Skip to main content
Skip to and open main menu Home Modification
Information Clearinghouse
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
News/Events Section Menu

Home Modification and Indoor air pollution purification - what do you need to know?

Published

With global climate change, more urban environments and more humid and more humid weather conditions seen in Australia. It may be important to reflect on how people with disabilities are using home modifications to reduce impacts.  For instance, estimates of the global burden of disease suggest that indoor air pollution is responsible for just under 4% of the disability-adjusted life years lost, meaning that its consequences are comparable
with those of tobacco use. Importantly, toxins in the environment, using an environmentally attributable fraction (EAF) model for lead poisoning, asthma, and cancer were judged to be 100% for lead poisoning, 30% for asthma (range, 10-35%), 5% for cancer (range, 2-10%), and 10% for neurobehavioral disorders (range, 5-20%). More recently magnetites's from traffic and other industrial sources have been linked to dementia (For more about this see http://theconversation.com/how-we-discovered-a-possible-link-between-car-exhausts-and-alzheimers-64779).

That's where high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters come in. Typically, air filters are either built into the heating and cooling system (whole-house filters) or are freestanding units that can be placed in individual rooms (portable filters with self-contained fans). High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters were invented during World War II as a way to prevent radioactive particles from escaping laboratories. Experts say that at home you can realistically expect a HEPA filter to grab about 80 percent of such particles. A new filter technology for the home, called ULPA (ultra low penetration air), now also exists. ULPA filters block 99.99 percent of particles measuring 0.12 micron, quite a bit smaller than the HEPA threshold. But ULPA filters restrict so much air flow that in practice they are able to clean less air than HEPA filters. 

For a more comprehensive guide to air filters in the home, we suggest that you have a look at the Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home produced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

General advice includes asking aboput and comparing products across five categories when recommending or buying any new air purification system:

1. Filtration for odour
2. Filtration  for allergens
3. Filtration for particles 
4. Running Noise
5. Low energy usage

 


Reads 811 Downloads -