A recent report conducted by Imperial College London shows the real, long-term impacts of air pollution, and is a reminder to building owners that good ventilation is vital to protect people from harmful consequences.
According to the university, after looking at evidence from over 35,000 studies over 10 years, it uncovered that exposure to certain particles could lead to miscarriages, cause low sperm count and stunt children's lung growth. Later in adulthood, it could also cause chronic illnesses, cancer and strokes. Particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - both of which come from vehicle exhausts – were found to be particularly harmful.
In response to the study, which was commissioned by the Greater London Authority, the government said it fully understood the importance of improving air quality and it has recently closed the consultation on its draft Air Quality Strategy.
David Millward, Group Product Manager at Elta Group (UK), now wants building owners and those responsible for building services to move on these latest findings, and not wait for a directive before acting. He also warns that delaying on action is causing untold damage to peoples’ health and wellbeing.
David said: “Air pollution has long been one of the biggest contributors to poor health, and now with the research from Imperial College London, we can see that it causes all sorts of effects on people.
“It’s imperative that we heed the warnings and building owners and managers start taking decisive action now to look after occupants that reside or work in their buildings. Doing so can safeguard people first and foremost. In addition, it can lead to less absenteeism and better productivity down the line too.”
Last autumn, Elta Group launched its partnership with Airthings, bringing a range of air quality monitoring solutions to the UK to help building owners assess the indoor air quality of their buildings. The monitors include sensors for CO2, Radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter PM1 and PM2.5, and data from the monitors can then feed into a ventilation strategy for the building.
Alongside this, Elta Fans, part of the Elta Group portfolio, manufactures a wide range of bespoke commercial and industrial fans, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems from its UK-based factories to ensure that there is ample supply for building projects.
“As a specialist in ventilation solutions, we know we have an important role to play in helping those responsible for buildings get the right products and systems for their properties. That’s why we decided to partner with Airthings. By having air quality monitoring sensors in our portfolio, we can help understand how the building is used, what the indoor air quality is like in a given space, and how to improve it.
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