Why do we need a deeper connection with the air we absolutely depend upon - indoor air quality

Created Monday, August 23, 2021

Camfil is in the vanguard of a growing international movement to reduce the negative health effects of polluted air. As a leader in clean air solutions, we actively inform and educate customers, decision-makers, and the general public about threatening air pollutants and the tangible benefits of effective air filtration and high indoor air quality. 

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The 2021 theme for the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the health aspects of air pollution, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. - United Nations

World Health Organization estimated that seven million people die worldwide annually because of air pollution. Breathing air with a high level of pollutants causes a long list of illnesses and this invisible threat affects every biological system in our body. National Geographic magazine did an entire issue (April 2021) about air pollution and why we need to give it the sustained attention it deserves.

Although air pollution is harmful to everyone, it is the health of the most vulnerable groups in society that is jeopardized the most: sick people, the elderly, children, and people from more unprivileged areas. Over our lifetime, exposure to air pollution has health effects at every stage in life, from being in the womb during pregnancy to old age. With breathing being essential to life, people rightfully need to question the quality of their air.

WHO: Breathe Life - How air pollution impacts your body

Air pollution is a global problem and we can't fight this invisible threat unless we understand the seriousness of the issue. Read more at United Nations: click here

4th biggest threat air pollution graphic


To provide a healthy indoor air environment, the focus should be put on filtering particles that are 1 μm or smaller in diameter – particles also known as PM1 (Particulate Matter 1). 


In recent years, measurement and reporting have pre-dominantly related to PM10 and PM2.5, but we know today that PM1, and especially the smallest particles in the PM1 fraction – ultrafine particles (< 0.1 μm) and nanoparticles (< 0.05 μm) – are the most dangerous. Most PM1 particles originate from combustion processes, with diesel engine emissions a major contributor to city environments. These ultrafine particles are harmful because they can pass through the body’s natural defenses and reach the very fine structure of the lungs, where they enter the bloodstream and affect critical organs. This is why ventilation system customers should choose the most effective and protective air filters to remove PM1, especially in urban areas.

Currently, traffic air pollution and COVID-19 airborne virus infection are the two indoor air quality (IAQ) issues of greatest public concern, with particles found in the highest numbers for both problems in the PM1 particle size range. Air filtration is the only fully tested technology with International Technical Standards giving data to show hazardous PM1 particles are removed from the air. ISO 16890 ePM1 class filters must be used to remove particles from the ventilation air. As a backup to main HVAC ventilation systems, air purifier systems using HEPA filters H14 tested to EN1822:2019 can be used with controlling air monitors. Clean air for buildings can be shown with graphical display in real-time in buildings and compared to WHO guidance levels using air quality sensors. This gives proof of performance, clean healthy air, and peace of mind for building occupants in schools, hospitals, offices, and other indoor environments. Air cleaners and purifiers with controlling air monitors can also be used in home and residential building settings.

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different applications of air filtration in indoor environment

Comfort filter mix

Comfort air filters for IAQ

Camfil air filters are widely used in the air handling units (AHUs) of ventilation systems in buildings like schools, offices, homes, hospitals, and airports to provide the basis for a clean, healthy, and productive indoor environment with high Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Products and services are supplied to facility management companies, government agencies, public, office, and commercial buildings, schools, and companies providing ventilation and air conditioning service. In Europe, bag filters are dominant, with the Hi-Flo™ and energy-saving Hi-Flo™ XL filters being widely used products. In North America, compact filters with pleated filter media are more common, although bag filters are also starting to gain ground. Camfil’s filters in this market include the energy-saving 30/30™, Hi-Flo™ ES, and Durafil ES™ filters. In Asia, a wide range of standards and systems is applied, and as a result, there is a high degree of variance in the filter market. The most popular energy-efficient solutions are large surface Hi-Flo™ models and Durafil ES™ when a compact solution is required. For all indoor environments with air pollution, Camfil offers ePM1- classified filters according to the new ISO 16890 standard and ozone-rated City filters combining particle and molecular filtration. The solutions include air purifiers and air cleaners, including the range for industrial and smaller standalone City purifiers with particle and molecular filtration for offices, retail sector, schools, and home.

Filtration for clean processes and hospitals

Camfil’s high-efficiency filters and cleanroom filtration solutions are critical for supplying clean, uncontaminated air in many manufacturing processes. The life science and food and beverage industries, where products have to be produced in strictly controlled environments to avoid biocontamination, product spoilage, and high costs. Other critical filtration applications are supplied for biopharmaceutical facilities and ceiling systems for hospital operating rooms to eliminate airborne infectious contaminants. 

Molecular Contamination Control (MCC)

Many advanced microelectronic fabrication plants in the world use Camfil’s MCC filtration solutions in cleanrooms and on process equipment to avoid problems like acidic corrosion, condensable organic deposition, or exposure to low levels of damaging ammonia. All of these issues can negatively impact production yield and costs for many advanced products, such as wafers, microchips, semiconductors, microprocessors, and memories and displays for smartphones and tablets. Camfil tests 100 percent of its ULPA filters for MCC and has also developed a range of filters that are fully certified against organic outgassing.

Odours out with a plug-in molecular solution

Incorporating an odour control solution with molecular filtration into an existing HVAC system is sometimes not an option when space is limited and the installation requires costly modifications. This was the situation at the plant of a major biopharmaceutical manufacturer of medicines, vaccines, and medical devices. At the plant, employees complained of a nuisance odour emanating from the lab and cold storage area where fermentation samples were stored. The fermentation process caused an unpleasant and distracting smell. Camfil’s molecular filtration specialists investigated the odour and offered an immediate and quick-fix solution that only required an electrical outlet: a plug-in vertical freestanding air cleaner configured with molecular filters. 


In Europe, the Eurovent 4/23 standard helps people easily choose the right air filter based on two key parameters: the outdoor air value (based on WHO guidelines), and the type of building or activities done in the building. Eurovent 4/23 provides recommendations on the minimum air filtration level for buildings to help protect their occupants against harmful airborne contaminants.

It is the invisible threat that we are connected to, no matter where we are. Even though particulate matter is the most worrying issue for clean air, we can't ignore other harmful pollutants, gases that cause equal or more damage to human health, critical processes, and the environment. The most important takeaway is that air has no boundaries and these tiny particles travel many miles. We can't blame just one system or process, it is a combination of different human activities. To understand your air quality challenges surrounding you or your business, please reach Camfil experts in your local area.