Is Your Indoor Air Quality (I.A.Q) Damaging Your Health?
Updated: Mar 22
It is no secret that the World is going through times of uncertainty right now. The current pandemic has unexpectedly taken the World by storm with lockdown-typed measures enforced to help us find the light at the end of the tunnel.
It means we are spending more time at home as many of the public places we are used to frequenting as temporarily closed.
Here in Bangkok, we have another issue to contend with. It is that time of year again where air pollution is on the rise. We are used to wearing masks and most of us have some basic knowledge of what PM2.5 is and the detrimental effects it can have on our health.
But, how many of us are taking the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from PM2.5 when we are inside our homes? With our air-con units bringing in polluted outside air, we should be wearing protective masks in our homes too. How many of us do? I may be wrong, but I am guessing not many.
Today the PM2.5 levels in Bangkok are at dangerous levels according to the Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) - This combined with the fact that we are spending much more time indoors due to social distancing and travel restrictions, makes it more important now, than ever, to proactively make your living space healthier.
So what is PM 2.5 and why can't we see it?
PM2.5 is atmospheric pollution that can come from many sources including volcanic eruptions, motor vehicles, aviation, forest fires, agricultural burning and residential log-fires. In Thailand, we have just entered the 'agricultural burning season' which usually runs into lat April.
The 'PM' in PM 2.5 stands for 'Particular Matter' the '2.5' relates to the size of the particle meaning they are less than 2.5 microns in diameter - To put this into context, a human hair is between 50 - 70 microns in diameter. These particles can't be seen with the naked eye, and as they are so small they float around in the air, making them difficult to get rid of and easy to inhale.
This diagram from the US EPA will give you a visual representation of the appearance of PM 2.5.
How does PM 2.5 affect your health?
The human respiratory system cannot naturally omit these particles due to their micro makeup. Instead, these particles work their way into internal organs including the lungs and heart. This can worsen existing cardiopulmonary diseases, plus trigger bronchitis and asthma.
Scientific studies show that these particles, once in the bloodstream can cause the arteries to harden, increasing the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
What can we do to improve indoor air quality?
As worrying as the side effects of air pollution sound, we can be proactive in our approach to mitigate these circumstances. Purchasing an air purifier with a Hepa filter cleans the air within your homes, minimising the chances of developing unwanted, dangerous medical conditions.
But, there are so many in the market to choose from, how do you know which air purifier to buy?
There are many varying factors to consider here, but the good news is there are English speaking environmental experts in Bangkok. At Clean Air, we have been advising businesses and homeowners on how to improve their indoor air quality since 2007.
We have some great air purifiers available with multiple functions, including UV-C which can kill viruses alongside cleaning your interior air.
Our indoor air specialists are more than happy to talk to you free of charge to understand your home and/or business set-ups to help you tailor the right solution for you.
You can leave your details here and one of our air quality experts will call you at a time that's convenient for you to see how we can advise and assists you in making the necessary home improvements.