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Mitigating the health effects of outdoor pollution

Air pollution could be responsible for 60,000 cases of dementia in the UK, with people exposed to dirty air 40% more likely to get the disease than those who aren’t. These shocking conclusions are based on a recent study carried out by St George’s, University of London, King’s College London and Imperial College London.

Researchers looked at what happened to almost 140,000 people aged 50 to 79 registered with doctors in London. They compared the pollution levels recorded near people’s homes in 2004, and then followed people up from 2005 until 2013.

During the study follow-up period, 2,181 people got dementia, which equates to 1.7% of the participants. The researchers found that people living in areas of London with the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (a by-product of traffic emissions) were at increased risk of getting dementia compared to those living in areas with the lowest levels.

Although not yet conclusive, a growing body of results like these do provide compelling evidence of the real and present danger of poor outdoor air to our health. But it is not just high profile, horribly debilitating and desperately sad conditions like dementia that can be made worse by pollution.

Lesser conditions – but, nonetheless, ones that still cause a great deal of discomfort and misery – can also result from this source. Take hay fever – an allergic reaction that occurs as a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds. It is a common misconception that it only happens in the height of summer. Although grass pollen is the most common allergen (and tends to occur mainly between May to July), tree (February to June) and weed (June to September) pollens can also cause hay fever.

Protection against the microscopic particles that have been linked to dementia requires highly sophisticated filters. However, protection against pollen and other larger airborne detritus can be achieved more easily.

ECEX Air Intake Screens are a simple solution that can be retrofitted to existing ventilation, air conditioning and cooling equipment, stopping debris from affecting the efficiency of HVAC equipment, ensuring it keeps working effectively for longer.

The air intake screen is a vinyl coated polyester fibre mesh that sits in front of essential HVAC equipment – such as air handling units, chillers, condensers and cooling towers – acting as a filter for pollen, leaves, insects and other particulates, with almost no impact on air flow; typically around 10Pa at a velocity of 2m/s.

As well as protecting individuals from the effects of outdoor pollutants such as pollen, by preventing this debris from entering a system, machine efficiency and the lifespan of filters is increased and maintenance requirements are reduced, all effects which contribute to lower running costs, while helping buildings meet ever more stringent energy efficiency demands.

So, apart from improving indoor air quality, ECEX Air Intake Screens also reduce energy costs thanks to improved efficiency, as well as cutting maintenance requirements.

For more information about ECEX Air Intake Screens, click here.