Asthma affects around 300 million people worldwide, and on World Asthma Day (1 May 2012) European carpet manufacturer Desso was engaged in highlighting the danger of particulate matter which compromises the indoor air quality in many homes and public buildings.
An excessive quantity of dust particles and particulate matter in indoor air can cause serious health risks, especially for people who suffer from asthma, which is a major global problem. In 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO) sounded the alarm by reporting that more than 2 million people die every year as a result of pollution of indoor and outdoor air.
Alexander Collot d’Escury, Chief Commercial Officer of Desso says, “In the home, in offices, schools and other public buildings, the quality of indoor air is often below the required standard. The excessive amount of particulate matter within a room plays a decisive role in this.”
Research conducted by the WHO in 1100 cities worldwide reveals that a significant majority of the population has average annual exposure to particulate matter (PM10) that significantly exceeds the standards set by this organisation.
Desso has made a commitment to improving people’s health and welfare. For Desso, World Asthma Day presented an important opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the situation and, more importantly, to put forward solutions.
Tips for improving indoor air quality
1. Take preventive measures by opting for a floorcovering that absorbs dust rather than releasing it. In other words, choose carpet;
2. Regularly use a vacuum cleaner with high vacuum power, a roller brush and a HEPA filter;
3. Maintain a healthy humidity level (around 30% to 50%);
4. Harness the powers of nature to keep the indoor air clean: buy plants;
5. Invest in effective HEPA air filters to help purify the indoor air and ensure that the filters are regularly checked and replaced.
Response to a crisis
Back in 2010, concerns about the quality of indoor air prompted Desso to develop the AirMaster. This revolutionary carpet is eight times more effective in absorbing and retaining particulate matter than hard floors and four times more effective than a standard carpet, as demonstrated in research by the independent German Test Institute GUI.
This means it significantly improves the quality of indoor air, reducing the risk of health problems. Collot d’Escury: “As early as in 2005, the DAAB, the German Asthma Fund, confirmed that the use of carpet in indoor areas reduces the concentration of particulate matter in the air.”
People spend 90% of their time indoors
Good air quality inside buildings is essential because people spend much of the day indoors. For example, people with a full-time office job spend an average of 1880 hours in the office every year.
Collot d’Escury: “In recent years, we have also been drawing the attention of schools to the dangers of poor indoor air quality. The fact that children spend a higher proportion of their time in an environment that is unnecessarily unhealthy cannot be a good thing.”
Desso has already fitted AirMaster carpet in a large number of European schools. It also works in close alliance with the organisations Frisse Scholen, Gezonde Scholen and Vitaal Lokaal, all of which are committed to a healthy environment in schools.
“The response has been extremely enthusiastic,” says Collot d’Escury. “It couldn’t be simpler: the air in the classrooms becomes cleaner, helping to create a better learning environment. For children and teachers with asthma or other respiratory problems, it is like a breath of fresh air.”
The unique AirMaster carpet
The unique structure of Desso AirMaster prevents dust getting back into the air, because even the very fine particles are absorbed by the thin yarns of the Desso Airfilters. Coarser particulate matter is absorbed by the thicker yarns of the Desso DustCollectors.
Based on research
Research conducted by the Deutsche Allergie- und Asthmabund (DAAB) showed that fine particles have a considerably less harmful effect if carpet is laid instead of a hard floor. With the new Desso AirMaster, this characteristic has been even further developed. The patented technology has been specially developed to absorb harmful fine particles.
Desso AirMaster was tested in the laboratory of the independent German test institute GUI, which specialises in analysing indoor and outdoor air quality. During the tests, a specific amount of fine particulate matter is blasted into a simulation chamber provided with a hard floor (hard floor, standard carpet or Desso AirMaster).
The simulation chamber is then vacated, so that the fine particles can land on the floor. After a certain time, the air flow in the room is restored, simulating someone entering the room or opening a door. The reduction in the fine particle concentration is then measured.