The Need To Prepare ourselves Beyond Corona Virus
As the world braces itself for the aftermath of the deadly virus, spreading panic is not going to help. This is why it is important to stick to the basics and practice basic precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19, like maintaining physical distance, wearing masks, and washing hands with soap and water.
One of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives has been in the way we work.
Not only are consumers not interested in convening inside right now, but employees are also reluctant to return to work. Poor indoor air quality is especially harmful to people with respiratory conditions and older adults, which is also true with coronavirus.
As we spend most of our life indoors (in many regions more than 90%), it is easy to understand that, the most important environment concerning our health is the indoor environment. Indoor air pollution is a risk factor for several of the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, and lung cancer.
Indoor air was believed to be a major environmental factor for more than a hundred years, from the start of the hygienic revolution, around 1850, until outdoor environmental issues entered the scene, and became dominant around 1960 There is evidence that exposure to bad IAQ is the cause of excessive morbidity and mortality.
According to the Global Burden of Disease study 1.6 million people died prematurely in 2017 because of indoor air pollution. Air pollution and poor indoor air quality have been linked to higher rates of illness and mortality long before COVID-19 arrived at our doorsteps. According to new research published by Harvard University, the same trend holds true for COVID-19. Over long-term exposure to particulate matter, even a 1 μg/m³ increase in concentration results in a 15% jump in mortality rate.
Clean air should be everyone’s right just like clean water. Unfortunately, indoor air quality is often compromised because of air pollution, mold, and many other factors. Outdoor air quality is often a question of long-term politics and state decisions, whereas indoor air quality can be improved quickly with the right solutions, and it is in our hands.
A general perception is that indoor air quality problems are a result of moisture damage and the accumulation of mold. According to a study by the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), moisture problems cause only 3–5% of the problems.
According to a study by Sisäilmayhdistys (Finnish Indoor Air Society), most of the problems are caused by fine and ultrafine particles from outdoor air pollution that people bring with them indoors.
It is difficult to determine a single cause of poor indoor air quality as it is usually caused by a combination of factors and calls for a comprehensive approach instead of trying to fix one problem at a time.
All efforts to prevent or correct IAQ problems should include an effort to identify and control pollutant sources, improve ventilation and supply of fresh air, and most importantly use MERV 13 filters for air filtration.