It’s probably fair to suggest that when we think about air pollution, we tend to think about poor air quality in the outside environment – vehicle exhaust fumes, smog, smoke, pollens and other environmental factors are all examples of outdoor air pollution.

Thankfully, with the exception of exposure to natural disasters like bushfires, environmental protection agencies around the country have worked hard to rescue pollution levels in the outside air. The external air quality in Australia is normally at a good level and we do not need to worry about the long-term effects of air pollution.

But it is not only the outdoor air quality that we need to think about. You might be surprised by the indoor air quality in your home or office building and the risks it may pose to your health and that of your family and staff members.

Believe it or not, we are exposed to a number of pollutants even when we’re indoors. And let’s face it, we are indoor a lot more often in today’s society. These indoor air pollutants fall into two categories – man-made or natural, each of which can have an impact to human health.

For example, there are natural pollutants such as airborne viruses, including influenza and COVID-19, allergens (things that cause allergic reactions), dust, animal fur, mites, mould, pollen and bushfire smoke that enters through windows or doors. These all affect air pollution levels in our indoor environment. Then there’s the man-made culprits, things such as chemicals used in cleaning agents or in the manufacture of furniture. Cooking appliances like gas stove tops are also a contributor to the air quality of our indoor space, along with open fireplaces.1,2

Sadly, exposure to indoor pollution can be a major source of adverse health effects in both the short term (acute) and long term (chronic).

Examples of acute conditions include allergies such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and hay fever, while chronic conditions include respiratory disease, heart health issues and other respiratory health issues.1,2

What can we do about it?

Indoor air purifiers can certainly provide some protection.

Air purifiers are devices designed to remove pollutants and contaminants from the air, ensuring cleaner and healthier indoor environments. They work by drawing air through filters that capture harmful particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, mould spores, and even volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by household products and chemicals.

Indoor air purifiers can provide a valuable layer of protection against the negative impacts of indoor air pollution. Not only do they help to reduce airborne particles and pollutants, but they also help to reduce odours and improve air quality in general. By trapping and removing contaminants, air purifiers can make the air in your home or workspace cleaner, fresher, and healthier for you and your family.

Of course, we’re referring to good quality air purifiers that meet specific standards.

How a HEPA Filter can help.

When it comes to indoor air quality, one of the most important steps you can take is to install an air purifier containing a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, which means that the filter traps 99.7% of particles in the air that are 0.3 microns or larger. This type of filter is especially effective at reducing indoor air pollution because it captures and removes particles like dust, pet dander, mould spores, smoke, pollen and other hazardous substances. Installing good quality air purifiers with HEPA filters can help reduce levels of indoor air pollutants, ensuring a healthier and safer environment for us all.

All three Air Purifiers in the Welcare PureAir range, contain a HEPA 13 Filter, which is of one of the highest standards available to protect you and your family from potentially harmful environmental exposures.

Can UV light help?

Yes, a UV light can help. Ultraviolet (UV) technology is commonly used in air purifiers to reduce levels of airborne viruses, bacteria and mould spores. This type of filter is especially effective at reducing the spread and transmission of infectious disease and illnesses like influenza, as well as other contagious pathogens. It works by using short-wavelength ultraviolet light to break down the outer walls of bacteria and viruses, rendering them harmless before they are then filtered out from the air.

The Welcare PureAir range includes 2 Air Purifiers with UV lights.

1. Welcare PureAir Household Air Purifier

Our indoor air quality has a tremendous impact on our overall wellbeing, The Welcare PureAir Household Air Purifier harnesses the power of a 6 Stage Air Purification System including HEPA (H13) filter, UV Light and photocatalyst technology for comprehensive air purification. Kill airborne viruses, such as Influenza (99.99%), and remove dust, mould, bacteria, and other pollutants. Perfect for those who have pets, suffer from allergies, bushfire or pollution prone areas, or simply whoever is looking to achieve a fresh, clean and healthy home or office environment.

TOP FEATURES:

• 6 stage HEPA (H13) Air Purification system:
1. Pre-Filter
Uses a micron mesh filter, which blocks 2.5mm particle matter > 99.9%. Air can be cleaned effectively, preventing contaminants such as dirt, hair, pet fur, dander, and course dust from entering the air purifier. The Pre-Filter protects all the filters and prolongs their life.

2. Efficient HEPA (H13) Filter
Removes 99.9% of minor particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter from the air, preventing the spread of allergens and bacteria such as pollen, mould spores, smog, and germs.

3. Activated Carbon Filter
Used to remove common household contaminants such as odours, second-hand smoke, and gas pollutants.

4. Photocatalyst Filter
Uses ultraviolet light to remove chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, ammonia, TVOC and other pollutants.

5. Ionizer (Anion Generator)
Produces large amounts of negative ions (or anions) to remove airborne pollutants from the air, eliminating odours with strong absorption. The negative ions (or anions) will make bacteria lose their activity, rendering them harmless.

6. 2pcs UV Lights
Combined with photocatalyst filter, UV-C light creates highly effective sterilisation which kills a variety of common bacteria and germs.

• Suitable for large areas up to 40~50m2 (average size living room 25m2)
• Filters dust, pollen, smoke, germs, and bacteria
• Removes odours
• Touch panel display for easy operation
• Adjustable fan speed – 4 Levels (one button)
• Timer function 1hr-4hr-8hr-continuous
• Filter replacement reminder display
• Power Source: 240V
• Silent mode
• Night Mode
• Low- noise operation
• Dust sensor & Air quality indicator (4 colours)
Blue = Perfect
Green = Good
Purple = Normal
Red = Bad

2. Welcare PureAir Ultraviolet Air Purifier

The Welcare PureAir Ultraviolet Air Purifier is an effective and affordable way to improve the air quality in your home, office, or other enclosed space. This powerful air purifier utilises a combination of advanced technologies to remove harmful airborne particles from your indoor air, helping you to breathe easier and enjoy a healthier environment. The unit features a three-stage filtration system that employs the power of an ultraviolet/deep UV-C LED light that can sterilise up to 99.95% of bacteria and virus including COVID-19 within 30 seconds.* The HEPA (H13) filter allows for comprehensive air purification, and removes PM2.5 dust, bacteria, allergens and other pollutants from the air. Perfect for those who have pets, suffer from seasonal allergies, bushfire or pollution prone areas, or simply whoever is looking to achieve a fresh, clean and healthy home or office environment.

TOP FEATURES:

• Ultraviolet/deep UV-C LED light kills 99.95% virus including COVID-19*
• 360-degree air inlet with HEPA (H13) filtration
• 3 stage HEPA (H13) air purification system: 1. Pre-Filter 2. Efficient HEPA (H13) Filter 3. UV-C LED Light
• Filters dust, pollen, smoke and bacteria†
• Reduces odours
• Suitable for areas up to 12m2 such as a bedroom or office
• Adjustable fan speed – 3 Levels (low-mid-high)
• Timing function 1hr-4hr-8hr-continuous
• Touch panel display for easy operation
• Sleep mode
• Filter replacement reminder display
• Child lock
• Low- noise operation
• Aromatherapy function
• Lightweight

* Tested SARS-CoV-2 inactivation rate reaches 99.95% or more within 30 seconds.

How else can an air purifier help?

Allergen Reduction:

Air purifiers are particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from allergies or asthma. They can effectively trap and eliminate common allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, providing relief from allergy symptoms and improving overall respiratory health.

Asthma Management:

People with asthma are highly sensitive to airborne triggers. Air purifiers can help remove asthma triggers such as dust, mould spores, and smoke particles, reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.3

Viruses:

Viruses, including influenza and COVID-19 are transmitted via droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or even just talks.4 Importantly, they can stay in the air for up to an hour, which is where an effective air purifier can be very useful.5 But when those virus particles end up on the surfaces around the home, handwashing and sanitising remain key weapons in the flu fight.

Odour and Chemical Control:

Air purifiers equipped with activated carbon filters can effectively eliminate odours from cooking, smoking, pets, and chemical fumes.6

Do Air Purifiers Work for indoor air quality issues?

If it meets certain criteria – yes.

Firstly, you need something that will filter out the ‘big things’ like pet hair, fur, coarse dust and dander.

Then you need to take care of the less visible nasties with a HEPA filter. This type of air filter can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mould, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.

Adding an activated carbon filter into the mix can help remove odours, second hand smoke and gas pollutants.

But if you want to take care of most things that could trigger allergic reactions, there are photocatalysts filters and UV treatment.

The Welcare PureAir Household Air Purifier features a 6 Stage Air Purification System including HEPA (H13) filter, UV Light and photocatalyst technology for comprehensive air purification. It can kill airborne viruses, including Influenza, and remove dust, mould, bacteria and other pollutants, making it ideal for those who have pets, suffer from allergies, bushfire or pollution prone areas.

Check out the full range here.

Sources:

  1. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/indoor-air/index.cfm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7729884/
  3. https://asthma.org.au/blog/air-purifiers-and-asthma/ 
  4. https://news.mit.edu/2011/stop-the-flu-1207
  5. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/cooling/air-purifiers/articles/do-air-purifiers-trap-viruses-and-other-germs
  6. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/cooling/air-purifiers/buying-guides/air-purifiers