In the open air, 'Hydroxyl Radical Cascades' are continuously created by the complex chemical interactions that occur naturally in the atmosphere. Hydroxyls are the powerful but entirely safe and natural air cleaning agent, often referred to by scientists as 'Natures Detergent', which continuously decontaminate the air and gives 'fresh air' that clean and refreshing feel that we all love.
Indoors, the natural atmospheric ingredients that continuously create hydroxyl radicals don't exist and allergens remaining active, smells remain smelly and bacteria and viruses constantly build up in the air and on surfaces. Consequently, indoor air is generally much more polluted than outdoor air, yet until recently it has received far less public attention.
We often spend up to 90% of our time indoors (at home, work or at school), so exposure to indoor air pollution is potentially much more damaging to our health. That is why the World Health Organisation considers indoor air pollution as one of the main health threats today, and states that around 3% of the global burden of disease is directly attributable to it.
Indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is a complex mixture of microbes and substances in the air that are potentially harmful to health. The composition of this indoor air pollution can vary greatly depending, for example, where you live and on the contents of your home.
In a home in a non-urban setting for example, house dust mite, pollen and mould spores can be a major cause of indoor air pollution and related health problems. In a new-build home or office, fumes from paints and insulation, new carpet and furniture can significantly contribute to the pollution. Especially in industrial or built up areas, traffic and industry pollution also play an increasing part in indoor air pollution.
In our homes the build up of both bacteria and viruses in the air is much greater than outside.
Sources of pollution
Damp dusting, not just dry dusting, is needed to reliably remove dust rather than just spreading it around. Most carpets are a major reservoir for dust and for every six rooms in a house around 40 pounds of dust is generated in a single year, much of which is human skin as we regularly shed our outer layer of skin as part of a continuous renewal process.
The main components of dust which can affect your health indoors are:
Prevention of indoor air pollution
It is always better to try to prevent indoor air pollution occurring before attempting to reduce or remove it:
Where the main source of pollution is internal rather than external, it is helpful to open windows after bathing, showering or cooking so that damp and mould don't build up.
An effective air purifier can play an essential part in reducing indoor air pollution in your home or place of work. But the key word here is ‘effective’ and the unfortunate truth is that most traditional air purifiers are not very effective!
Various types of traditional air purifier focus on different pollutants, typically pollens, spores and other particles or on gaseous pollutants. Some combine technologies to address more than one type of pollutant.
But all have the same drawback, they only clean the air passing through the device and rely, to only limited effect, on a high throughput of air to draw in pollution from the ever changing air in the room. However good the filter mechanism, they will only ever clean a modest proportion of pollutants from the air in a room because constant air changes, re-contamination, re-circulation and eddy formation means that there are always significant airborne pollutants in a room which have not been drawn into the device.
Then along came Airora ...
There is now however a new generation of air purifiers of which the Airora 4-in-1 is the first (and currently only) one. These air purifiers use the naturally occurring ‘hydroxyl radical cascade’ process found in the outside atmosphere to clean internal air (and exposed surfaces) of the full range of pollutants; allergens and irritants, pollutant gasses, bacteria and viruses and smells.
Dr Wyatt blogs on his lifetime's experience of Indoor Air Quality Issues.