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Asthma/Respiratory

Asthma/Respiratory

Particles in the air — especially those under 2.5 microns in size — can be dangerous to breathe. They may trigger illness, hospitalization and even premature death. Airborne particles also diminish lung function, cause greater use of asthma medication, and lead to increased rates of school absenteeism, emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

 When it comes to good indoor air quality (IAQ), the dust and particles you don’t see are more important — and more dangerous — than the dust and particles you do see. That’s because those tiny, submicron particles are the ones that can travel to the deepest part of the lungs, where they can cause a variety of respiratory problems. Lung-damaging dust can be as small as 0.5 microns, and airborne bacteria can be as small as 0.3 microns.

 Airborne respiratory infections spread when bacteria or viruses travel on small dust particles or small respiratory droplets that become aerosolized when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Healthy people can inhale the infectious droplets, or the droplets can land on their eyes, nose and mouth. People who inhale the airborne germs do not have to have face-to-face contact or be in the same room as the infected person.

Each year in the U.S., there are millions of cases of the common cold — some estimates place this figure as high as 1+ billion — and 5-20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu.

Another big problem linked to poor IAQ is asthma. About 1 in 10 school-age children has asthma, a disease triggered by environmental exposure to dust mites, pests and mold. Children aren’t the only ones who suffer from asthma. In fact, in the U.S., more than 23 million people have asthma, a condition that costs the average sufferer about $3,300 per year in medical expenses, missed school and work days and early deaths. In addition, about 13.6 million adults have been diagnosed with COPD – also linked to poor IAQ — the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Indoor air can be two to five times as polluted as outdoor air. Fortunately, effective air filtration provides a prime defense against indoor air particles that can cause respiratory illness and asthma symptoms. 

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