Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, December 2019, Volume 2, #91
A healthy diet, healthy physical activity level, healthy body weight, non-smoking habit, non-alcohol intake lifestyles are reported in the literature to have significant benefits of reducing sickness occurrence or the risk of premature death. Adherence to healthy lifestyles contributes to the development of a strong body immune system. Immune systems are body defense mechanisms that protect against harm caused by infections and toxins. Unfortunately, a person adhering to the healthy lifestyles but with regular exposure to toxic air pollutants at high concentrations or low concentrations but for an extended period is at high risk of experiencing premature death or sickness occurrence. Air pollutants can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the immune systems, even if adherence to the other healthy lifestyles which are necessary are maintained.
An increase in mortality and hospital admission rates and sick building syndrome (SBS) has been associated with exposure to airborne particles, ozone, volatile organic compounds, and other toxic air pollutants of indoor and outdoor sources. The majority of the exposures to air pollutants occur in the indoor environment. The key message from this week’s issue is that people should endevaour that the air they are exposed to or deliver in the indoor environment, where people spend most of their time, is clean and healthy for a healthier life. Unfortunately, exposure to healthy indoor air is usually not given considering or discussed when healthy lifestyle issues are being discussed.
For effective IAQ management and avoidance of IAQ problem reoccurrence, it is essential to understand the cause of IAQ problems, before identifying or recommending solutions to the cause (and not the problem). The approach will also help to save the cost of managing the problem. So the question is, how effective is the identified solution in addressing the cause of the problem? What are the possible implications of the identified solutions and how do you intend to manage or avoid the implications while maximising the benefit inherent in the selected solution? How realistic is it to adopt the identified solution considering identified constraints? These are some of the questions to ponder about when making a decision on the IAQ solution or seeking a solution from experts or IAQ solution providers that have the benefit of assessing the problem on-site. Remember, healthy air is a healthier life.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Bauer et al. (2012), Brunekreef and Holgate (2002), Jones (1999), and Kampa and Castanas (2008) papers.