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Severe Health Risks from Air Pollution Drives Legislative Changes

We all know polluted air is not great for us, but is polluted air actually life threatening?  

In December of 2020, Ella Kissi-Debrah sadly made history when she became the first person to have her death certificate list air pollution as the cause. Ella passed away in February 2013 at the age of 9, and coroners initially ruled her cause of death as “acute respiratory failure” caused by asthma. Ella’s mother, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, was convinced there must be other factors since doctors never pinpointed the exact trigger that caused Ella’s attacks. Rosamund reached out to the media for help discovering the real cause of her young daughter’s death. Dr. Stephen Holgate, a specialist in asthma and lung research, cracked the case when he analyzed the data of an outdoor air monitor 1 mile from Ella’s home. The air pollution monitor revealed Ella’s asthma attacks could be directly connected to nitrogen dioxide spikes, a toxic gas emitted from car exhausts. Levels were recorded at far higher than safe or legal limits.  

At the time of her death, Ella lived right next to one of the busiest highways in London. The area Ella lived in had no visible smog in the air, which factored into why it took so long for doctors to connect air pollution as the cause of her respiratory complications. Since her young daughter’s death, Rosamund has not stopped advocating for creating new legislation to reduce and combat air pollution.  

© Nguyen, J./NJVisuals (2019), Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, mother of Ella Kissi-Debrah.

Ella’s story taught the world an important lesson: just because you do not see any smog outside does not mean the outdoor air is safe or healthy. If you can’t see where the air has toxic levels of pollution, then how can you know where the air is safe to breathe? 

Air pollution monitoring systems are the solution to this life-threatening problem. Some of the most toxic air pollutants, like carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide, are colorless and odorless which only adds to their ability to spread and reach toxic levels. Air pollution monitors can alert you about pollution spikes before they reach harmful levels and give you the opportunity to mitigate the pollutants before they cause you harm. 

Currently there is legislation, like The Clean Air Act, in effect that sets standards for air pollution levels, but the lack of air pollution monitors allows places to reach harmful levels for long periods of time. People with pre-existing respiratory conditions are often most affected by the high levels of air pollution. However, long-term exposure to higher-than-normal levels of air pollution can harm people with no asthma or known lung issues. The bottom line is, combatting air pollution should be a concern of everyone, no matter their health status. The health threats of air pollution are undeniable, so what can 1 person do to combat the negative effects? 

Adults who work in commercial buildings spend 90% of their time indoors where the air can be 2-5 times more polluted than the outdoors. The positive side is that it is easier to ensure the air they breathe is clean because the amount of space they need to monitor is smaller. Indoor air quality (IAQ) monitors allow you to take the guess work out of maintaining safe and healthy IAQ levels. qlair simplifies the task of confirming that your commercial building’s IAQ never reaches harmful levels. qlair offers a digital IAQ monitoring platform you can access from any device. The qlair platform has easy to read metrics that outline your IAQ concerns while also using AI to analyze raw data and provide users with text explanations of their IAQ status and recommendations on how to improve it. 

The upfront costs of IAQ monitoring installation also have the benefit of saving you money in the long run. qlair’s platform monitors your HVAC filters to let you know when they need to be changed. HVAC filters get clogged from a variety of factors like overuse, heavy pollen in the spring, or highly polluted outdoor air. The qlair platform provides users with an easy way to tell if HVAC filters are clean or clogged so facilitators know when to change them. Filter life cycle monitoring with qlair’s platform of your HVAC system prevents excess energy consumption because your system is never overworked due to clogged filters. qlair also saves facility administrators money on filters because they don’t replace them more often than they need to. The health benefits and cost savings the qlair platform provides are undeniable, so contact one of our IAQ experts today at: https://i-qlair.com/contact/ 

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Important Update: Changes to qlair

We want to inform you about some important changes to qlair. To better serve our customers, MANN+HUMMEL is making organizational changes. Consequently, we will be sunsetting our qlair website and will no longer actively promote the qlair Clean Air Management Platform.

If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected], Subject: qlair Clean Air Management Information.

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