The air we breathe is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% of various gases such as water vapour and carbon dioxide. And of course, it is also composed of polluting gases generated by various human and industrial activities. Contrary to popular belief, indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air. We often hear about polluted air without knowing exactly what it means and what risks it poses.
Polluted air: a definition
Polluted air is air that is tainted by particles of pollution, fumes, doors, germs etc. Polluted air is also referred to as contaminated, vitiated or foul air. It is often the cause of inconveniences and irritations, but it can also lead to seriously adverse effects to our health, especially indoors. Air can vitiated by many different substances: fine particles from car pollution, an excess of carbon dioxide, natural or artificial pollutants, cigarette smoke, cooking smells, bacteria and viruses, fungi and mould, etc.
What pollutants can contaminate the air?
Polluted air can be composed of all kinds of pollutants. The more dangerous ones include carbon monoxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide.
Prolonged exposure to pollutants can lead to serious health issues, especially when it involves high concentration:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs),
- Heavy metals,
- Germs such as microbes and bacteria,
- Fungi and mould,
- Various nanoparticles...
Air can get polluted by sources outdoors but also by indoor sources related to human activities and products. Typical suspects include household and cleaning products, furniture and their components, new carpets, curtains or fabrics, scented candles, etc.
Fortunately, a high-end air purifier can clean polluted air in a matter of minutes, making it healthier and safer for the whole family.
Un purificateur d’air peut nettoyer un air vicié en quelques minutes seulement, et le rendre plus respirable pour toute la famille.