Common Airborne Pollutants


Pollutants enter our homes constantly. They are affected by the weather, the time of year, cars, machinery, and numerous other factors. If the act of walking across a carpet can release a pool of dust, just imagine what happens when the wind is blowing strongly.

The worrying aspect about pollutants is that across the board, in high concentrations, they are dangerous to humans. They can interfere with our respiratory systems by causing lung damage. They can clog or damage our circulatory systems, contributing to the risk of heart disease. NO2 even damages our immune system. Every day these pollutants are affecting our lives, and we can’t see them doing it. They are the invisible enemy.

 

Why is this an issue indoors?

Many homes do not have a very strong circulation of air.

Some rooms, especially the washrooms and bedrooms, may only have a circulation of clean air once or twice per year. This is a problem, because it means that pollutants enter your home, and will never leave.

In 2019, Global Action Plan confirmed that air indoors has between 3.5 to 500x the pollutants of the air outside. The air you breathe indoors is usually significantly more dangerous, and this danger is exacerbated when your home is damp, or the weather has brought even more pollutants to you.

                

Chemical Pollutants


NOx (Nitrogen Oxides, Including Nitrogen Dioxide)

Where do they come from?

NOx gases are primarily created when we burn fossil fuels. The high temperatures generated in the air by burning petroleum and other oils causes nitrogen to react with oxygen, and as a result, forms these harmful oxides. The main one we are concerned with is nitrogen dioxide.

 

What do NOx gases do to your body?

They are associated with various long-term health effects and conditions, which put people at risk when they are exposed for a long period. NO2 has often been cited as a serious problem for sufferers with asthma, and may even cause it if you are over-exposed as a child. It is also associated with lung-tissue damage, heart disease and other increases in mortality. Many also believe it weakens the immune system, especially when exposures are regular.

 
                


SOx (Sulphur Oxides, Including Sulphur Dioxide)

Where do they come from?

Sulphur oxides include many compounds of sulphur and oxygen, but our main concern is SO2.

SO2 is often released by the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal. It is also released naturally by volcanoes, as if we needed any more reasons to be careful around volcanoes!

 

What does SO2 do to your body?

SO2 is a harmful pollutant to humans, and can cause many problems when they are exposed to it. It can cause breathing issues, it can damage lung tissue, it is sometimes regarded as an irritant and according to a 2011 conducted in the US, may cause preterm birth.

 
                

 


Biological Pollutants


H1N1 (Influenza A)

How does H1N1 infect me?

H1N1 is regarded as a biological pollutant because it is alive. As a virus, we come into contact with H1N1 (or any other virus) when it is transmitted from someone else. Their symptoms may cause them to sneeze or cough, and tiny droplets of the virus will fill the air, and can stay there for a surprisingly long time.

 

How will it affect me?

If you are exposed to it in a high enough dosage, it will infect you and you will suffer with the sickness for as long as it takes you to get better. These are some of the most important particles to destroy, because contacting them on the surface of the filter could lead to an infection.

                 

 


Staphylococcus aureus

What is staph and how do I catch it?

Staphylococcus aureus, also known as staph, is the most dangerous of the staphylococcus bacteria, and is another biological pollutant. They are transmitted numerous ways, again often due to symptoms of the illnesses they cause, such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing etc.

 

What symptoms can they cause?

It is particularly dangerous because its infection will manifest in different ways depending on which part of the body-system it comes into contact with. This can include skin infections, general cavity infections and other infections. This will apply to other bacteria as well.



                  






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