“360” shows you different perspectives on the top stories and debates of the day.
The giant plumes that blanketed the northeastern United States last week provided a stark reminder of the dangers that toxic air can have not only in the atmosphere, but in the home as well. New York City has the worst air quality in the world for millions of people Potentially dangerous particles that seep into their home.
But experts say the unprecedented phenomenon shouldn’t make indoor air quality a key focus of health efforts. Scientists have known for many years It can reduce heart and lung disease, improve cognitive performance in adults and children, and prevent the spread of long-deadly pathogens. The World Health Organization estimates that indoor air pollution is responsible. worldwide per year. There is even a phenomenon known as This will reduce productivity and increase absenteeism in schools and workplaces.
But public and government health officials have not given indoor air quality the same attention as clean water, food safety, and outdoor air pollution. This has started to change since its inception He provided irrefutable evidence of the difference between life and death, such as air circulation and purification.
At the end of last year, Biden Management Held a Bringing together experts from the health, ventilation, business and education sectors to discuss how to improve indoor air quality to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Then in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the first federal recommendations on how often to air the room to prevent the spread of disease – five times an hour.
Why is there a debate?
Medical experts hope that combined awareness of the effects of the epidemic and the increasing number of wildfires will help spark an indoor air revolution. Diseases like cholera made clean drinking water a necessity in cities around the world two centuries ago. as a To put it elegantly: “Air is the new pony.
But many clean air advocates say there is still a long way to go before there is enough urgency to create the kind of societal change they believe is necessary. They argue that only businesses and governments have the capacity to effectively address the burden on individuals.
On a small scale, improving indoor air can be as simple as opening a window. But the technologies needed to make a wider impact—updated HVAC systems. Systems, such as air purifiers and UV light purifiers – will be expensive to implement. Many experts argue that the effort will save businesses and governments money by reducing health care costs and increasing productivity.
Some scientists want new rules for better indoor air management. Others argue that change will only come through a concerted public pressure campaign that forces schools, businesses and legislators to make indoor air safety a top priority for public health.
As the awareness of airborne viruses increases, the issue will not go away.
Plans should be flexible to meet the needs of different climates
“A major challenge is reconciling the building’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality. In areas where the outside air is too cold or too hot, bringing a large amount of air into the home requires more energy to heat or cool the building. …Different places also have very different built-up areas. – Mary Huey
Ventilation should be elevated to the same importance as plumbing
“A hundred years ago, they set the rules and regulations for how water was brought in and out, and the plumber maintained the health of the nation. It’s time to rethink our HVAC systems and recognize their importance. – Lloyd Alter
It is a mistake to think that we can do to air what was done to water centuries ago.
“Engineering solutions have eliminated many waterborne pathogens from high-income countries. The same cannot be achieved for airborne pathogens, due to the persistence of both ingestion and contamination processes. … Ventilation and improving air quality should be high on the priority list; And it helps reduce airborne disease – but we have to be realistic about what it can do. We can’t stop epidemics with improved ventilation. Infectious disease specialist
To make such a big change in our way of life, a society-wide effort is needed
“Ultimately, it’s not just about particles and filters. It’s up to businesses, workers, students, parents, scientists and everyone else to demand change in the building where they spend most of their lives. Do you know the hourly ventilation in your workplace or room? The CDC is now giving us a yardstick to measure against. Americans should use it. – editor;
When creating clean air systems, we must prioritize energy efficiency
“Decarbonizing buildings offers an opportunity to rethink how to control and improve indoor air quality. Balancing the need to increase ventilation while reducing energy loss through heating (in cold countries) or cooling (in tropical regions) is an important engineering challenge. Better protection should be placed on adequate ventilation.-Alastair C. Lewis, Deborah Jenkins, and Christopher JM Whitty.
We need to improve the indoor and outdoor air at the same time
“There are two main ways to do what we’ve done for irrigation. One is to reduce dust and nitrogen dioxide levels by rapidly transitioning to renewable energy. The other is to improve indoor air quality by improving natural and mechanical ventilation.” – Jeff Hammer
It should be mandatory to inform the public about air quality in crowded places
“The public should be informed about the air quality in buildings and public transport as well as the health consequences such as the risk of COVID before entering. … Just as restaurants have health inspection reports with letter grades in their windows, shared indoor spaces must display their air quality standards. These steps can help people adjust their behavior accordingly. – Abrar Karan, Devabahakthuni Srikrishna and Ranu Dhillon,
Citizens must be empowered to ensure that the air they breathe at home is safe.
“When buildings fail, people need a clear way to demand better. They deserve indoor air transparency standards with metrics they can easily understand and use to make their own decisions. And they call for policymakers to provide adequate support and consequences for building owners to ensure they meet those standards. – Karen Landman
Every dollar spent on improving indoor air quality is more than worth the return.
“Healthy buildings are associated with less employee absenteeism due to illness and better cognitive function, both of which mean an investment in ventilation is an investment in a company’s bottom line.” – Joseph G. Allen
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