Poor Ventilation Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Lee Nurse Marketing Director at Vent-AxiaVent-Axia, a leader in low carbon ventilation, has welcomed new research which highlights the dangers of poor indoor air quality.

The new research reveals that indoor air pollution is potentially responsible for the annual loss of over 200,000 healthy life years in the UK.

A pan-European study, carried out by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, has highlighted the impact of indoor allergens on disease and life expectancy – revealing a surprising link between indoor exposure to pollutants and cardiovascular disease, as well as other health hazards.

The study shows that exposure to indoor pollutants is linked to reduced life expectancy and burden of disease. 57% of the total burden relates to cardiovascular diseases, 23% to lung cancer, 12% to asthma and the remaining 8% is in association with other respiratory conditions. This new research builds on the recent findings from a YouGov consumer survey and a study by Prism & Waverton Analytics which showed that a large number of homes are experiencing, or are at risk of aggravated health problems due to poor indoor air quality.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare study suggests that a change in the way that homes in the UK are ventilated could reduce the overall burden of disease caused by indoor air pollution by approximately 38% each year1. The research states that significant health benefits would be seen across the UK if homes had effective, optimised ventilation systems installed.

“This new research reveals the real risk to health through indoor air pollution. At Vent-Axia we welcome this study since it is important the public is aware of the dangers of poorly ventilated indoor environments. The research confirms exposure to indoor pollutants is linked to reduced life expectancy and burden of disease,” says Lee Nurse, Marketing Director at Vent-Axia. “With many people spending the majority of their time indoors, improvements in indoor air quality must be seen as a priority. Continuous ventilation is a simple solution to air quality problems.”

Designed to work with the natural air infiltration, continuous ventilation controls the air path through the home. As a result, it prevents the migration of damaging humidity and pollutants, providing near silent energy efficient ventilation. There are a number of options available, both for new builds and for retrofitting and the latest continuous ventilation systems also offer heat recovery.

For new build homes there are continuous whole house Mechanical Extract Ventilation (MEV) and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) solutions, such as Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic MVHR system which boasts an impressive 94% thermal efficiency. For refurbishments, there are continuous Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (dMEV) systems, such as Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Response. In addition, there are also dMEV single room heat recovery units available, such as Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Tempra, which can be simply retrofitted through a 100mm diameter hole in the wall allowing standard wet room extract fans to be easily replaced.

As the Government continues to drive energy efficiency in homes, these ventilation solutions will become even more important with properties set to become more air tight through insulation and double glazing. If ventilation is not considered in these air tight homes it will only increase the risk of households experiencing aggravated health problems due to poor indoor air quality.

For up-to-date ventilation guidance and an overview of the research visit www.vent-axia.com/healthyhomes. For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com

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Report Summary
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that everyone has an uncompromised right to a healthy living environment. Unfortunately air pollution is estimated to be the leading cause of environmental burden of disease in Europe. Homes which are seriously affected by moisture, dampness, mould and other indoor air pollutant sources are having detrimental effect on health.
The report finds the following:
•    The annual burden of disease caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is estimated to correspond to a loss of over 2 million healthy life years in the EU.
•    It is estimated that poor IAQ equates to the annual loss of 204,129 healthy life years in the UK.
•    Good ventilation is strongly associated with comfort and improved health.
•    Home ventilation rates above 0.5 air changes per hour (h-1) are associated with reduced risk of allergic manifestations.

References
1. National Institute for Health and Welfare (2013) Efficient reduction of indoor exposures. Health benefits from optimizing ventilation, filtration and indoor source controls.