Summer is upon us; the warm (and very, very hot) weather is here, and that means a mad rush of homeowners preparing to open their pools. Across the country, people are beginning the quest for pure clarity, a carefully balanced PH, total alkalinity, and the right calcium hardness. Why do we do it? The answer’s pretty obvious: no one wants to jump into a pool that is visibly green and dirty.
We have pretty high expectations set for the pools we want to jump into — and visual clarity is typically the grading scale we use to judge. After all, if the water isn’t clear, what other dangers are lurking beneath the surface?
Holding Air to the Same Standards
We spend all this energy, time and money on clarity and disinfection of the water we jump in, but have we ever stopped to think about the quality of the air we breathe? After all, air is essential to life and, well, swimming isn’t.
What if the air changed color depending on pollution levels the way water does? It would probably change the way we view the air we breathe. Would we start thinking about ways to clean the air? Would ventilation and filtration be a priority rather than something that we considered once but forgot about due to cost? After all, it is only our health that’s impacted.
Filtration for the Air We Breathe
Air and water can both be kept clean and usable with the right tools. Your clear, beautiful swimming pool needs a filter — this captures the pollution and contaminants that you don’t want to see (or swim in). These filters play a significant role in reducing pool contamination, and air filters play a significant role in reducing airborne hazards.
Just because we don’t see the airborne hazards doesn’t mean they’re not there. Let’s put this into perspective. Let’s take a look at particle counts in a typical commercial space. This chart shows the total particles in the air within the same room with and without proper filtration. The cumulative particles are the total particles present in the room between 0.3–10 microns in size, followed by the individual particle counts up to 2.5 microns in size.
It is important to note that the particles referenced within this chart are those that pose the greatest health hazard to our respiratory tract. These particles pose the greatest risk of long-term health effects in our cardiovascular system and respiratory system, as well as neurological issues with short-term effects. These particles are one of the leading causes of asthma.
Particle counting of a room space is one of the most precise measuring methods used to classify the room’s cleanliness. In fact, these very same samplings are performed within cleanrooms according to ISO 14644-1 standards:
The Importance of Particle Counts
The more particles in the air, the greater risk for infections and product fall-out. All pharmaceutical and medical devices must be produced and manufactured in a cleanroom with classifications varying depending on the process and manufacturing stage. This is vital to ensure a medical device or injectable pharmaceutical remains sterile and at a level of purity to adhere to USP and FDA regulations.
The more particles present in the room, the greater risk of sterility being compromised. This is because these particles can be both viable (living microorganism), or non-viable (non-living). Both types can be very detrimental to a product’s efficacy, though it’s very important to know that a non-viable particle can also be a vehicle for a viable particle, increasing the chance of a live microorganism being transported from place to place.
Protect Yourself From the Unknown
Just like in a cleanroom, the greater the particle load, the greater risk of infection from airborne viruses. As the particles become smaller, they actually become more dangerous due to our body’s inefficiencies at “filtering” these particles as they bypass our mucus membranes and dive deep into our air sacs. So though the majority of indoor air pollution is not visible, we are clearly diving into a green pool of unknowns every day.
At Erlab, we are committed to keeping the air we breathe clean, whether you’re manufacturing highly sensitive medical equipment or just trying to keep the office air healthy. Are you ready to eliminate the “green water” from your air? Contact one of our air quality experts today.