Since the emergence of Covid-19 and global efforts to minimise the spread of infection throughout populations, there has been a renewed focus on determining what measures can be adopted to mitigate the risk of airborne transmission of respiratory viruses, including Covid-19, in a range of close proximity indoor settings.
In light of the growing crisis, hospitals in Wuhan are using IQAir air filtration systems to help prevent and contain the spread of the deadly virus. This follows their successful efforts in 2003 where over 150 hospitals in Hong Kong were fitted with IQAir units to prevent the spread of the SARS coronavirus.
Here we explore the benefits of adopting air filtration and purification systems in school classrooms, alongside currently recommended measures such as social distancing, hand washing and face mask use. These provide protection against Covid-19 and improve indoor air quality more broadly.
People who work with poultry often report a wide range of respiratory symptoms including: cough, eye irritation, breathlessness, chest tightness, nasal congestion and wheezing. Raising concerns about poultry dust as a respiratory hazard.
Particulate pollution is an important contributor to both outdoor and indoor air pollution. These tiny particles are inhaled into the lungs and the smaller they are, the deeper they go with the smallest penetrating as far as the bloodstream. They are responsible for a host of health impacts, from asthma attacks to premature death
A recent study analysed the size range of particle which dental technologists may come into contact with during the course of their work. A number of blocks of composites used in dental prostheses were ground and the dust thus generated analysed. The size range of this dust extended down to the UFP level, proving that a potential health hazard does exist in the dental laboratory setting.
Indoor air quality is an often overlooked source of exposure to pollution that can cause ill health. Far more attention is given to outdoor pollution. In fact, indoor air pollution may cause nearly 3% of the total global burden of disease, according to the World Health Organization. It makes sense – after all many of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors.
What is the increased hospital admissions resulting from air pollution? It is well known that both short and long-term exposure to air pollution increases the rate of hospital admissions. To quote just one study, from researchers at Harvard School of Public Health Health, every 10 microgram increase in long-term PM2.5 exposure caused.
Learning science, including chemistry, is an important part of primary and secondary education. However, practical chemistry involves chemicals, some of which may be hazardous, particularly in the hands of young children. So how do we protect children and young people from chemicals in school science labs, while not denying them the fun of experiments and the useful experience it gives them?
There has been a revolution in awareness of chemical air pollution in research laboratories. I could tell you several 'horror stories' of casual exposure to mercury vapour, benzene and chromic acid (the ultimate glassware cleaning agent) among innocent biomedical PhD students (including myself) in the 1970s. But researchers in hospitals, and other laboratories can never afford to be complacent about exposure to chemical air pollution, because there are so many different substances involved – and we still do not know too much about the long-term health effects of so many of them.
Work in a dental lab involves handling many different kinds of materials and – as in any kind of lab work – the dental technologist may potentially be exposed to carcinogens in the dental laboratory, consisting of various dusts and chemical fumes. The problem may be compounded where the dental technologist works in a confined space and in conditions of poor ventilation.