Markku Patronen, CEO Founder, Connected Finland & Connected Inventions

No longer a nice-to-have: IoT solutions monitor the quality of the air we breathe to keep us safe, healthy and productive.

Indoor concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typically outdoors’. Indoor air pollution has increased in recent decades as a result of reduced mechanical ventilation in the interests of energy efficiency, and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides and household cleaners.

Worse still, it has been found these materials release toxic substances (PFAS) — so-called ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down. They accumulate in animals, as well as humans, and are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, decreased immunity, hormone disruption and a range of other serious health problems. Researchers with the University of Rhode Island and Green Science Policy Institute recently tested indoor air at 20 sites and detected the “forever chemicals” in 17 locations. 

According to The Guardian the study published in Environmental Science & Technology used a new PFAS measurement technique for checking air. It found particularly high levels in several kindergarten classrooms and also checked the supply room of an outdoor clothing store, offices, several university classrooms, university labs and an elevator.

In recent months the ease in which the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads through the air created huge awareness on indoor air quality and made improvement a global priority. The World Green Building Council cites an academic study that found enhancing indoor air quality could be as effective in reducing aerosol transmission of viruses as vaccinating 50-60% of the population.