WINIX LightCel™ Technology

WINIX LightCelTM UV-C + LED Technology removes bacteria present in water, providing a comforting and safe mist for you and your family. Ultraviolet humidifiers (UV) sanitize water with UV light, spreading clean water particles throughout the room. The UV-C light sanitizes the water before diffusing it, reducing the spread of germs and bacteria. UV-C rays inhibit proliferation by disabling cells in the principle of damaging the chemical structure of biological DNA.

There are three types of UV rays:

  • Long wavelength (UV-A)
  • Medium wavelength (UV-B)
  • Short wavelength (UV-C)

The shorter the wavelength of ultraviolet rays, the stronger the sterilization is, therefore UV-C rays are the ones commonly used for sterilization.

Benefits of UV Humidifier

Humidifiers are known for having a great impact on people´s health and, as we saw, UV-C light is a powerful disinfection agent. By combining these two technologies, humidifiers can provide multiple proven benefits. You get clean, germ-free air distributed around your home. Ultraviolet light has been proven to kill bacteria, germs, viruses, and pathogens at a specific wavelength. The UV light in the humidifier sanitizes the water before releasing the water into the air.

Adding humidity to the air (especially during the winter months) can improve the air quality in your home, and it can have significant positive effects on your family’s health.

UV humidifiers are proven to be especially beneficial for:

  • People that suffer from allergies and asthma
  • People with skin issues
  • People with breathing problems
  • People that want to minimize the presence of any viruses and bacteria in the air
  • People that live in a dry climate
  • People that have pets and odors in the house
  • People that are having trouble sleeping
  • People that have furniture that needs to be protected by humidity

WINIX UV humidifiers

The WINIX L500 humidifier

The LightCelTM UV-C + LED Technology described above is part of the WINIX L500.

The WINIX L500 is an ultrasonic humidifier with a warm and cool mist. Thanks to its 7.5-liter water tank, it can effectively do its job for long periods of time without too much maintenance.  This humidifier is recommended for living rooms, bedrooms, and offices.

How do Ultrasonic Humidifiers work?

Ultrasonic humidifiers are based on a highly efficient technology that expels small drops of water into the air. After it, these drops evaporate into water vapor, humidifying the space. Normal (evaporative) humidifiers, on the other hand, use heat to evaporate the water inside the unit and then expel the steam into the air.

The main benefits of ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers offer a few advantages over evaporative humidifiers.

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter and require less maintenance than traditional humidifiers. They do not require changing filters and there is no risk of burns since the water does not stay hot inside the unit. This is especially important if the humidifier is used in a child’s room.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers are very good at humidifying the air and could even add too much moisture to the air resulting in over-humidified air causing dampness and mold. This is why it is necessary to have a humidistat that can detect humidity levels. The ultrasonic humidifier WINIX L500 has a humidistat that can be used to regulate a constant and perfect level of humidity.
  • The vibration of an ultrasonic humidifier is much quieter than the fan of an evaporative humidifier. Additionally, ultrasonic humidifiers consume less electricity than traditional humidifiers.

On top of this, the advanced UV-C LightCel Technology will eliminate any bacteria in the water tank to make sure the droplets that are being released into the air are not contaminated. 

Winix awards air purifiers to the winners of the clean-up in Rotterdam

A city clean-up took place in Rotterdam last week. A group of volunteers roamed the streets around the river (De Maas) in Rotterdam to collect as much litter as possible. WINIX wanted to be part of the event and awarded 2 WINIX Zero Compact air purifiers to the pair of volunteers who managed to collect the most amount of litter.

The event was organized by the SDG-14 ambassador of the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and the LDE Centre for Sustainability Students.

The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities Centre for Sustainability Students’ mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy to achieve a sustainable society. WINIX is proud to support these types of initiatives that help mobilize society towards a sustainable future. Thanks to all the participants and organizers!

WINIX ZERO COMPACT

What are the SDGs?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.

The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They are included in a UN Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030.

The 17 SDGs are:

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • Reducing Inequality
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life On Land
  • Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the GoalsSDG goals

How does WINIX contribute to it?

Air pollution is recognized as a pressing sustainability concern and is directly mentioned in two SDG targets: SDG 3.9 (substantial reduction of health impacts from hazardous substances) and SDG 11.6 (reduction of adverse impacts of cities on people).

WINIX embraces all the SDGs and has direct and indirect implications on many of them. Air pollution is linked to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but, as a manufacturer of air treatment products, WINIX has the biggest impact on those two, with a special focus on SDG3.

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.

Indicator 3.9.: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.

SDG3 goal

Sustainable Development Goal 3 has 13 targets and 28 indicators to measure progress toward targets. One of these targets is to reduce illnesses and deaths from hazardous chemicals and pollution.

Air pollution is the fourth greatest overall risk factor for human health worldwide, after high blood pressure, dietary risks, and smoking. Recent studies attribute 6.5 million premature deaths to air pollution each year. In addition to human health, air pollution poses risks to the environment, economy, and food security.

We are proud to help achieve this goal. Our air purifiers contribute to improving the health of millions of people around the world, increasing their quality of life.

 

WINIX EURO 2021 GiveAway

Guess the EURO 2021 champion and win a WINIX air purifier!

To celebrate the EURO 2021 we are giving away 3 WINIX Zero Compact air purifiers in an Instagram contest. To participate, you just have to follow the instructions below and choose the winner of the Eurocup through a comment in this post.

We will give away 3 Winix Zero Compact air purifiers among those who choose the correct winner.

The Winix Zero Compact is Winix’s newest air purifier. This device doesn’t take up a lot of space but its performance stands out. With a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 250 m³/h, the Winix Zero Compact will provide you and your family with the cleanest air in rooms up to 50m2 and will remove air pollutants like Viruses, Bacteria, Pollen, Smoke, VOC’s and Household odors. This is possible thanks to its 4 stage filtration system: Fine mesh pre-filter, Carbon filter, True HEPA filter (99,97%), and the unique Winix PlasmaWave Technology.

How to enter the GiveAway:

  •  Follow @winixeurope.
  •  Like the post
  •  Comment with the name of the country you think will be the winner of the Eurocup, and tag 3 friends who care about breathing quality air!

Giveaway Dates:

Giveaway starts on May 31st, 2021.

Giveaway will be closed at 11.59 pm CEST on June 25th, 2021.

3 winners will be drawn on July 12th, 2021. Right after the Eurocup final! The winners will be announced on our Instagram account.

Giveaway rules:

European and UK residents only.

Participants must be +18 years old.

How the prize will be delivered:

3 air purifiers will be sent to 3 different winners. WINIX will be responsible for the cost of shipping to the address provided by the winner.

Instagram contest or giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or UEFA.

Instagram GiveAway is hosted by WINIX and the winners will be chosen randomly from the participants on the following Instagram accounts: @winixeurope @winixnederland @winixdeutschland.

List of countries participating in the Eurocup. Choose the champion and comment here

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Wales

Good luck!

Why is it important that an Air Purifier is Certified?

Air purifiers play a very important role in maintaining a healthy indoor air environment, especially now in the current situation. In order to ensure minimum health risks, it is important to buy an air purifier with appropriate certifications. The best air purifiers last for years, which makes it very important that the device has the highest available standards. Air purifiers are only eligible for certifications after it has gone through extensive tests. These tests are all being performed in a secured environment with exposure to all types of hazardous particulates and all potential hazards are measured individually.

Most people consider buying a Winix air purifier with a HEPA filter for health reasons. Air purifiers can refresh stale air, greatly reducing the chances of health issues caused by indoor pollutants. These can trigger respiratory infections, neurological problems, and worsen asthma symptoms. The best air purifiers minimize and eliminate several indoor air pollutants, including house dust mites, pets dander, pollen, and mold.

The HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is proven to be the most effective filter out there and it is vital to be eligible for certifications. A certified air purifier with a HEPA filter should give you all the security you need that you are breathing the cleanest air possible.

People with underlying medical conditions can benefit greatly from buying a certified air purifier as it will improve their quality of life. That’s why the importance of certifications on air purifiers cannot be understated.

What certifications do WINIX Air Purifiers hold?

Winix air purifiers hold both ECARF and Allergy UK certifications, which are the most important in Europe for air purifiers. Winix air purifiers also have other certifications such as AHAM, the most important in the United States.

certified air purifier

ECARF certification

Winix is ​​proud to be certified by ECARF.

ECARF stands for European Center for Allergy Research Foundation and it was founded in 2003 and based in Berlin, Germany. Their first seal of approval was granted in 2006. Their mission, as stated by their Chairman of the Board Prof. Dr. med. Dr. C. Torsten Zuberbier: “The mission of the non-profit European Center for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) is to ensure that people with allergies receive the best possible guidance in everyday matters and treatment options.

ECARF does not only test air purifiers, but a range of other products such as cosmetics, food, hotels, leather products, vacuum cleaners, and many more. In order for a product to be eligible for an ECARF certification, it will have to be submitted to a series of tests designed by 15 leading international scientists and technicians. All of these tests are performed in an enclosed climate chamber. Only the best air purifiers pass these tests and needless to say all Winix air purifiers pass these tests with flying colors.

The criteria for ECARF testing:

  • Minimum Efficiency at the most penetrating particle size (> 0.1 – <0.3 μm):> 85%
  • Collection Efficiency at particle size 0.5 μm (Bacteria, fine dust):> 90%
  • Collection Efficiency at particle size> 3 μm (mold spores, pollen):> 95%
  • Ozone release: <7 ppb
  • Temperature difference (room temperature compared to exhaust air): <0.3 K
  • The exhaust air has a neutral odor
  • The device bears an instruction plate that gives information about the maximum room size for which 95% of all particles > 3 μm are filtered out within one hour.
  • Devices with less than 200 m³/hour performance have < 32 dB on the lowest setting.

Allergy UK certification

The British Allergy Foundation was formed in 1991 by a group of leading UK allergists who believed that those living with allergies have the right to good quality support, education, and advice about their condition throughout their lives. The UK health system only provides limited allergy services and the British Allergy Foundation, operating as Allergy UK since 2001, is the charitable organization established to fill the gap and provide this support. It also lobbies and advocates for improved recognition of the seriousness of allergy and its impact on the quality of life of those living with allergic disease. Their mission: “Our mission is to raise the profile of allergy at all levels across the UK and our vision is that everyone affected by allergy receives the best possible care and support.

Some examples of performed tests

In order for a device to be approved, the air purifiers will be subjected to a number of tests, including Airflow (measured in m3/h) which calculates the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). It gives insight into how much time is needed to fully refresh the air in a particular room.

Another example of a test being performed is the Efficiency Tests. The air purifier is being exposed to different sizes of dust particles in an enclosed room to measure its effectiveness when it comes to cleansing air.

Odor (gas) tests are also being performed. The air purifier is exposed to multiple types of gases and turned on at maximum filtration speed for a short amount of time to measure how quickly and effectively it can neutralize odors.

Watch the video below to see how the Winix Zero Air Purifier filters dirty air (completely polluted with smoke) from the environment effectively:

 

The Air Purifier Zero Compact has been granted the iF Design Award

We are proud to announce that the modern and outstanding design of the Winix Zero Compact, has been recognized with the prestigious iF Design Award.

The Zero Compact is the latest of our air purifiers that have been granted a Design Award proving once again that Winix air purifiers not only stand out for their high performance, and the quality of their materials but also for their design.

iF Design Award

Each year, iF International Forum Design GmbH organizes one of the world’s most celebrated and valued product design competitions: the iF Design Award. This award is recognized around the world as a symbol of excellence with almost 10.000 submissions in 2021 across 60 countries.

Their six followed guiding principles as mentioned on their website:

  • To identify, support, and promote good design
  • To raise awareness of design among the public and the role it plays in our lives
  • To help companies integrate design into their long-term strategies
  • To safeguard the role of professional designer and boost awareness for this job profile
  • To effect social change through design
  • To support talented young people and create a public platform for young designers

Winix Zero Compact!

About the Winix Zero Compact:

The Winix Zero Compact is Winix’s newest air purifier which is part of the 2021 line-up. This device doesn’t take up a lot of space but its performance stands out. With a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 250 m³/h, the Winix Zero Compact will provide you and your family with the cleanest air in rooms up to 50m2 and will remove air pollutants like Viruses, Bacteria, Pollen, Pet dander, Smoke, Mold spores, VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and Household odors. This is possible thanks to its 4 stage filtration system: Fine mesh pre-filter, Carbon filter, True HEPA filter (99,97%), and the unique Winix PlasmaWave Technology.

Combined with its affordable price, the Zero Compact is the best air purifier on the market for small- to medium-sized rooms.

We believe that performance should be the number one concern when choosing an air purifier to keep your family healthy. However, the air purifier should also be attractive to look at to make it blend in cleanly with the rest of the furniture. Winix has designed the Zero Compact with elegance in mind. This is evident by the placement of the touch panel and the absence of buttons on the device itself.

Because of its cylindric shape, it looks modern and can be placed almost anywhere in a room without taking up too much space.

WINIX ZERO COMPACT

What is a HEPA filter and why is it important?

When choosing an air purifier for your home or office, the element to look at is clearly the HEPA filter. The quality of the HEPA filter used by the air purifier is key, as it is the most important element in the filtration process, cleaning the air of particles that are harmful to health and releasing clean air.

HEPA filters are the reason why so many air purifiers have been installed during the current pandemic in schools, hospitals and offices, and the reason why air purifiers are useful in improving the quality of life of those who suffer from allergies and asthma.

But what are HEPA filters? How do they work? Why are they so effective against viruses, bacteria, and allergens? Here you will find everything you need to know.

What is a HEPA filter?

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are filters with a great capacity to filter small particles (really tiny ones!). HEPA filters remove more than 99.9% of the particles from the air stream that passes through them. These particles can be allergens, viruses, bacteria, chemical compounds, dust and many more.

This is of great help for people with asthma, allergies or those who suffer from respiratory problems. These types of filters are becoming very important during the COVID-19 crisis by helping to reduce the virus indoors, thus reducing the spread of the virus.

How do HEPA filters work?

The operation is simple. Air purifiers absorb air, pass the air through a series of filters (including the HEPA filter), and release clean air into the room. The filter is composed of a mesh of randomly placed fibers, which are usually layers of cellulose, synthetic fiber or glass fibers. These fibers are arranged in an accordion shape, which gives them a greater capacity to capture the particles. The HEPA filter easily removes pathogens larger than 0.3 microns.

 

HEPA filter efficiency

To choose between one air purifier or another, you need to know what type of HEPA filter each purifier uses. Therefore, you must start by knowing what percentage of particles the different types of HEPA filters are capable of holding.

Currently it is not possible to achieve 100% filtration, although this technology is very close to it, because a HEPA filter retains 99.9% of the Most Penetrating Particles (MPPS) of 0.12 to 0.25 microns. A HEPA filter is able to do this with the smallest and Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS), now imagine how effective they are against particles larger than one micron, which are those particles that viruses tend to have attached to. They are even easier to filter and retain by the HEPA filter. Therefore, the efficiency of a HEPA filter is almost 100%.

There is no more effective air treatment technology at this time.

The HEPA Filter must be certified

When choosing a HEPA filter, it is essential that it is certified. To be certified, HEPA filters and air purifiers must pass certain tests. In Europe, HEPA filters must remove at least 99.95% of particles from the air. In the United States, on the other hand, at least 99.97% of the particles must be filtered.

In Europe. HEPA filters are classified by the UNE-EN 1822-1: 2020 standard.

The EN 1822 standard tells us that there are 3 main categories of filters or classes called: EPA, HEPA and ULPA filters, varying the retention efficiency of particles from lower capacity (EPA) to higher retention capacity in filters (ULPA). ULPA is used essentially in hospitals and laboratories. The HEPA H13 and True HEPA filters are the most widely used filters today for homes, schools and offices as they allow effective filtration and have an affordable price.

  • EPA “Efficient Particulate Air”, with classification levels: E10, E11 and E12.
  • HEPA “High Efficiency Particulate Air”, which include two levels of classification: H13 with an efficiency of 99.95% and H14 with 99.995%. The True HEPA Filter (99,97%) performance is in between the H13 and H14.
  • ULPA “Ultra Low Penetration Air”, with three levels of classification U15, U16 and U17.

table

The True HEPA Filter (American classification) is the one used by WINIX in our air purifiers, it is between H13 and H14 (European classification), filtering 99.97% of the particles.

What is the True HEPA filter? The type of filter most used by WINIX air purifiers

In the US to be considered a True HEPA filter, a HEPA filter must be certified to remove 99.97% of all microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. 0.3 microns is the smallest particle size that enters the lungs. Microns, which are one millionth of a meter, are how particles are measured. It is impossible for the human eye to observe anything smaller than 10 microns.

Here are some of the types of particles that a True HEPA filter can capture:99,97% of the particles

The True HEPA filter fibers captures particles in four different ways:

  • INERTIAL IMPACTION

Inertia works on large, heavy particles suspended in the flow stream. These particles are heavier than the fluid surrounding them. As the fluid changes direction to enter the fibre space, the particle continues in a straight line and collides with the media fibres where it is trapped and held.

  • INTERCEPTION

Direct interception works on particles in the mid-range size that are not quite large enough to have inertia and not small enough to diffuse within the flow stream. These mid-sized particles follow the flow stream as it bends through the fibre spaces. Particles are intercepted or captured when they touch a fibre.

  • DIFFUSION

Diffusion works on the smallest particles. Small particles are not held in place by the viscous fluid (air) and diffuse within the flow stream. This means that the smaller a particle is, the more likely it is to traverse the flow stream, making it more likely to collide with the fibre and be collected.

  • SIEVING

Sieving, the most common mechanism in filtration, occurs when the particle is too large to fit between the fibre spaces.

Thanks to these 4 types of filtration, the True HEPA filter can capture 99.97% of airborne particles that are harmful to our health.

Now you know everything you need to be able to choose an air purifier with a HEPA filter suitable for your needs. You may also be interested in knowing how Winix’s PlasmaWave technology works, which is effective in reducing airborne viruses and the perfect complement to the True HEPA filter in our air purifiers.

 

How to choose the best bedroom air purifier

The air quality in your bedroom may be affecting your sleep. Air pollutants like dust or mold can make it harder for you to sleep and that’s why getting an air purifier for your bedroom can be a great idea. The best bedroom air purifier should be quiet and make your life more comfortable by preventing respiratory problems, without you noticing.

Breathing continuously in a closed and poorly ventilated space has short-term and long-term health effects.

We spend most of our time at home in the bedroom and about a third of our lives sleeping and having a bedroom air purifier protects us against asthma, allergies, mold, pollutants, bacteria, and airborne viruses.

What to look for when choosing a bedroom air purifier?

When you start looking for the best bedroom air purifier, there are some must-have specs to consider:

  • The air purifier must use a quality HEPA filter (in addition to a carbon filter and a pre-filter)

HEPA filters are the key elements of an air purifier, HEPA Filter “is an acronym for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air” filter and they remove more than 99.9% of particles from the air.

  • The air purifier has a sleep mode

The noise the device makes is another important factor when choosing a bedroom air purifier. You are definitely going to want a silent night air purifier. All Winix air purifiers have a sleep mode. A silent air purifier with sleep mode operates at a very low noise level, the air purifier has to be quiet enough not to interrupt your sleep. To find out if an air purifier is quiet, you have to look at the decibel level.

Lights off: If the air purifier has a sleep mode, in addition to operating silently, it usually also turns off the light on the device so that it does not distract you when you sleep. Ideally, your air purifier should have an auto mode, to automatically detect the air quality and the light levels so you don’t have to adjust the speed manually. The best air purifier for sleep should have all of the above.

sleep mode purifiers

  • The air purifier has a maximum room capacity suitable for your bedroom

It is important to consider the size of your bedroom. The size of the room each air purifier can clean is different, and you need one that is capable of filtering all the air in your bedroom. Also, if you have a room smaller than the stated maximum capacity of an air purifier, it means that you will be cleaning the air in that same room a greater number of times. Which is fantastic!

The winix zero, for example, has a maximum capacity of 99m², which is why it is capable of cleaning the air in a small or medium room very effectively, even operating in sleep mode.

  •  The air purifier is certified

Air purifiers must be certified by independent and recognized agencies, such as ECARF or Allergy UK, that way you make sure that the air purifier is effective and will help you clean the air in your bedroom.

  • The size and design of the air purifier is right for your room

It is very likely that, if you have a small or a medium size bedroom, you do not want a very large device occupying all the space. The size and design of the air purifier is also something to consider when choosing your bedroom air purifier. The Winix Zero Compact has a maximum capacity of 50m², perfect for any bedroom, and a small size ideal for those with less space.

All Winix air purifiers meet the above requirements, thanks to the experience of almost fifty years of manufacturing the best air purifiers.

winix bedroom air purifier

The main reasons to have a bedroom air purifier:

1. You spend a lot of time in your bedroom

If you spend a lot of time in your bedroom, you also spend most of your time breathing there. The effects of an air purifier are best felt when used in the room where you spend most of the time, as you will be constantly exposed to clean air and the short and long-term effects of using an air purifier will be greater.

2. Your bedroom is completely full of allergens and VOCs!

Your bedroom, like most people’s, is a breeding ground for countless allergens like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. A good bedroom air purifier can help you rest easy and eliminate bothersome symptoms if you or your partner have allergies or asthma. We must not forget the VOCs either.

3. Your bedroom has strange smells

Bedrooms can develop a strange smell over time. This may be due to the age of the house, humidity, old furniture, cigarette smoke, among many other things. The carbon filter in air purifiers deals with odors.

4. You or your partner snore

Air purifiers can help to reduce snoring! One of the main causes of snoring is allergens, which causes nasal congestion and leads to snoring.

Where to place the air purifier?

Ideally, your air purifier should be placed on a flat and stable surface. The best place to put the air purifier in the bedroom can be the floor or your night table. You should always leave a distance of 20-30cm from walls or other surfaces so that airflow is sufficient and filtration is more effective. Avoid putting it in the corners of the room, if possible.

 

 

What is particulate matter and why should you be concerned?

Particulate matter (PM) are particles suspended in the air. These particles are solid and liquid and many of them are dangerous for human health in the short and long term. The worst thing about the particulate matter is that we cannot run away from it, it is everywhere. Particulate matter is a mixture of particles of organic and inorganic origin and varies widely in size and composition.

Based on the size, particulate matter is often divided into two main groups:

-The bigger fraction contains the largest particles with a size ranging from 2.5 to 10 µm (PM10 – PM2.5).

-The fine fraction, contains the smallest particles, with a size of up to 2.5 µm (PM2.5).

In addition, in this last group we can find ultrafine particles (particles of the fine fraction that are smaller than 0.1 µm).

Most of the total mass of airborne particles is made up of fine particles ranging from 0.1 to 2.5 µm (PM2.5). These are also the most worrisome particles for people’s health when levels in the air are high. PM2.5 are really tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and make the air appear hazy and fuzzy when levels are high, they produce the visual effect that people recognize as environmental pollution on a daily basis. The levels of PM2.5 in the air are constantly changing. PM2.5 levels outdoors are typically higher on days with no wind and air mixing. The real size of these particles is extremely small and it is difficult to describe and even imagine because people do not operate with such small sizes in our daily lives.

What are the effects of PM2.5 on people’s health?

Particulate matter is responsible for harmful effects on health, even in the absence of other air pollutants.
Fine particles are more dangerous than coarse particles. In addition to particle size, another specific physical, chemical, and biological characteristics can influence harmful health effects. PM2.5 can easily travel through the respiratory tract and reach the lungs.

Exposure to fine particles can cause many short-term health effects, including irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. You could experience coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen previous medical conditions, such as asthma and heart disease. People who already suffer from respiratory and heart problems are particularly sensitive to PM2.5, in addition to children and the elderly. In Europe, long-term exposure to current concentrations of particulates in the environment can affect the lungs of both children and adults and can reduce life expectancy.

Scientific studies have linked increases in daily exposure to PM2.5 with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions and deaths. Studies also suggest that long-term exposure to fine particles may be associated with heart disease, chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, and increased mortality from lung cancer.

When PM2.5 mixes with the other pollutants present in the air, the individual effects of each pollutant multiply. When combining PM2.5 with ozone or certain allergens, the effects are much worse when combined than the sum of the individual effects. When PM2.5 interacts with gases, its composition and effects change.

Where does PM2.5 come from?

There are exterior and interior sources of fine particles. Most of the fine particles are formed in the atmosphere as a result of reactions of chemical substances such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted by power plants, industries, and automobiles.
Outdoors, fine particles mainly come from car pipes and activities that involve the burning of other fuels (wood, coal, etc.). On the other hand, some more common indoor sources of fine particulate matter are tobacco smoke, cooking, lighting candles, the home fireplace, and fuel-burning heaters.

Industry pollution

How do you know when PM2.5 levels are high outside?

Levels of fine particles in the outside air increase when the particles are not carried by the wind, or when the winds carry polluted air from another place to your location. In general, as PM2.5 levels in the outdoor air increase, the air appears hazy and visibility is reduced. These conditions are similar in appearance to high humidity or fog. You should check the AQI index to stay updated on the levels of air pollution in real time.

Are there ways to reduce my exposure to PM2.5?

When PM2.5 levels outside are high, staying indoors can reduce your exposure, although some outside particles will get inside. If there are significant indoor sources of PM2.5, PM levels could be the same or even higher than outside. Sometimes we are not aware that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, and using a high-performance air purifier is the best option to keep indoor air clean at all times.

Why is air pollution harmful? Extensive Guide

This guide contains (almost) everything you need to know about air pollution, based on verified information from official organizations and sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Environment Agency (EEA). WINIX has been fighting against air pollution and eliminating it since 1973 and, part of our mission is to make people aware of the health risks associated with unhealthy air quality and the importance of breathing clean air in their homes.

Air Pollution facts

Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19. A recent study shows that 15% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide could be attributed to unhealthy air quality. But this is just the latest of many terrifying facts that we all should know about air pollution. There are many more!

According to the WHO…

  • 91% of the world’s population lives in places with unhealthy air quality.
  • Near 8 million deaths each year are associated with prolonged exposure to household air pollution, especially smoke from dirty stoves and fuels.
  • Around 2 million deaths occur each year as a result of prolonged exposure to unhealthy outdoor air quality.
  • A recent study using data from 25 European Union (EU) cities has estimated that life expectancy could increase to approximately 22 months in the most polluted cities by lowering the long-term PM2.5 concentration in the air.
  • Around 40 million people living in the 115 largest cities in the EU are exposed to air that exceeds the values of the WHO air quality guidelines for, at least, one type of pollutant.
  • Children who live near highways where heavy vehicles frequently travel have 200% more risk of respiratory problems than those who live near less congested streets.
  • In Europe alone, exposure to particulate matter (PM) reduces the life expectancy of each person by an average of almost a year, mainly due to the increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and lung cancer.
  • Smoke causes respiratory health problems in children, such as asthma and reduced lung function. It also causes lung and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature death in adults.
  • Unhealthy indoor air, contaminated by biological agents related to moisture and mold, increases the risk of respiratory diseases by 50%.
  • Unhealthy air quality is especially harmful to sensitive groups, increasing respiratory difficulties, lung diseases, and heart problems.

But…what is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is the presence in the atmosphere of toxic gases and elements that transform the natural composition of the air we breathe. These elements are of biological, physical, and chemical origin and are dangerous for humans, animals, and plant’s health.

What are the causes of air pollution?

We, humans, adapted the environment to our interests constantly, modifying the composition of the air to accommodate our needs. This has caused a negative impact on air quality that has been accelerating since the industrial revolution.

We are surrounded by unhealthy air. The air we breathe on a daily basis contains emissions from vehicles, industry, and heating, as well as tobacco smoke, and household fuels. Air pollution harms human health, especially those who are already vulnerable due to their age or existing health problems. Controlling air quality, both indoors and outdoors, can significantly prevent diseases and save the lives of those who are part of sensitive groups.

We can differentiate between outdoor and indoor air pollution, but both types of pollution are harmful to people.

Effects of air pollution

As we said, air pollution does not only affect the environment: Air pollution poses a high risk especially for children and other sensitive groups and can have serious effects on all of us, every time we are outside and even at home. Because at home, another type of harmful air pollution occurs in parallel. Air pollution has many health effects, from mild irritations to the development of serious diseases.

The combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution cause around seven million premature deaths each year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

While those effects emerge from long-term exposure, unhealthy air quality can also cause short-term problems such as sneezing and coughing, eye irritation, headaches, and dizziness. Particulate matter narrower than 10 microns (classified as PM10 and the even smaller PM2.5) pose higher health risks because they can be breathed deeply into the lungs and penetrate the body’s small airways and deposit carbon dioxide in our blood.

A full list of effects related to unhealthy air quality:

Airborne diseases, mainly viruses. Eye and respiratory irritations, skin allergies, conjunctivitis, nasal congestion, watery eyes, nasal bleeding, cough, phlegm, and wheezing in the chest. Cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. It is estimated that up to 30% of strokes are due to air pollution. Exposure to toxins is also associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. There is research suggesting that pollution could be a factor in the development of another type of brain disease such as autism, attention deficit disorders, and certain types of dementia.

outdoor air pollution

But we also need to keep in mind that there are different types of air pollution…

Outdoor air pollution

An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide are related to unhealthy air quality due to outdoor air pollution.

According to the WHO, outdoor air pollution around the world represents:

  • Around 17% of all lower respiratory diseases and deaths.
  • Around 24% of all deaths due to strokes.
  • Around 25% of all deaths and diseases due to ischemic heart disease.
  • Around 29% of all lung cancer deaths and illnesses.
  • Around 43% of all deaths and diseases from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The pollutants with the strongest evidence of public health concern are particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The health risks associated with PM less than 10 and 2.5 microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5) are especially well documented.  In 2013, it was classified as a cause of lung cancer by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It is also the most widely used indicator to assess the health effects of exposure to ambient air pollution.

Maternal exposure to outdoor air pollution is associated with adverse childbirth outcomes, such as preterm birth or low birth weight. Evidence also suggests that outdoor air pollution can affect diabetes and neurodevelopment in children.

Indoor air pollution

Household air pollution is another cause of illness and premature death in Europe. According to the WHO, around 3.8 million people die in the world each year from exposure to household air pollution. Indoor air pollution comes from a variety of sources and includes a wide range of gases, chemicals, and other substances.

What causes indoor air pollution?

One of the most dangerous types of household air pollution is smoke. Pollutants emitted from the combustion of solid fuels or kerosene for cooking, heating, and lighting are associated with serious health risks.

Other indoor air pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, building materials, household products, and natural gases. Poor ventilation can exacerbate the health risks posed by all indoor pollutants.

Specific effects of household air pollution

By breathing unhealthy indoor air, we add even more risk for our health. Around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using polluting fuels and inefficient technologies. Exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause a wide range of adverse health outcomes for both children and adults, from respiratory illnesses to cancer to eye problems. Household members who depend on polluting fuels and devices are also at increased risk of burns, poisonings, musculoskeletal injuries, and accidents.

It is just here, in the treatment of indoor air, where WINIX intervenes. Our air purifiers are designed to help people keep the indoor air clean at all times.

European levels of air pollution

Today it is practically impossible to escape air pollution anywhere in the world. We might think that this is just a problem for underdeveloped countries, but in Europe, we also suffer unhealthy air quality. In general, air quality in European countries has improved in recent years, but levels of air pollutants continue to exceed the standards set as healthy by the European Union and by the WHO.

Breathing polluted air causes more deaths than tobacco. That is one of the great conclusions drawn by a study led by German researchers and published in the European Heart Journal that warns that the impact of air pollution on human health is underestimated.

Changes in air quality depend on several things. There are constant variations in each city and many factors intervene such as the weather, and the types and amount of gases that are in the air at the time. In European cities, smoke from vehicles is more common on weekdays than on weekends. The rural environment also suffers it, pollution from agricultural activities is also harmful.

How to know the current level of air pollution?

The Air Quality Index (AQI), which is constantly updated, tells you how clean or polluted is the air and what associated health effects may be of concern to you. The AQI focuses on the health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five main air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, PM, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

How does the AQI work?

The AQI works as an indicator of values ranging from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the higher the level of air pollution, and the greater the health concern for people. An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant, which is the level that the EPA has set to protect public health. AQI values below 100 are generally considered ok, but not ideal for sensitive groups. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, then for everyone as AQI values increase.

Understanding the AQI

You can reduce the risk by using the AQI before planning your outdoor activities. The six levels of concern for health and their meaning:

Air quality index AQISource: www.airnow.gov

Good. AQI is 0-50. Air quality is considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk for people.

Moderate. AQI is 51-100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants, there may be a moderate health problem for sensitive groups.

Unhealthy for sensitive groups. AQI is 101-150. Although the general public is unlikely to be affected in this AQI range, people with lung diseases, older adults, and children are at increased risk of ozone exposure, while people with heart problems and lung disease, older adults, and children are at increased risk from airborne particles.

Unhealthy. AQI is 151-200. Everyone can start to experience some adverse health effects. Sensitive groups may experience more serious effects due to unhealthy air quality.

Very unhealthy. AQI is 201-300. Health alert, everyone can experience more serious health effects.

Dangerous. AQI is greater than 300. Health warning of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

Tips to get better indoor air quality

Here are some tips on how you can reduce your exposure to unhealthy air quality.

  • Place an air purifier at home. Seriously. A high-performance air purifier, helps you keep the air in your home in optimal condition, filtering 99.97% of particles from the air.
  • Check the Air Quality Index daily.
  • Do not go out when the air quality is not ideal. Use the AQI to determine how much time you should spend outdoors. Try to avoid optional outdoor activities on days when the AQI shows poorer outdoor air quality.
  • Avoid doing intense physical activity and sport on days with high air pollution. Physical activity makes you breathe stronger and faster. The faster you breathe, the more air pollution you’ll inhale.
  • Windows with a tight seal are very effective. Insulating your windows helps reduce exposure to outdoor pollution and fungi.
  • Avoid having the windows open when there is excessive pollution outside.
  • Maintain good ventilation inside your home, to avoid dampness and fungi.

 

More resources:

Extended guide about air pollution from the European Environment Agency.

European Air Quality Index from EEA

Extended guide about air pollution from the World Health Organization.

Health effects of particulate matter (PM) from WHO.

World Quality Ranking from IQAir

 

 

 

Winix Air Purifiers are placed in high schools

This school from Spain is using WINIX Zero Pro Air Purifiers in classrooms

In Spain, one of the countries in Europe most affected by COVID-19, WINIX air purifiers have started to be used to clean the air in classrooms as an extra protection measure against the virus.

This secondary school in the region of Castilla-La Mancha was one of the first Spanish schools to trust our PlasmaWave technology in this matter and decided to purchase fifteen WINIX Zero Pro air cleaners. After that, many other schools have joined the initiative in order to clean the indoor air in their classrooms.

We continue to work to ensure clean air for everyone!

Video transcript:

The AMPA (student parents association in Spain) from Campo de Calatrava high school in Ciudad Real has equipped the school with 15 air purifiers. Another resource to stop the coronavirus in the classrooms. Air Purifiers are now added to this institute in addition to masks, hydro-alcoholic gels, and safety distances.

“In the AMPA we decided to invest in these air purifiers used to capture airborne particles and purify them. It does not kill viruses but it does reduce them.”

Advised by a researcher from the University of Castilla-La Mancha the school has purchased 15 air purifiers and a CO2 meter that determines in which classroom there is more need to purify, this new purification system in the school has come to stay and many other schools in the region are already interested.

“We are surprised because we have received many calls from other schools, institutes, and associations. The best thing is that it is an investment for the health of children and for the future. When COVID ends, hopefully soon, they will continue to be useful and we will continue to invest in them.”