Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality
There is no doubt that the quality of both the outside air and indoor air has a major impact on our health. Our sensor solutions help to improve air quality and thus people's health and well-being.
What we should know about air pollution
Air pollution is a global issue and a threat to human health and our climate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. More than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the WHO guideline level of 10µg/m3.
First studies hint that there is a correlation between increased air pollution and the corona death rate. The research team from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health concluded: “We found that an increase of only 1μg/m3 in PM2.5 [particles] is associated with a 8% increase in the Covid-19 death rate.”
Vehicles, power generation, building heating systems, agriculture/waste incineration and industry are the major outdoor pollution sources. More than 3 billion people worldwide rely on polluting technologies and fuels for household cooking, heating and lighting, releasing both smoke into the home and pollutants outdoors.
Now the question is how we can reduce air pollution? That’s where Sensirion steps in. With our Nubo air monitoring system we offer government authorities a simple solution to monitor their cities' air quality in real-time. Measuring real-time air quality data enables the realization of counteraction and the optimization of existing polluting technologies resulting in a cleaner environment and increased health for humans.
How Sensirion helps to reduce air pollution
Air pollution can be significantly reduced by expanding access to clean household fuels and technologies, as well as prioritizing:
- rapid urban transit, walking and cycling networks
- energy-efficient buildings and urban design
- low-emission zones
- improved waste management
- and electricity production from renewable power sources.
Which measures are most effective is highly dependent on the local conditions. Every region, city and even neighborhood is different and local industry, demography, climate and geography influence the ideal policy. To understand which measures and policies to favor, which assumptions to validate and how to prove the effectiveness to the public, it is essential to have reliable air pollution data as a basis of decision making.
The traditional approach of relying solely on existing monitoring networks has either reached the limit regarding its scale or is too expensive for many regions of the world. Sensirion’s Nubo Air monitoring system gives government authorities a practical tool to extend existing traditional monitoring networks or to expand into previously uncovered communities and locations.
Obviously, data quality and reliability are key requirements if the gained insights are to be employed to decide on policies and regulations. Sensirion believes that cost-efficiency should not come at the cost of unreliable data quality and thus Sensirion developed Nubo Air, the new environmental monitoring system to fulfill the highest required standards, such as UK’s MCERTS certification.
Real-time air quality monitoring in Basel
Important role of indoor humidity (40-60% RH)
What role does indoor air quality play in buildings and homes? It has been proven that indoor humidity plays an important role in preventing virus transmission and improving the response of the immune system. Extensive research shows that a relative humidity (RH) between 40% and 60% is optimal to minimise the spread of viruses such as influenza. Scientists are therefore calling on the WHO to revise the global guidelines for indoor air quality.
According to Professor Dr. Akiko Iwasaki PhD, we spend 90% of our lives indoors in close proximity to each other. That's why she recommends humidifiers in winter and believes that the world would be a healthier place if all our public buildings kept their indoor air at 40 to 60% RH. Walter Hugentobler, MD, general practitioner, former lecturer at the Institute for Primary Care at the University of Zurich, added that increasing humidity by humidification reduces the risk of virus spread in hospitals and other buildings. And this at low cost and without negative effects.
"With the Covid 19 crisis, it is more important than ever to listen to the evidence that shows that optimal humidity can improve our indoor air quality and respiratory health." - said Dr. Stephanie Taylor MD, Infection Control Advisor at Harvard Medical School, ASHRAE Lecturer and member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Working Group and one of the leaders responsible for a globally recognized 40 to 60% RH guideline for public buildings.
As the market leader in humidity sensing and a preferred partner for humidity sensors in applications such as humidifiers and other building and medical technology applications, it is important for us to support petition 40to60RH, as the scientific background cited confirms our experience. Improving people's health is part of our mission and therefore we encourage everyone to support this petition to gain the attention of the World Health Organization.
Support the petition and learn more about it: www.40to60rh.com
If you are interested in humidity sensing, visit: www.sensirion.com/humidity
Three reasons why it is important to always maintain 40-60%RH in public buildings
It is mentioned on the 40to60rh.com website that science has shown three reasons why it is important to always maintain 40-60%RH in public buildings like hospitals, schools and offices, throughout the year.