IAQ a growing concern for householders

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how poor indoor air quality (IAQ) according to a recent survey by BEAMA – My Health My Home.

In the ‘Indoor Air Pollution Survey’, run by Censuswide, 70% of people stated that IAQ was at least as important as outdoor air quality. Meanwhile three quarters of those surveyed thought poor IAQ could negatively affect their health and, if proven, should become a health priority for Government. With exterior air pollution already high on the UK’s agenda, ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia has welcomed this news since the latest research on respiratory health has pointed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home posing a risk to health.

A US study from the University of Colorado at Boulder published in Science in February 2018 suggests that volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contained in items such as cleaning products, cosmetics, pesticides, adhesives and printer ink, lead to ‘substantial emissions’ of air pollutants and rival vehicle emissions. VOCs include a variety of chemicals which can have short and long-term adverse health effects, including lung damage.

“As our homes have become increasingly air-tight, the problem of poor IAQ has become less easy to ignore. Without good ventilation in a home, air quality can potentially deteriorate and as a result can lead to condensation, mould and a build-up of toxic chemicals,” explains Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia. “Recent research points to chemical products that contain compounds refined from petroleum, such as household cleaning products, now rivalling vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution.”

Backing up this research, a team at the University of Bergen in Norway used data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, which looked at the longer term effects of cleaning chemicals. The adults in the study were followed for more than 20 years and the research found that long-term exposure to cleaning chemicals are very likely to cause substantial damage to lung function. UK experts have said households should keep homes well ventilated and using liquid cleaners rather than sprays will help limit the impact.

With a body of research pointing to the potential health risks of polluted indoor air, respondents in the BEAMA – My Health My Home survey were also asked if ventilation should be a controlled service, like electric and gas, to ensure they are installed and maintained correctly. The response was positive with 37% saying definitely, over 40% saying possibly and only 6.4% saying no.

To help protect health in the home, Vent-Axia has been working to provide ventilation solutions to improve IAQ for households. Designed to work with the natural air infiltration, continuous ventilation systems control the air path through the home, preventing the migration of damaging humidity and pollutants, such as VOCs. For new builds, Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system boasts an impressive 94% thermal efficiency. For private refurbishments, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Svara offers quiet, disturbance-free running helping ensure good indoor air quality and comfort. Meanwhile the Lo-Carbon Revive has been designed specifically with social housing in mind offering an effective continuous ventilation solution for residents.

For up-to-date ventilation guidance visit www.vent-axia.com/healthyhomes


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