TNO Report: How healthy is the air in your bedroom, classroom or office?

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Last week TNO published a literature study, commissioned by the Dutch Lung Fund, on the quality of indoor air.

Conclusion: An air purifier has positive effects in several areas!

Euromate can help with the cleaning of the indoor air. Our professional air purifiers ensure that the air is continuously stripped of pollutants. Please contact us for free advice.

Read below a summary of the facts and consequences of polluted indoor air.

Sleep and productivity

In almost half of the Dutch homes, the concentration of airborne particles in the master bedroom is on average 21 hours per week higher than 1200 particles per cubic meter. According to the Health Council, this indicates insufficient ventilation. Concentrations can even exceed 3500 particles per cubic meter without residents taking interventions, such as opening windows. Exploratory research shows that insufficient ventilation of bedrooms can lead to sleep disruption and to a 3% productivity loss on the following day. In the Netherlands, the ventilation system is not in order in most new-build homes. In many homes, improving ventilation in the bedrooms, in particular, requires installation-technical adjustments that are not easy for the resident to carry out.

PM2.5 particulate matter

In buildings, the average Dutch person acquires 90% of the exposure to particulate matter, 80% of which in homes, with a peak around cooking. 10 to 30% of the disease burden due to particulate matter from particles produced in the indoor environment. PM2.5 is the most important health risk due to indoor environmental factors. Inner sources of PM2.5 are associated with a reduction of lung function in COPD patients. A study of 101 Dutch homes revealed that in at least 1 in 6 homes in the living room/kitchen the PM2.5 particulate matter concentration is annual average above the WHO recommended value. Half of this concentration is, on average, caused by particulate matter from the outside air. The other half comes from indoor sources. In the homes examined, this was mainly due to baking and roasting and burning (candles, fireplaces, stoves). Smokers are also a very polluting indoor source. In homes with natural supply, such central filtering is not possible and then an air cleaner must be installed in each living room.

Cooking on gas

In addition to ultrafine particles, gas cooking also causes nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions and, according to the WHO, is associated with 20% more respiratory complaints in children. Laboratory and field measurements show greatly increased NO2 concentrations with gas cooking. Given that currently 50% of the range hoods sold in the Netherlands are sold as recirculation hoods, of which the carbon filter catches less than 20% NO2 within a few weeks of use, gas cooking is a particular concern in airtight homes where there is insufficient ventilation. Air purifiers can help with this.

Moisture and mould

10% of the homes have more than approximately 0.8 m2 of mould in the living room and bedroom. In 41%, mould is present in the bathroom. Mould in the living room and bedroom give the best chance of health risk due to the longer stay in these rooms. Moisture and mould cause 11% of the indoor environment-related disease burden.

Lower productivity due to poor air quality in offices

In offices 34% of employees suffer from dry eyes, the possible cause being the proximity of a busy road. 37% of office workers have complaints about air quality. For offices, 1 – 3% performance improvement is achieved per 10 litres / s per person increase in ventilation. Research has shown that activities fall to a dysfunctional level over time. It is possible to increase performance by filtering the air with a stand-alone air cleaner.

Sickness absence and performance in schools in relation to ventilation

Research shows that in 80% of Dutch schools the ventilation is substandard and 45% of teachers think it is too hot in the summer. Increasing the amount of ventilation by 1 l / s per-pupil improves learning performance, which increases the pass rate by 3%. An increase of 1000 particles per cubic meter relative to the outside air concentration is associated with a sick leave increase of 0.5 to 0.9% for the students. In addition to ventilation, overheating also plays an important role in schools. According to research, combined effects can reduce learning performance by 30%.

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