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Leading Camfil air filtration experts discuss the 2021 Air Condition Report and its implications
The State of the Air report, first published by the American Lung Association in 2000, includes air quality information so everyone can see the air quality in their community. Riverdale, May 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. [Video] Camfil USA Air Filter Expert Discusses State Of 2021 Air Report, Camfil Air Filtration Experts Discuss Results Of 2021 Air Filter Report, published annually by the American Lung Association since 2000, using data generated as a result of the Clean Air Act . “The American Lung Association has spent many years creating awareness of the importance of clean air and doing extensive research to quantify the effects of dirty air,” said Kevin Wood, vice president of sales and marketing, Camfil USA. Mr. Wood has been in the air filter industry for over three decades. What is the status of the air report? Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had to set limits for six major air pollutants outdoors (particulates, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ozone, lead and carbon monoxide). The State of the Air Report, first published by the American Lung Association in 2000, includes air quality information so everyone can see the air quality in their community. Since then, air pollution monitoring equipment has been updated and installed in the United States. The latest State of the Air reports now focus on nationwide data on ozone and PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter), two of the most dangerous outdoor air pollutants. (The full report is available here.) According to Wood, highlighting data on these two pollutants is particularly useful for three main reasons: To outline the importance of air pollution in the particulate and gas phase. Providing a context for new knowledge that points to the effects of pollution on human health, including areas such as child brain development, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Identify the geographic areas where people are most at risk of damage to health due to high levels of air pollution. (The 2021 report found 135 million Americans in 217 countries live in areas where the air is polluted part or all of the year. That is over 40% of the population.) What is PM2.5? PM2.5 refers to particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter. (On a scale, a human hair is approximately 100 microns in diameter.) These particles are inhalable and can cause serious damage to lung tissue. What are the effects of PM2.5? A large body of scientific literature has linked particles to the following health risks, according to the EPA: Premature death in people with heart or lung disease Non-fatal heart attack Irregular heartbeat Aggravated asthma Decreased lung function Increased respiratory problems such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or breathing difficulties Particulate matter is also catastrophic on the environment, including depletion of soil nutrients, lowering the pH of natural water sources, damage to forests and plants, and degradation of ecosystem diversity. What is ground level ozone? Ozone is a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms. In contrast to the oxygen molecules that we breathe, which are made up of two oxygen atoms, ozone is very unstable and reactive. Naturally formed ozone is an essential component of the earth’s upper atmosphere and forms a layer that is kilometers thick that protects life on earth from harmful ultraviolet light. However, ground-level ozone poses a major threat to human health. Ground-level ozone is produced by reactions between nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons (also known as VOCs or volatile organic compounds). These reactions are facilitated by heat and sunlight. What are the effects of ground level ozone? Ozone is an unstable molecule, which means that it reacts easily with other molecules, including those in the human body. According to the American Lung Association, the following groups are at greater risk of being harmed by ozone: Children and adolescents over 65 years of age with existing lung conditions, including asthma, and people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) who work and exercise outdoors for long-term Exposure to ozone has been linked to premature death and lower child birth weight. Short-term exposure to ozone can cause: difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing due to narrowing of the muscles of the trachea. Increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and pneumonia. Asthma attacks make chronic lung diseases worse. Which factors can influence air quality in the future? According to Camfil’s air filtration experts, there are three key factors that can affect air quality in the future. Climate change. Because heat and sunlight facilitate the chemical reactions that create ground-level ozone, elevated temperatures and longer periods of sunlight are likely to result in higher readings for ground-level ozone. Forest fires. The smoke from forest fires affects more than just the west coast, where most of the fires occur. Wildfire smoke can travel thousands of kilometers and cover cities across the country with large and very small particles. (Read about the effects of devastating smoke and how to protect yourself from it.) COVID-19 and Future Viruses. Respiratory droplets infected with COVID-19 virus particles are known to be 2.5 microns or smaller, and most diseases occur by air. Conventional air filtration in buildings and apartments is not enough to stop circulation throughout the building when asymptomatic carriers occupy the room. Overall, it is important to remember that even in areas that are not exposed to dangerous outdoor pollution, pollution is likely to increase in the future. (Indoor air is up to five times as polluted as outside air. For more information, click here.) How to Protect Yourself from Outdoor Air Pollution Camfil’s air quality experts have made the following suggestions: Employers should ensure that their work environment has a proper air treatment has units and appropriate filtration systems. Filters should maintain their rated efficiency throughout their entire service life. When filtration efficiency can be limited by minimal space in a ventilation unit, room air purifiers such as Camfil’s City M should be added to the systems. If ozone is of particular concern in your area, additional filter stages in the ventilation unit may be required to accommodate both molecular (or gas) filters and particulate filters. Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19, upgrading to MERV15 or higher filtration should be considered when planning improvements or upgrades to your building’s current ventilation system. Due to different requirements, budgets, local regulations and existing infrastructure, there is no single approach to upgrading your building’s air filtration system. Contact a Camfil representative to help determine the right solution for you. About Camfil Clean Air Solutions For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we offer commercial and industrial air filtration and air pollution control systems that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy consumption, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are also the best solutions for our planet. That’s why, every step of the way – from design to delivery to the entire product life cycle – we consider the impact of our activities on people and the world around us. With a new approach to problem solving, innovative design, precise process control and a strong customer focus, we want to save more, use less and find better ways – so that we can all breathe easier. The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 33 production facilities, six research and development centers, local sales offices in 30 countries and around 4,80 0 employees and is growing. We pride ourselves on serving and supporting customers in a variety of industries and communities around the world. To find out how Camfil USA can help you protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/ ## Media Contact: Lynne Laake Camfil USA Air Filters T: 888.599.6620 E: [email protected] . com Q: Friend Camfil USA on Facebook T: Follow Camfil USA on Twitter Y: Watch Camfil videos on YouTube L: Follow our LinkedIn page