Microbiology Research Manager, Dyson
Modern homes can trap dangerous air pollution indoors. Here’s how Dyson technology helps tackle the invisible threat.
Barring clouds of smog you might see in especially polluted cities, air pollution is often invisible — and likewise, often overlooked. Unfortunately, its inconspicuousness doesn’t make it any less harmful. According to the World Health Organization, long-term exposure to air pollution can dampen your immune system and significantly elevate your risk of chronic diseases and premature death.1 And while many believe it’s strictly an outdoor problem, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the concentration of certain pollutants can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors.2
Common sources of indoor air pollution
Air pollution is not a single substance. Rather, it’s the presence of harmful particles small enough to inhale — like lead, H1N1 influenza virus, nitrogen oxide, benzene, and formaldehyde, to name a few — generated by any number of sources, inside and out. To some extent, we can seal out particles that come from city traffic and industrial plants, but from dust mites to harmful gases, there’s more going on inside your home than you think.
“Many of us live in well-sealed, closed environments, so we often don’t get adequate ventilation and pollution can get trapped inside,” says Karen Holeyman, Microbiology Research Manager at Dyson. “For instance, formaldehyde is a processing aid in many carpets and furnishings. When you come indoors from the outside, you release dust into your home. Indoor plants produce pollen. And environmental conditions seriously affect the presence of certain pollutants. In high humidity, some viruses composed entirely of nucleic acids and proteins, like adenoviruses and the coxsackieviruses, are more likely to survive and thrive.”3
Indoor pollution is no match for modern purifiers
Fortunately, while pollution outside our front door is also outside our control, there are highly effective ways to maintain indoor air quality. Regular vacuuming and dusting is a great start, but investing in a good-quality air purifier should be considered to make a significant difference. Modern technology has made it possible for researchers to closely study the particles air pollution consists of and to find innovative ways to filter them out before they can affect your health.
“Dyson purifiers are engineered to capture 99.97 percent of pollution as small as 0.3 microns. Air is drawn in through the base of the machine and then passes through a series of filters that capture pollutants such as from allergens, mould, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, benzene, VOC’s and more,” says Sam Taylor, a Dyson engineer. “The clean air is then projected out of the amplifier, ensuring that the purified air reaches every corner of the room.”4
Thanks to a fully-sealed filter system that incorporates HEPA and activated carbon filters, Dyson purifiers have even been scientifically tested to capture particles as small as allergens and viruses, including the H1N1 influenza virus.5 This is an important distinction as we head into allergy and cold and flu season.
Some purifiers even go well beyond the call of duty. Dyson’s Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde HP09 model automatically detects and continuously breaks down formaldehyde into water and carbon dioxide.6 It also doubles as a space heater in the winter, and in the summer, it releases an even stream of air to make your space more comfortable and cool. For added peace of mind, it even features a handy display. “To make invisible air pollution visible, Dyson purifiers include an LCD screen on the front of the machine that shows you in real time when pollution is sensed and captured,” says Taylor.
1 C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, C40 Knowledge Hub. (2019). Why clean air is vital for your city’s health and prosperity.
2 United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2021). The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality.
3 Arundel A., Sterling M., Biggin J., Sterling T.(1986). Indirect Health Effects of Relative Humidity in Indoor Environments.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol.65.
4 Tested for air projection (DTM801) and purification coverage in a 2860 ft3 room (TM-003771).
5 Whole machine tested by independent third-party laboratory for capture of Influenza A (H1N1)
6 Third party full machine testing based on GB/T 18801-2015 formaldehyde cumulative clean mass testing with continuous injection until plateau of formaldehyde CADR is achieved. Results may vary in practice.