03/19/2012 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Green Air Filters // Lynne Laake
(Air Filtration News) — For decades, scientists have known that minute atmospheric particles in air pollution pose a grave threat to public health. Each year, they are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths from heart and lung disease. But as reported in February by The New York Times, a new study confirms what scientists have suspected over the past several years — that some of these particles are even more dangerous than previously thought. The result: worries that the air pollution control strategies developed over the past two decades may be woefully inadequate.
That fear extends into the indoor environment, as well, since much outdoor pollution seeps inside buildings, hospitals, and other structures, with commercial air filters often the single line of defense.
Indeed, the study, undertaken by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, demonstrates the importance of high performance air filters in preventing tiny but dangerous particles from entering the indoor air and potentially triggering serious health problems. Yet the effectiveness of air filters is often poorly understood by building managers and administrators. Many traditionally designed commercial air filters do an adequate job initially blocking harmful particles but quickly lose their efficiency, with dramatic drops in performance.
As reported by The Times, the California study contends that a subset of the minute particles found in air pollution — called secondary organic aerosols — has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood. The persistence of these aerosols in the atmosphere was under-represented in the scientific models that formed the basis for two decades of pollution control strategies.
The California study, when combined with findings by other recent examinations of fine particles in air pollution, could mean that those strategies have been inadequate. That’s because secondary organic aerosol particles are not formed during combustion, but later, when pollutants and natural chemical compounds interact. Gaseous byproducts created by the operation of internal-combustion engines — previously thought to dissipate quickly — in fact attach themselves to airborne organic particles, creating tiny tar balls that evaporate slowly, posing a serious health threat while they persist in the air.
The result: It may be far harder than anyone thought to clean these particles out of the air.
Commercial air filters, therefore, will become an even more important tool for keeping indoor air free from dangerous particles. The good news is that newer, more innovative designs — like those from Camfil Farr, the world’s leading provider of clean air solutions — work better, and longer, than more conventionally engineered products. By maintaining their efficiency throughout the service life of the filter, they keep small but dangerous particles out of indoor air, while using less energy. Indeed, manufacturers, hospitals, office buildings, educational institutions, hotels, and other users that have switched to energy-efficient Camfil Farr air filters have been able to reduce their HVAC energy costs by up to 40 percent — all while maintaining optimal air quality.
Since less energy means less carbon emissions, sustainable commercial air filters also help attack climate change — an increasingly worrisome phenomena that, if left unchecked, can cause severe weather events, wreck havoc on biodiversity, and lead to the extinction of important species.
One species, of course, is already reaping the benefits of high efficiency air filters. As the true impact of air pollution becomes better known, people will have good reason to worry. But with high performance air filters they will also have a path to a safer, healthier future.
The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil Farr provides clean air solutions for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil Farr customers go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information on our green air filtration solutions, visit us online at www.green-air-filters.com, or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.
Url: Clean Air Solutions Company