What are indoor air pollution and impurities?

Indoor air is a mixture of corpuscular and gaseous compounds. They develop inside a building or are carried in from outside. Harmful indoor air pollution and air impurities include

  • viruses
  • bacteria
  • road dust
  • pollen
  • mould spores
  • allergens
  • animal dandruff
  • smoke and soot
  • ozone, carbon dioxide and other gases
  • material-released organic compounds (VOC)

Did you know?

Surprisingly, indoor air is often more polluted
than outdoor air. Impurities in outdoor
air are carried indoors, where they get
mixed with impurities already existing
in the indoor air. As a result, indoor
air is worse than outdoor air.

Vocabulary of clean air

An aerosol is an airborne solid or liquid particle. Aerosols include pathogens, viruses and some bacteria. They are spread via aerosol or droplet transmission (for example when coughing or sneezing)

The size of an aerosol particle determines how far it is carried by air. The size also impacts how far into the respiratory system the particle ends up. Finally, the size determines how easy or difficult it is to filter the aerosol out of air.

Clean Air Delivery Rate (Clean Air Delivery Rate). CADR indicates how quickly and how much air, from which particles of a certain size have been eliminated, an air purifier produces.

Particles with a diameter smaller than 10 micrometres (PM₁₀ = Particulate Matter smaller than 10 μm) are called respirable particles.

Airborne particles are called aerosols. The best-known particles are respirable particles PM10 and fine particles PM2.5. Particles that enter the respiratory system may have adverse effects on human health.

An air purifier is a device that filters impurities out of air and produces clean air. There is a wide range of home air purifiers available on the market, and their filtration capacity and clean air delivery rate (CADR) vary significantly. Learn more about Lifa Air’s high-quality, tested room air purifiers on the Air Purifiers page.

Air pollution refers to particles or gaseous bodies harmful to health and the environment. The most common air pollutants with adverse health effects include fine particles, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. The sources of these impurities include road traffic, energy production, small combustion of wood, and industry.

Gases harmful to health include ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, radon and volatile organic compounds (VOC/TVOC).

Fine particles are air pollutants with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5 = Particulate Matter smaller than 2 μm). Fine particles are particularly harmful to health, and they are considered the most hazardous type of air pollution because they can enter deep into the respiratory system.

See “Fine particles”.

See “Respirable particles”.

Volatile organic compounds (Volatile organic compounds)(VOC), are gases harmful to health that exist in indoor air. TVOC (Total volatile organic compound) means the total compound content (total volatile organic compound).

The primary sources of VOC are building and interior design materials. Outdoor air pollution and car exhausts increase the quantity of these compounds in indoor air, but you can also affect your home’s VOC level with your own choices. For example, some personal hygiene products, disinfectants and cleaning agents volatilise and cause direct harm to your respiratory system or have harmful chemical reactions in the indoor air.

VOC compounds include aromatic hydrocarbons, such as toluene and benzene, aldehydes, alkanes, ketones, terpenes, halogenated compounds, esters, and alcohols, such as ethanol, n-butanol and propanol.

Where do indoor air pollution come from?

Did you know?

Approximately 40% of all fine particle emissions in Finland originate
from small combustion of wood.

Did you know?

Outdoor air impurities enter buildings through windows, small leaks in
structures, and ventilation systems
with poor filtration.

Lifa Air air purifiers help you keep the air free of impurities

Our air purifiers utilize the advanced 3g and 6g air filtration technologies we have developed.

Health hazards of impure air

Air pollution is the most significant environmental health risk in Finland. Gaseous and corpuscular air impurities are carried into the respiratory system and lungs, even into the bloodstream, when we breathe. In the respiratory system, harmful fine particles can damage your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. The most common symptoms of poor air quality are:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irritation and mild respiratory symptoms
  • Laboured breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased ability to function
  • Worsened asthma symptoms, increased asthma attacks

Long-term exposure, lasting for years or decades, may increase and worsen chronic heart, vascular and respiratory diseases and, consequently, shorten your lifespan.

Did you know?

Even though Finland has the cleanest
air on a world scale, small particles are
our most harmful environmental
exposure in terms of health effects.

Buyer’s guide

Buying a high-quality air purifier is a service to yourself. There is a wide range of room air purifiers available on the market. Pay attention to the following properties when choosing an air purifier.

Compare the CADR values of different manufacturers’ devices. Pay attention to the product’s capacity: how much clean air does the air purifier produce and how much space does it cover? Try to find a solution with a high air delivery rate in relation to the size of the space you will be using it in. Lifa Air and other experts recommend room ventilation five times an hour. You should choose an air purifier that is efficient enough and of good size for the room in question.

Check what kind of filtration technology the air purifier uses. Demand first-class technology and proven test results. Is the manufacturer specialised in air purification or does it have other core businesses?

Air purifiers can be used by anyone who values their health and well-being. The device is particularly beneficial to people with allergies, asthma or respiratory or heart diseases, as well as other sensitive segments, such as children and elderly people.

Narrow down your options based on the intended use. Are you going to use the air purifier at home or work? How large is the room where you will be using it? Where are you going to place the device? Are you going to use it while you sleep? Who will be using the device?

Check the height and width of the air purifier and make sure it is suitable for the room. If you are looking for a particularly compact air purifier, Lifa Air has a mobile air purifier the size of a small smartphone in addition to a wide range of floor-type air purifiers.

Lifa Air air purifiers include both manual and automatic power adjustment. The automatic mode adjusts the device speed according to the air impurity level. This helps ensure that the device runs at the correct speed and, if necessary, silently. This also makes the device energy-efficient.

Because the air purifier is always visible, it should be pleasing to the eye and blend into the background. Consider the device’s size, angularity, curvature, colours and functionality. Lifa Air home air purifiers represent Scandinavian design that has won the Red Dot Design Award.

More information about indoor air

You can find more information about indoor air and respiratory health on the websites of the Finnish Indoor Air Quality Association, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Finnish Allergy, Skin and Asthma Organisation, and the Organisation for Respiratory Health in Finland.

Did you know?

In Finland, working-age people
spend approximately 90% of their
day indoors – small children and
elderly people even more than that.
Indoor air quality is important.