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Why we’re supporting the Clean Air Day campaign

Blog by Christian Pearce, co-founder Conditioned Environment 

I’ve recently been working with the team at Global Action Plan to support its annual event, Clean Air Day. This year it takes place on the 8 October and is the UK’s largest campaign to reduce air pollution.

The Clean Air campaign is something that makes complete sense to us, both as a business and personally; outdoor and indoor air quality affects everyone. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact nearly every aspect of our lives, 72% of people in the UK think clean air is even more important because of the impact the coronavirus has on people’s lungs. This is especially important as there’s evidence that air pollution worsens the symptoms of COVID-19.

We believe that everyone has a social responsibility to play a part in improving air quality to protect our planet, as well as safeguarding those with existing health conditions and to prevent illness in others. Creating healthy work environments is at the heart of what the Conditioned Environment team does and we continue to work with clients to ensure their offices and public spaces are as safe as possible.

Here are four key reasons why clean air matters:

  1. Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.
  2. The World Health Organisation and the UK government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today.
  3. Some health conditions are caused or worsened by air pollution (asthma, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and make a person more vulnerable to complications if they contract COVID-19.
  4. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases are linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may contribute to mental health issues due to neurocognitive effects.

Source: Global Action Plan

We’ve signed the pledge to support Global Action Plan to help improve public understanding of air pollution, build awareness of its effect on health and take simple steps to tackle air pollution. The business community can play a part in looking at alternative manufacturing processes, reducing road transport, using cleaner vehicles, lowering emissions, and replacing furnishings and products that cause indoor pollution.

According to the international medical journal, The Lancet, outdoor air pollution is by far the most important environmental risk factor for morbidity and mortality and household air pollution follows closely. Research shows that there are many health benefits of reducing air pollution.

How can we create clean air workplaces?

Offices contain hidden air pollution, with 800,000 deaths globally every year due to poor air quality in the workplace. The average number of sick days per employee in the UK is 4.4 days a year and some of these absences may be preventable by improving air quality in buildings. Better indoor ventilation and well-maintained air-conditioning systems help to prevent sick building syndrome, which causes headaches, blocked noses or tiredness and difficulty concentrating. Almost 70% of office workers believe poor air quality at work affects their productivity and wellbeing.

London’s air quality is particularly poor. It’s four times lower than the average European standard. Inside London’s buildings, air quality is on average 14 times lower than the European standard.*

I recently wrote about new research that suggests an 80% increase in exposure to coronavirus droplets in busy offices, which means stagnant air in an office could be riddled with coronavirus. In most office buildings, 75% of the air people breathe indoors is recirculated air; only 25% is outside ‘fresh’ air. Airstream disinfection or purification plays a big part in building people’s confidence that their indoor environment is healthier.

To support this campaign and safeguard Conditioned Environment’s employees, we’ve used our expertise in our 4,000 square-foot office in London’s West End to clean the air we all breathe by installing air purification units that change the air five times an hour.

What are air purification units?

Air purification units improve the quality of air in buildings using highly effective filters that help to improve indoor air quality, reduce infection rates indoors, deactivate 99.97% of viruses including COVID-19, all while protecting tenants and visitors. They also remove pollution, pollen, bacteria, fungus and airborne ceiling and carpet particles.

The air purification units we install have Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) integrated technology and are widely used in hospitals. UV filtration is the use of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) lamps in air conditioning systems. These disinfect the air by damaging the DNA and inactivating microorganisms, making them incapable of reproducing or causing disease.

Can we inspire you to take action with us? Take a look at the Clean Air Day and Business Clean Air Taskforce website.

If you’d like to find out more about air purification units for your office, visit https://air.conditioned-environment.co.uk/airpurification/ or call us on 020 8453 1010.

*TfL, King’s College, FT Research