Vent-Axia have reflected on how consumer awareness of the possible health impacts of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is rising nationwide, so says a recent survey by BEAMA – My Health My Home.
The ‘Indoor Air Pollution Survey’, run by Censuswide, saw 70% of people say IAQ was at least as important as outdoor air quality, with 75% of those saying 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, Vent-Axia has welcomed this news since the latest research on respiratory health pointed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home posing a health risk.
A US study from the University of Colorado at Boulder from February this year suggests that VOCs, which feature in items such as cleaning products, cosmetics, pesticides, adhesives and printer ink, lead to ‘substantial emissions’ of air pollutants and rival vehicle emissions.
VOCs contain a variety of chemicals which can have short and long-term adverse health effects, including lung damage.
Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at the leading British ventilation manufacturer, commented: “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.”
“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.”
More research from a team at the University of Bergen in Norway showed adults in the study that were followed for over 20 years and had 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 overwhelmingly positive with 37% saying definitely, over 40% saying possibly and only 6.4% saying no.
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