Imperial College London reveals proper ventilation systems could help prevent severe health problems ranging from mental health to impaired lung development
A lack of appropriate ventilation is contributing to health issues ranging from miscarriage to stroke, a report by Imperial College London has revealed.
Exposure to specific airborne particles could lead to miscarriages, cause low sperm count and stunt children’s lung growth, according to the research.
The review also highlighted that children living in London are particularly at risk of developing lifelong, chronic conditions, including asthma, high blood pressure, inattention and hyperactivity, and mental illness.
Later in adulthood, it could also contribute to chronic illnesses, cancer and strokes.
Commissioned by the Greater London Authority, the university undertook an extensive analysis of more than 35,000 studies spanning 10 years.
Particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - both of which come from vehicle exhausts – were found to be particularly harmful.
Considering that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, the results are a stark reminder of the pressing need for adequate ventilation strategies.
The government responded to the report, acknowledging the importance of improving air quality. It recently closed the consultation on its draft Air Quality Strategy, indicating an intention to address the issue.
But David Millward, group product manager at Elta Group, has warned of the dangers of waiting for government directives. He advised those responsible for building services should move on these latest findings as delaying action is causing untold damage to people’s health and wellbeing.
Last autumn, Elta Group launched its partnership with Airthings, bringing a range of air quality monitoring solutions to the UK in a bid to provide building owners with the ability to assess the indoor air quality of their buildings.
The monitors include sensors for CO2, Radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter PM1 and PM2.5. Data from the monitors can then feed into a ventilation strategy for the building.
The group also manufactures a range of commercial and industrial fans and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems from its UK-based factories.
“By having air quality monitoring sensors in our portfolio, we can help understand how the building is used, what the indoor air quality is like in a given space, and how to improve it,” explained Millward.