‘Vaccines alone cannot end this’ – Oireachtas committee hears good ventilation key to suppressing COVID-19

‘Vaccines alone cannot end this’ – Oireachtas committee hears good ventilation key to suppressing COVID-19

Ireland’s failure to promote good ventilation as a means to halt the spread of COVID-19 is risking future infections, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Ms Orla Hegarty, from the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, said tackling air quality indoors was an effective tool in fighting the spread of the virus.

“The problem is infected air,” she told the Oireachtas Committee on Health. “We now understand that risk of transmission is predominantly indoors and very specific to certain buildings and indoor air conditions. These conditions are preventable.

“Most transmission is not from hands touching surfaces, it is from inhaling infected air. Masks are the only protection at close range. Outdoors, the virus is diluted and blown away. However, in buildings and vehicles, it can build up, fill a space, linger for hours and infect many people.

“Buildings are key to suppressing the pandemic,” she added. “Prevention is about managing people and managing air. Vaccines alone cannot end this. They need the support of a parallel prevention plan.”

The Committee heard that in Ireland more than half of the people who died from COVID-19 had been infected in just 0.03% of the State’s building, less than 670 buildings, and that infection rates in overcrowded private homes were twice that of uncrowded homes.

One in four school buildings has had a COVID index case in the past four months, Ms Hegarty said – adding that over half of the cases in workplace outbreaks have been in just 150 buildings across the whole of Ireland.

Ms Orla Hegarty, UCD School of Architecture,planning and Environmental Policy

“Many counties are achieving low-risk social and economic activity using prevention policies that manage people and their air,” said the UCD lecturer.

“Countries like Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and China have responded with a clear message on ventilation as prevention. They did this from the beginning of the pandemic.

“Western countries, especially English-speaking western countries, have been especially slow and, I would say, resistant to adopting this as part of the pandemic response. We can see the outcomes in comparing cases and deaths across the two different regions.”

Adding: “Eliminating unsafe conditions protects everyone, including children, people with compromised immunity and those not vaccinated.

“It also mitigates the risk of variants, and of super-spread events. Vaccines alone cannot provide enough headroom for reopening. A prevention plan is needed.”

Ms Hegarty noted a number of strategies taken to improve air quality, include reducing the occupancy of buildings, limiting certain activities, setting indoor air standards and improving ventilation and filtration in buildings.

The committee , which met to discuss the role of ventilation in achieving better health outcome, heard that certain places presented “significantly higher risks of transmitting COVID-19”, such as restaurants, pubs, cinemas, hotels, and sports venues.

Also highlighted was that while a lot of older schools built before the 1970s were designed “with the memory of TB prevention (still alive)”, and as such, had cross-ventilation, higher ceilings and more space, these elements had been “squeezed down and engineered out” of more recent school buildings.

“Clearly, many buildings are low-risk because, otherwise, the pandemic would be even worse,” said Ms Hegarty. “The issue, therefore, is how we find the conditions that are dangerous and deal with them

“As humans, we cannot guess at this, no more than we can guess at safe water… The key point in all of this is that we do not need to prevent every case to stop a pandemic. We do not need to deal with every building. We just need to do enough to get the R-nought below 1.

“Very strategic activity in places where people gather in large numbers, on public transport and in particular high-risk settings such as meat plants, could have a very substantial impact overall.

“It is not a case of spending money on every building or changing everybody’s home. It is about advising people how to live more safely so that they can make strategic decisions that are safer.”

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How Poor Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Workouts New York, NY

How Poor Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Workouts New York, NY

Physical activity is encouraged for greater wellness. However, not everyone is able to leave their homes to work out outdoors or in a gym. There are many who opt to work out at home. This is an easy and convenient solution, especially during winter when conditions outside aren’t favorable.

While getting your body moving for a few minutes is great for your overall wellness, the state of indoor air quality in your home may be having the opposite effect on your health.

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When we exercise, we take deeper breaths more frequently. In addition, getting your heart pumping will often mean that you’re sidestepping your nose and that all-important filtration system that it provides. If you’re working out at home with poor indoor air quality,you’re inhaling pollutants that could affect your health in the long term.

The air in many homes contains a wide variety of pollutants. These include carbon monoxide, allergens, dust, carbon dioxide as well as chemicals from carpeting, smoke, cleaning products and much more. Exposure to these pollutants can cause a variety of health problems over time. You may notice that you feel more fatigued or have developed conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, cognitive dysfunction, heart problems and much more.

Improve indoor air quality for better health

Studies have shown that the indoor air quality in many residential properties is many times more polluted than the air outdoors. Therefore, the best way to ensure your health while working out is to get out of the house and exercise outdoors. However, this isn’t always possible. The weather may interfere with your efforts to work out or you may be too shy to workout outdoors.

If you prefer to work out at home, you should work to improve the quality of air in your home. There are various ways you can do this.

  1. Bring in some greenery

Add plants to your indoor space to improve air quality. You should look for plants that are known particularly for their ability to purify air.

  • Install a whole home ventilation system
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Leaving the windows open isn’t an option when weather conditions outside are unfavorable. It can get too cold in the winter and too hot and humid in the summer. A great solution to ensure better air quality is to install a whole-home ventilation system. These systems get rid of polluted indoor air and pump fresh air from the outdoors into the home.

Do you work out at home? You may want to check the quality of the air in your home for better health.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-455-1376

Good Health Starts At Your Home

Good health starts at your home.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Center for Healthy Housing and the Building Performance Institute all agree a healthy home supports a healthy family.

Why I should care?

You deserve to live in a healthy home. Your home can support the health of your family as much as diet and lifestyle. It’s important to know how to make your home safe & healthy for your own health concerns. Here are some simple steps to get you started!

How I can have a Healthy Home?

 Keep it DRY

Damp homes provide an environment for dust mites, roaches, rodents and molds. All of these can cause or worsen asthma. In addition, moisture can damage the building materials in your home.

 Keep it CONTAMINANT FREE

Levels of contaminants such as lead, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, secondhand smoke, and other chemicals are often much higher indoors.

 Keep it PEST FREE

Exposure to pests such as roaches and rodents can trigger an asthma attack.

 Keep it SAFE

Injuries such as falls, burns, and poisonings occur most often in the home, especially with children and seniors.

 Keep it CLEAN

Clean homes reduce pest infestation and exposures to contaminants.

 Keep it WELL MAINTAINED

Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture, pest problems, and injury hazards. Deteriorated leadbased paint is the primary cause of children being harmed by lead.

 Keep it WELL VENTILATED

Ventilate bathrooms, kitchens and damp places and use whole house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home and to increase respiratory health.

 Keep it TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED

Homes that do not have balanced and consistent temperatures may place your family at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold, heat, or humidity.

Indoor Air Quality | Cleveland, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Benefits of a Good Ventilation System Cleveland, OH

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Benefits of a Good Ventilation System Cleveland, OH

Ventilation is the process of intentionally introducing outdoor air into spaces such as houses or rooms while removing stale air. The aim of ventilation is to regulate indoor air quality by displacing and diluting indoor pollutants. A good ventilation system should therefore be able to remove or dilute any indoor pollutants and distribute fresh air in your house. Indoor Air Quality | Cleveland, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Ventilation systems also play numerous roles that improve the quality of indoor air. Below are four benefits of a good ventilation system.

  1. Controls air impurities

It is important for every home or building to have good circulation of indoor air in order to constantly get a supply of fresh air. A constant supply of fresh air into a building reduces the risk of indoor air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 4.3 million people across the world die annually as a result of poor indoor air quality.

A good ventilation system helps improve indoor air quality by expelling different types of pollutants including bacteria, moisture, musty odors and dust.

  1. Stops condensation

Another benefit of a good ventilation system is that it stops condensation in any indoor space. Condensation occurs as a result of a buildup of moisture. The moisture condenses on various sources to form water droplets.

Condensation can lead to the growth of mold on various surfaces including drywalls, walls and floors. Another problem that stems from condensation is wood decay, which occurs when wooden items have a moisture content that exceeds 20%.

By removing moisture, a ventilation system helps stop problems such as condensation and growth of mold, thus improving indoor air quality.  Indoor Air Quality | Cleveland, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

  1. Regulates air

Unless you have installed a good ventilation system, you are not able to control the movement of air in your home. Too much cold air coming in may mean high energy costs due to heating. A good ventilation system controls the amount of air that enters a building and ensures that your indoor air is of the right quality and has the right temperature.

  1. Controls air temperature

The ability to control air temperature is a notable benefit of a good ventilation system. Room temperatures change due to factors such as weather, the location of the room, the number and size of windows, and the number of people in a room.

A good ventilation system adjusts the temperature accordingly so that your indoor space does not become hot and stuffy when there are many people or when the incoming air becomes hotter.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328