Tag Archives: filtration

It didn’t look like a study in air pollution. It only took a few minutes, year after year after year. Once a year, select students in schools across southern California, were taken out of class, marched down to a gym or empty classroom and were met by a researcher. There, they were asked to blow into a spirometer, which measured lung capacity, and were asked a series of mundane questions about their living environment. Then they got their height and weight checked before heading back to class.

Little did they know the data collected from all those children—12,000 kids in all—created the framework for the most extensive study into the effects of air pollution.

Air Pollution effects growing lungs

The USC Children’s Health Study found that children living in the towns most effected by air pollution were five times as likely to have weakened lung capacity—20 percent weaker—than kids living in towns and cities where air pollution was less prevalent. That diminished lung capacity meant long-term health problems.

Air pollution affects growing bodies more than we may have realized.

What’s more, researchers found their original hypothesis was incorrect.

At the start of the study, they thought ozone, a component of the air pollution and thick smog that blankets southern California, would be a prime cause of stunted lung development in the children. However, they found there were a combination of tiny airborne pollutants—small as PM2.5—and nitrogen dioxide from car exhausts to blame also.


Long term implications & treatments

The study has had far-reaching implications on air pollution and has affected everything from manufacturing regulations to environmental policy. It also has created significant awareness regarding outdoor and indoor air quality. In fact, given that indoor air has been proven to be between two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, one might argue that concerns about indoor air quality should be even greater.

Luckily, there is a way to significantly decrease those concerns. The complete line of AeraMax Professional commercial-grade air purifiers can effectively and efficiently remove PM2.5 airborne pollutants—like germs, allergens, bacteria, viruses and volatile organic compounds—from enclosed spaces, drastically improving indoor air quality. The purifiers use a unique four-stage filtration system that traps these particles, removing 99.97 percent of pollutants from indoor air.

The AeraMax Professional purifiers employ patented EnviroSmart™ Technology that senses sound, motion and odors in a room, automatically adjusting to optimize performance. So, the units work only when required, conserving energy and maximizing operations while working in the background to improve the lives and health of occupants.

When business owners hear that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air—which is already heavily polluted—they think the solution lies in focusing on the building’s HVAC system. But that may not solve the problem of poor air quality.
Here’s why:


HVAC systems recirculate

HVAC systems work because they recirculate air. But they don’t do a thing about cleaning the air. Filters can trap very large particles, but things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), germs, bacteria and allergens pass right through typical HVAC filters. That doesn’t alleviate the problem of poor air quality inside buildings.

Business owners and facility managers may think installing HEPA filters in existing HVAC systems will do the trick. It won’t. That’s because HEPA filters designed specifically for HVAC systems are bulky, and while they do a better job of trapping germs in the direct area near the intake, these thick filters drag down HVAC efficiency, significantly reducing airflow. So, HVAC will work harder, break down more often and still not solve the poor air quality problem. Additionally, these modifications to existing HVAC systems do nothing for areas that aren’t near the intakes.

HVAC systems spread germs farther and faster through recirculation.

Perhaps most importantly, HVAC systems spread germs farther and faster through recirculation. In essence, HVAC systems are air movers, not air improvers. There just isn’t enough efficiency in HVAC systems, because they are designed first and foremost to push air throughout buildings. Also, HVAC systems focus on the entirety of buildings, pushing air at the same rate throughout. That means indoor air quality problem areas will be ignored.


For improvement in IAQ, focus on cleaning instead of moving the air

Instead of recirculating poor air, building managers and business owners need to focus on removing it. In our opinion, the best way to do that is by installing AeraMax Professional air purifiers. These commercial-grade systems use hospital-type True HEPA filtration to effectively, quickly and efficiently remove 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like germs, bacteria, smoke, odors, allergens and VOCs, from indoor air. The four-stage filtration systems work automatically, because the units sense when poor air is present, adjusting to remove the bad air.

And, AeraMax Professional offers an array of different units to accommodate a variety of room sizes—and even have portable units so specific areas can be targeted on the fly, by moving the purifier into offending areas.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the dental profession is one of the most dangerous. And one reason? Something very, very small. Dust.

Given that there’s an aging population, there’s more demand for dental appliances, like bridges and denture sets. That means dental labs are running at full tilt—and dust from sandblasting and grinding appliances and molds enter more indoor air. These particles are often smaller than five microns, stay suspended in the air a long time and are easily breathed into the lungs. What’s more, the grinding dust on surfaces is easily kicked up from the simple movements of people in the lab environment, creating more suspension.


Danger lurking in the dark


So how do you combat it?

Unfortunately, typical heating and ventilation systems do a great job of recirculating air, not cleaning it. So, dust and other particulate just gets moved around—or worse, keeps getting suspended in the air, making it even easier to breathe in.

Wearing a surgical mask doesn’t help either. According to a statement from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, surgical masks don’t filter out submicron particles and don’t account for leakage around the edges of the mask.

Clearly, the best way to eliminate the threat of dust floating throughout a dental lab is by cleaning the air itself. The complete line of AeraMax Professional air purifiers does just that—getting at the root of the dust problem by removing it—along with other harmful particulate, chemicals, pathogens, bacteria and volatile organic compounds—from indoor air, using an advanced True HEPA filtration system that effectively and efficiently traps tiny particles. Given that the AeraMax Professional air purifier continually scans the environment—working when it senses pollutants in the air—you’re assured you can eliminate the danger lurking in the lab.

It’s bad enough that the dental profession has been called the most dangerous by the U.S. Department of Labor, now it has to contend with another problem: Silicosis.

Silicosis is something more closely related to the construction industry, where workers breathe in silica dust from construction materials. It results in the scarring of lung tissue from the silica dust, and produces symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sharp chest pains and even fevers. Left untreated, it results in difficulty breathing and even death.

Silicosis is something more closely related to the construction industry, where workers breathe in silica dust from construction materials

So how does the dental profession also suffer from a malady that most often affects rock miners, stone cutters and heavy construction personnel? Seems the grinding that occurs in dental labs and in dental offices produces the same dusty environment. But where construction workers wear elaborate rebreathers to protect against inhaling dust, dental professionals often are left only with surgical masks—or nothing at all.

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR), research into occupational illness uncovered nine cases where dental professionals had silicosis from long-term exposure—and in some cases, the individuals died from respiratory failure. The MMWR noted that exposure to silica dust in dental labs can occur from mixing powders, removing castings from molds, polishing castings and using silica sand for abrasive blasting and sanding.

Silicosis is something more closely related to the construction industry, where workers breathe in silica dust from construction materials

One way to protect against silicosis is by focusing on air hygiene—scrubbing indoor air of harmful contaminants. AeraMax Professional commercial-grade air purifiers do just that—eliminating up to 99.97 percent of harmful pollutants like germs, dust, allergens, viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors from enclosed spaces, using hospital-like True HEPA filtration that efficiently and effectively cleans the air.

Using AeraMax Professional air purifiers significantly reduce particulate from indoor air, ensuring that dental lab workers needn’t worry about the hazards of working in lab settings. What’s more, with AeraMax Professional’s PureView technology, occupants can see the purifier’s work in removing particulate from the air.

PureView uses an innovative EnviroSmart 2.0 technology, which employs sensors to scan and analyze a room, activating the air purification system when contaminants are present. Because each unit has a large digital display, occupants can see the cleaning progress.

When cleaning begins, the display announces it in bold letters and cycles through a purification process. As the AeraMax Professional air purifier continues removing particulates from the air, the display will show a readout of the percentage of particles captured. Also, the display offers a visual readout of VOCs and odors in the air to let occupants know the contaminants are being removed.

According to the American Lung Association, more than 40 percent of Americans breathe in dirty air every day. That’s the findings from the association’s annual State of the Air report, which tabulates the quality of air in cities across the United States, factoring in smog, air pollution, carbon monoxide levels from car exhaust and spikes in temperature, which “cooks” pollution to make it more intense. The overall effect: dirty air can cause difficulty in breathing, decrease life expectancy and may even contribute to lung cancer.

Given the topographical shape of California—it resembles a bowl that traps bad air at lower levels, instead of allowing it to float into the atmosphere—it’s no wonder that a number of the cities with the worst pollution are from the so-called Golden State. The Los Angeles area ranked number one on the list of most polluted cities over a 24-hour period, followed by the Bakersfield, Visalia, and Fresno, CA areas, respectively. Fairbanks, AK ranked fourth, primarily because a great number of residents use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for heating; these appliances cause the releases of harmful chemicals that linger in the air.

Top 10 Most Polluted Cities:

1.Los Angeles – Riverside – Orange County, CA
2.Bakersfield, CA
3.Visalia, CA
4.Fresco, CA
5.Fairbanks, AK
6.Modesto, CA
7.San Jose – San Francisco – Oakland, CA
8.Salt Lake City – Provo – Orem, UT
9.El Centro, CA
10.Pittsburgh, PA

For the most polluted cities with annualized results, Fairbanks, AK took top (dis)honors. This means the city had the worst year-round results. In terms of most polluted cities with regard to ozone production, Los Angeles, CA ranked first.

And cleanest cities?

That would be Cheyenne, WY, followed by Honolulu, HI and Casper, WY, because they have relatively smaller population centers.

Still, the numbers are alarming. What’s more, given that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, there’s real concern about the air we breathe. Simply staying indoors on high-ozone days doesn’t cut it.

Instead. You need to ensure that indoor air is clean. The best way to do that, in our opinion: get an AeraMax Professional air purifier. The complete line of professional-grade air purifiers effectively and efficiently clean indoor air, removing up to 99.97 percent of harmful contaminants—like germs, viruses, odors, volatile organic compounds, odors and pollutants—from indoor air, using hospital-grade True HEPA filtration.

So, while you can’t necessarily move from your area to get better air, you can make the air better, with AeraMax Professional.