August 6, 2018

Airthinx helps students identify pollution in housing

Julie Spitkovsky, LinkedIn

Over the years we have become better educated on how to live a healthier lifestyle by consuming “better” food and exercising. However, that’s only a part of the equation. Just as important and an often overlooked criteria for health is the air that we breathe.

The 9 most prevalent indoor air pollutants in the home are Particulate Matter 1.0, 2.5 and 10 microns in size, Carbon Dioxide, Volatile Organic Compounds, Formaldehyde, Temperature, Humidity and Pressure.

Why is indoor air pollution important to monitor? Because we spend 93 percent of our times indoors and it because it affects our health. Healthy homes boost energy levels and sleep quality. Polluted homes can trigger respiratory symptoms, affect heart rate, dietary rhythms, and hormone balance, cause inflammation of asthma, has been linked to increases in diabetes based on a new study just last week, and is even linked to low birth weights and defects.

The lung is the most common site of injury by airborne pollutants. Children are especially sensitive to air pollution because they breathe 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults. Because children’s respiratory systems are still developing, they are more susceptible than adults to environmental threats. For example, toddlers are exposed to higher levels of Particulate Matter like dust, just by crawling around on the floor and putting objects into their mouths. At the gym, inhalation of high levels of particulate matter reduce exercise performance by 24.4% during short term high intensity cycling.

A student at the University of Pennsylvania installed the Airthinx IAQ device over the weekend, sharing this:

“I’ve been working on a Masters degree for the last year focusing on environmental health literacy and indoor air quality. Curiosity finally killed the cat and I installed the Airthinx IAQ monitor in my apartment, only to learn the CO2 and particulate count was through the roof. We spend 90% of our time inside. So, while the initial data isn’t great, having this data is critical to making sure we have indoor environments that promote our health, happiness, productivity and well-being.”

Occupants can change habits at home to improve their air quality. Simple adjustments like cracking a window open, turning the vent on while cooking, and cleaning with natural agents like vinegar can create healthier indoor spaces.

Airthinx is the 1st Professional Instrument that measures 9 pollutants in real-time with all the data available via the Airthinx App, making air quality monitoring feasible at room level. As a result, everyone has the ability to see the air they breathe.

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