We are widely aware of the issue of outdoor air pollution. Many people think that they are not breathing anything harmful once they get home. However, our indoor air is often much more polluted than outdoor air! Hence the legitimate questions: Who is it for? How does it work? Is it effective? Our first tests allow us to see more clearly…
What is the general principle of operation of an air purifier?
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Fine particles are much talked about, but once we get home, we continue to breathe polluted air; it’s even more polluted than the air outside – and of a different nature. According to the Ministry of the Environment, some pollutants are present only indoors while others “are present both indoors and outdoors but in different concentrations. For some pollutants, the concentration can be up to 15 times higher indoors than outdoors”. As for the WHO, its findings are clear: “air pollution, both indoors and outdoors, is a major environmental health problem affecting both developed and developing countries”. And this pollution causes discomfort or respiratory diseases; it is also the cause of various diseases, strokes or heart disease. However, becoming aware of it is not easy because “air and indoor air pollution are not visible*” explains Christophe Dolain, product manager at Aldes.
If allergic or asthmatic people suffer from visible symptoms, for all the others, this pollution is imperceptible. Some people choose to equip themselves with an UV air purifier; moreover, more and more manufacturers are marketing them. But are these devices necessary? And above all, what results can we expect from them?
Steps to limit indoor pollution
To fight against polluted air, the first advice is to air twice a day for a few minutes; this is valid even in case of pollution peak, the outside air remaining less polluted. In this case, it is advisable to do it early in the morning or late in the evening.
“Human activity” also generates pollution and even if it is difficult to avoid certain “polluting” gestures (such as cooking), others can be limited: burning incense or candles, diffusing perfume, smoking indoors or using cleaning products (some of which are not essential).
Since 2001, there is in France an Observatory of the indoor air quality, which has for mission to apprehend the indoor pollution and to advise. The dedicated sheet “The good gestures for a good air” is rich in advices.
What is necessary to filter in our indoor air?
In addition to its invisibility, the complexity of this pollution lies in the large number of pollutants, of various natures, as explained by the Ministry of the Environment on its website: “the sources of indoor air pollution are multiple: outdoor air, certain building materials, combustion appliances, equipment, furnishings, maintenance and DIY products, human activity (cooking, etc.. ), the lifestyle of the occupants (smoking, insufficient ventilation, etc.), biocontaminants (house dust, dust mite and cat allergens), etc.”