The particle content of the environment has a significant impact on our health

The particle content of the environment has a significant impact on our health

When discussing the impact of the indoor environment on pulmonary health, we often focuse on the applicable ventilation requirements. These requirements mainly regulate the carbon dioxide content in the air and air circulation.

Particles can occur indoors, such as tobacco smoke, gas fires in fireplaces, burning candles, cooking, textiles, cleaning and more. A large part of the particles indoors are skin particles from those living or staying in the premises.

The requirements do not include the harmful particles that are present in the air and which we humans breathe daily.

– Biologically active particles that affect the immune system are found in the indoor air and can have a major impact on our health, not least for individuals who have asthma, allergies, or are in some way extra sensitive. For a long time, it was believed that contact infection was the primary source of infection in connection with viral infections, but research has shown that airborne infection is common. This was determined when the swine flu was relevant a couple of years ago, says Karl Gustaf Rosén, physiologist and pediatrician, as well as entrepreneur and researcher in medical technology, who for many years studied on indoor air and how it affects our children’s health.

All people have barrier protection against microorganisms and pollution through our mucous membranes. When living in dry air and high particle environments, barrier protection is degraded by taking longer for the white blood cell to reach the respiratory mucosa and kill the virus as it is already busy protecting the body from the fine particles. The dry air also makes the virus survive and stay airborne longer. People who are exposed to high levels of very fine nanoparticles in the indoor air, risk impaired blood flow to vital organs such as the brain and heart.

Calls for changed regulations

– In primarily metropolitan environments, what is usually called oxidative stress prevails, which means that the levels of particles that can affect our health are relatively high. Unfortunately, as an individual, you can’t do much about the outdoor environment, but if you try to create a healthy indoor environment, the body often responds very quickly, says Rosén.

He calls for a changed regulatory framework for ventilation and indoor environment, which also takes into account the particle content in the air.

– It is essential that a revised regulatory framework is based on evidence, scientifically proven conclusions about the possibility of creating suitable indoor environments based on medical and physiological aspects, Rosén states.

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