend for many people to work from remote locations or from their place of residence.

Many designers and engineers advocate use of ventilation methods that utilise naturally occurring air currents in buildings. Broadly these design solutions can be grouped under the name of passive ventilation. The great attraction of these types of solution is that they have low levels of energy use but the main drawback is that they are usually unsuitable for use in locations with high levels of air pollution.

These are air filter units that combine High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to remove PM2.5 and NO2 as well other commonly experienced pollutants. These air purifiers or air cleaners if they remove just particles are used in residential situations or healthcare applications. Removing aspergillus spores to protect vulnerable children and pollen removal to prevent asthma attacks are two recent needs that have been met.

Using a standalone air purification unit that delivers clean air at point of need if often a quicker more effective IAQ solution than trying to get a large unmanageable centralised HVAC system to service a small area in a large building with air. It can also save energy if the main HVAC system can be stepped down.

You can read the full article here. Continue reading

Misconceptions about air pollution – Air quality is better than it was

Founder & Director of Clean Air London, Simon Birkett recently wrote an article for Environmental Health News on the Misconceptions about air pollution.

The piece contains a series of cartoons which the campaign group Clean Air in London commissioned to address the capital’s environmental challenges. Beautifully crafted by Andy Davey (@DaveyCartoons), the cartoons address matters such as London smog, wood burning, the tube, cycling and taxis.

The first misconception mentioned within the article ’12 Misconceptions about air pollution’  is that ‘air quality is better than it was’.

Air quality is better than it wasThe Facts:
Visible coal smoke disappeared after the Clean Air Act and has been replaced by diesel exhaust and other largely invisible particles and gases. During this time, the certainty and scale of the health effects of air pollution have rocketed upwards while public understanding has remained where it was 30 years ago for smoking. To find out more, click here.

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