It’s curtains! For air pollution

In recent years, all sorts of companies have focused their attention on the environment—and some have intensified efforts to correct the ills of poor air quality due to global air pollution. Now, home furnishing giant IKEA is stepping into the indoor air quality arena in a most unusual way.

Introducing GUNRID

The company has developed a fabric curtain that helps reduce air pollution when exposed to light—both sunlight and indoor lighting. Called the GUNRID, the curtain is coated with a mineral-based treatment that acts almost like photosynthesis, breaking down surface pollutants to reduce indoor air pollution. Given that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air—which itself is quite polluted—any measure of help in helping poor air quality is a boon.

“For me, it’s important to work on products that solve actual problems and are relevant to people. Textiles are used across homes and by enabling a curtain to purify the air, we are creating an affordable and space-saving air purifying solution that also makes the home more beautiful,” says Mauricio Affonso, Product Developer at IKEA Range & Supply.

In addition, the company is also committed to reducing air pollution in its manufacturing processes. IKEA is exploring ways to turn rice straw, a rice harvesting residue that contributes to air pollution because it is typically burned for disposal, into a renewable material source for future products.

Still, the company acknowledges that these are small steps. “We know that there is no single solution to solve air pollution,” says Lena Pripp-Kovac, Head of Sustainability at Inter IKEA Group. “We work long term for positive change, to enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives.”

What can you do about poor air quality now?

Currently, there’s a more proven—and significant—solution to poor air quality. The complete line of AeraMax Professional air purifiers uses a four-stage filtration system employing hospital-like True HEPA filtration to eliminate 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, including viruses, germs, bacteria, odors and volatile organic compounds, from enclosed indoor spaces. The units also have a unique sensing system, which continually monitors the air, adjusting to clean air when necessary for the ultimate in set-it-and-forget-it convenience.