How to choose an air purifier

Indoor Air Pollution Fact Checks

​​Sanctuary Air SA-250 Series

 Phone    03 8560 2111

Manufacturer of premium quality ducted air purifiers

  Purely for health

 SANCTUARYAIR

How to choose an air purifier

​Indoor Air Pollution Fact Checks

Source: EPA Europe

The National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Centre for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation (CAR) reported that people exposed to the short-term bursts or long-term higher levels of particulate pollution, suffer a range of adverse effects including increased risk of:


  • deaths, particularly due to heart attacks and lung failure;

  • hospitalisation for heart and lung diseases;

  • and asthma attacks.[7]


Any reduction in exposure to particle pollution will have health benefits. The health cost of particle air pollution in the NSW Greater Metropolitan is estimated to be around $4.7 billion per year (NSW DEC 2005; Jalaludin et al. 2011). The greatest proportion (>99%) of the health costs accrue from avoiding premature deaths due to long-term exposure to PM2.5.[10]


The main properties of PM that determine its environmental and health risks are: concentration; size distribution; structure; and chemical composition which is dependent on their local sources The long term health impacts of PMs from road traffic exhaust, flame retardants and wood smoke that are commonly present in indoor air  are of particular concern.














Flame retardants are prevalent in a multitude of common household products, including beds/ mattresses, couches, chairs, carpets, children’s clothing, baby toys and electronics.  They are used to reduce the speed with which consumer goods can be consumed by fire. The chemicals migrate out of household products, and are inhaled as dust, or ingested by young children who put things in their mouths. The Centres for Disease Control recently detected flame retardants in the blood or urine of virtually every person tested for the substances. A study published in 2013 found elevated cancer risks among firefighters exposed to high levels of flame retardants during house fires. There is growing concern about the widespread use of such chemicals, after studies linking flame retardants to cancer, lower IQ, developmental problems, and decreased fertility. In 2013, the EPA was urged to carry out a review on the safety of 20 flame retardants used in a host of common household items[5]. The task of balancing fire safety and health impact of toxic substance in flame retardants is challenging. Before safe alternatives are found, flame retardants remain among the most threatening pollutants in our household.[6]



Diesel exhaust in indoor air is largely from road traffic. It is a complex mixture of gases and fine particles that contains more than 40 air contaminants. These include many known or suspected cancer-causing substances, such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. It also contains other harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (a component of urban smog). In 2012, the international Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of WHO, classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans. Tiny diesel exhaust particles alter immune function and increase asthma severity in children, and are associated with lethargy in offspring. [2]

​​Sanctuary Air SA-250 Series

purely for your health

SANCTUARYAIR

Phone 03 8560 2111

Manufacturer of premium quality central air purifiers

Disclaimer    Copyright © Sanctuary Air Victoria 2015

indoor air quality - Health Impacts

Wood smoke: Incomplete burning of wood creates PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) including Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Just as 'every cigarette is doing you damage', every gram of wood smoke or other particle emissions is also causing health problems. Wood smoke is more hazardous than cigarette smoke – in tumour initiation tests it was found to cause 12 to 30 times as many cancers as the same amount of cigarette smoke. The estimated health cost of each kg of PM2.5 emissions in Sydney is more than $235 [7].


Sources and Potential Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollutants [1]


Pollutant
Major Emission Sources
Potential Health Effects*
Asbestos
Damaged or deteriorating cladding, insulation, fireproofing, and acoustical materials
Asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers
Biological Agents (House Dust Mites, Animal Dander, Mold, Bacteria, Viruses)            
House dust; pets; bedding; poorly maintained air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers; wet or moist structures (e.g., due to plumbing leaks)
Allergic reactions; asthma symptoms; eye, nose, and throat irritation; humidifier fever, influenza, and other infectious diseases
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Gas stoves, malfunctioning gas appliances, wood stoves, tobacco smoke, car or truck exhaust from attached garages
Headache; nausea; angina; difficulty concentrating; death at high concentrations
Diesel Soot [2]
Diesel exhaust from Road traffic. 
Cancer; inflammation in the lungs, which may aggravate chronic respiratory symptoms and  intensity of asthma attacks. 
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)
Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes
Respiratory irritation, bronchitis and pneumonia in children, emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease
Formaldehyde
Pressed wood products such as plywood and particleboard, furnishings; wallpaper; durable press fabrics; personal care products
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headache; allergic reactions; cancer
LeadSanding or open-flame burning of lead paint; house dust
Nerve and brain damage, particularly in children; anemia; kidney damage; cardiovascular effects; growth retardation
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Gas stoves, malfunctioning gas appliances
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; lung irritation and damage; increased respiratory infections in children
Organic Chemicals
Solvents, glues, cleaning agents, pesticides, paints, moth repellents, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; damage to liver, kidney and brain; various types of cancer
Ozone (O3)
Outdoor air by-product from sunlight reacting with pollutants from traffic etc; Ozone-generating indoor air cleaners, hobbies involving soldering or welding
Respiratory tract (lung) irritation and inflammation, serious breathing difficulty including asthma, permanent lung damage
Particulate Matter (PM)
Cigarettes, wood stoves, fireplaces, cooking, vacuuming, burning candles and incense, products of reactions of ozone with fragrances
Eye, nose and throat irritation; worsening of asthma; increased respiratory disease; lung cancer; cardiovascular disease; premature death
Phthalates
Used to soften plastics and add flexibility [i.e., polyvinyl chloride (PVC)]; plastic children’s toys; cosmetics and personal care products (i.e., to make fragrances last longer); 
Associated with asthma and respiratory symptoms, allergies, and rhinitis in some studies; reproductive and developmental problems, especially in children under 3 years of age
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)
Flame retardants in foams in furniture and automobiles, electronic printed circuit boards, electronics casings, carpet backing, upholstery
Disrupt thyroid hormones, may cause developmental deficits, may act as a reproductive toxin, and may cause cancer
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) [3] & [4]
Fumes from vehicle exhaust, woodfire, tobacco smoke, coal, coal tar, asphalt, agricultural burning and hazardous waste sites are all sources of emission. 
A number of PAHs have caused tumors in laboratory animals. When pregnant mice ate high doses of benzo(a)pyrene, they experienced reproductive problems, birth defects in their offsprings, a decrease in body weight and damage to the skin, body fluids, and the immune system. 
Radon
Soil under buildings, some earth-derived construction materials, and groundwater
Lung cancer
Sulphur Dioxide SO2
By-product of combustion from heating, power generation and transport
Irritation to eyes, nose and throat, breathing problems, cardiovascular diseases, headache and anxiety
*Depends on factors such as the amount of pollutant inhaled, the duration of exposure and susceptibility of the individual exposed.