Why indoor air quality is critical to wellbeing

Indoor air pollution is recognised as a growing public health emergency. Indoor air is often 10 times more polluted than outdoor air and as people spend 90% of their time indoors the importance of indoor air quality is critical to health and wellbeing.

Improved or effective ventilation is often suggested as a solution for improved indoor air quality and/or air purification. Ventilation, however, is not a purification process, rather a dilution and displacement process.

Whilst effective at dealing with humidity related problems, ventilation does not destroy indoor pollutants and is dependent on good quality outdoor air not contaminated by pollutants such as traffic soot, NOX and pollens.

Passive air purification systems use various methods to physically remove pollutants from the air as it passes through a unit including filtration, photocatalytic oxidation or incineration. One issue with such systems is the ‘purified’ air is immediately subject to further contamination as soon as it leaves the unit and must pass through again to be re-purified.

Also they are typically only effective close to where they are positioned so cannot be relied on for strategic/whole home or office effect and the further away you are the weaker the unit’s effect.  Further passive systems require regular filter changes and are not the most energy efficient given the need to force air through filters.

Similarly, in duct UV-C  processes are typically only effective on microbials that are stationary or those that pass within a few inches of the UV lamp and usually have little or no effect on fast moving or hardier pollutants.

The Better Indoors advanced air purification technology is a more effective system that sanitises all of the air and surfaces throughout a building at the same time. Capable of purifying all three categories of indoor pollutants – microbials, particulates and gases – our technology destroys on contact organic and gaseous phase contaminants and removes particulates.

How It Works

The technology produces an ionised hydroperoxide plasma which is distributed throughout the building via the supply mechanical ventilation system/ductwork or from standalone units deployed in buildings with a natural background ventilation/air transfer strategy.

Hydroperoxides occur naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere and have been part of nature’s process of cleaning the air for billions of years. The plasma reaches every cubic cm of air and surfaces, actively destroying up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, mould spores and VOCs on contact and preventing the transmission of common and serious illnesses.

It also induces particulates (dust, dander, pollens) to coagulate or stick together making them larger and heavier and causing them to drop out of the air or get caught by a filtration process. The process is effective in the most dangerous ultrafine particulate range (PM0.1-0.01) that includes traffic soot small enough to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and linked to numerous health problems and birth defects.

Further the technology lowers ambient ozone levels and activated carbon filtration can be added for removing NOX pollution. Other advantages are very low energy consumption and sanitisation of HVAC ductwork and components which increases filter and unit life expectancy and improves airflow rates which reduces carbon footprint and ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs. The unique effectiveness of this technology is best illustrated by a ‘sneeze test’ under lab conditions that showed a 98% elimination of germs before they had travelled 3 feet.

Hydroperoxides – A Safe Process for Indoor Air Quality & Purification

Controlled oxidation (giving up or losing of an electron) is an excellent way to destroy organics such as odours, viruses, moulds, bacteria and VOCs.

Uncontrolled oxidation can be damaging and/or dangerous. Fire is an example of rapid oxidation and rust an example of slow oxidation.

Some oxidisers are termed ‘friendly’ meaning they revert to harmless oxygen, water and hydrogen as opposed to dangerous elements like chlorine and fluorine. However, not all friendly oxidisers are safe and/or practical for use in air/surface purification processes.

All oxygen-based oxidisers are friendly and include low level ozone, hydroxyl radicals, oxygen itself and hydrogen peroxide.

Ozone is an effective oxidiser but is dangerous even at low concentrations.

Hydroxyl radicals are highly reactive but decompose almost instantaneously after being created rendering them somewhat impractical, especially in fluid airflows.

Because of this, PCO systems that use them are typically reliant on a substrate to trap pollutants next to the catalyst to increase the probability of contact before decomposition. Raised levels of oxygen creates fire hazards.

This leaves hydrogen peroxide which has been used by the medical community for 170 years and is considered the safest oxidizer available (after oxygen). It is widely used today in toothpaste, mouthwash and household cleaners.

Hydroperoxides are known as Mother Nature’s natural cleaning agent. It is ionized hydrogen peroxides that make the air smell clean after a thunderstorm.

Typical outdoor levels of hydroperoxides run between .01 to .03 ppm so why not use them to disinfect the indoor air we breathe if we can recreate the same concentrations found in the outdoor air? Our technology does just that producing concentrations of 0.01-0.02ppm which is 1/50 of the US EPA workplace TWA limit).

Applications

The technology in our products is used in over 4 million products in 60 countries around the world for multiple applications including:

  • Residential buildings (homes and apartments)
    • Hospitals, Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Doctor’s/Dental Offices
    • Schools, Day Care centers, Colleges and Universities
    • Gyms/Fitness Centers, Locker Rooms, Athletic Facilities/ Elite Sports Teams
    • Office / Commercial Buildings
    • Veterinary Clinics, Animal Hospitals, Kennels,
    • Hotels, Motels, and Resorts.
    • Food Processing
  • Manufacturing Plants & Facilities
    • Restaurants and Bars

Deployments of note include:

  • U.S. Military approved for mould reduction in field hospitals.
    • U.S. and International Hospital approval for the fight against infectious diseases
    • Major U.S. city school reports 20% reduction in absenteeism.
    • Tested and approved by the Chinese Government for protection against the deadly SARS virus.

See the Better Indoors AQN Supplier Listing or visit our website at www.betterindoors.com or call 0333 014 7669 to find out more.

Photo Credit – Pixabay