Air quality, particularly indoor air quality, has become a major topic of discussion for the last couple years due to its increasing risk hazards to public health and air quality pollution levels in various indoor spaces. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, and this indoor air space has been found to be 2 to 5 time – and sometimes even 100 times – more polluted than outdoor air pollution levels. Indoor air pollution may produce adverse health effects that can directly affect the health of individuals, especially those most susceptible, such as those with underlying health problems, children, and even older individuals.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have expanded over the last decade, with the increasing number of the aging population  – an estimated 34.7 million citizens over the age of 30 come 2030, according to the European Respiratory Journal. As the number of elderly citizens begins to steadily increase, it is important to provide them with healthy indoor environments, including optimal indoor air quality to help prevent chronic diseases, respiratory problems, and other debilitating health effects from airborne pollution. To combat this effort air purification devices may need to be implemented into their indoor environments, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities to control airborne pollution levels quickly and effectively.

In this article we are going to learn more about why nursing homes need clean indoor air, sources of air pollution in a nursing home, and the best methods on how to clean the air in an assisted living facility.

Indoor Air Quality in Nursing Homes

Indoor Air Quality in Nursing HomesThe indoor air quality in nursing homes can have some serious effects on the health of elderly residents, particularly on their lung health, according to new studies conducted by Science Daily. Managing indoor air quality in a long-term care facility or any indoor environment can be difficult, due to the excessive number of sources that can be present in this environment. Airborne pollution in a nursing home can come from chemicals (VOCs), odors, allergens, and other particulate matter released into the air of this space from certain indoor sources. As these pollutants begin to accumulate in the indoor air space of a nursing home or assisted living facility it can lead to compromised indoor air quality and potential health effects to those residents living in these facilities.

Below we are going to discuss the various airborne pollutants that are most commonly found inside the indoor space of a nursing home, including chemicals, particulate matter, and even allergens in the air.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

When it comes to the indoor air pollution, each environment can host various pollutants and levels in the air space, depending on the various sources in the space, ventilation, and air flow in this indoor environment. Why do nursing homes smell? According to the European Respiratory Journal, they found and collected data on five indoor air pollutants – these include PM10, PM0.1, formaldehyde, NO2, and O3. These airborne pollutants can come from a range of sources in this indoor environment of a nursing home such as heaters, building materials, furniture, cleaning products, disinfectants, and cooling systems.

  • Sources of Indoor Air Pollution (1)Particulate Matter: Particulate matter are airborne pollutants the are finely divided into solids or liquids such as fly, dust, ash, soot smoke, aerosols, fumes, mists, and condensing vapors that can be suspended in the air for extended periods of time. These particles present in particulate matter can come from a variety of sources including both human and natural activities. However, a significant amount of particulate matter has been linked to human activity such as agricultural operations, industrial processes, combustion of wood and fossil fuels, construction, etc.
  • Formaldehyde (VOCs): Formaldehyde is a chemical that is classified as a volatile organic compound (VOC). VOCs are gases that are emitted by many different sources in an indoor environment. Among these VOCS, formaldehyde is one of the most common, as this colorless gas with an acid smell can pollute the indoor air quality. Ultimately, these VOCs can be released from products during use and even in storage.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): Nitrogen dioxide is one of a group of highly reactive gases known as oxides of nitrogen or nitrogen oxides. This chemical gets in the air from the burning of fuel that will form from emissions from a car, truck, buses, power plants, and off-road equipment.
  • Ozone (O3): Ozone is a form of oxygen that is an inorganic molecule that has a distinctly pungent smell when present in the air. Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet light and electrical discharges within the earth’s atmosphere. Sources of ozone emissions in a home can occur from various air purifiers that are used in an indoor environment that contain ultraviolet lights (UV) that produce this ozone into the air.

Why Do We Need Clean Air in Elderly Homes

The air quality within an elderly home is an important factor that must be managed and controlled carefully within this type of indoor space. Elderly people, in particular, are at a heightened risk from air pollution than others, which will require clean indoor air for this type of individual. If you are looking for a method to control and clean the indoor air in an elderly home you will need to utilize air quality products such as air purification devices – especially one with UV germicidal lights, as well as the use of a HEPA filter for particulate capturing and removing.

Unfortunately, older individuals are more susceptible to bacteria and viruses, meaning they need more increased protection from these pollutants in indoor environments. Therefore, having a resource like an air purifier to help clean the air inside of a nursing home or elderly home will be the best solution for the health of the residents in this indoor space.

How to Clean Air in Assisted Living Facility

It has become increasingly important for buildings to ensure their indoor air pollution levels do not reach dangerous levels that can impact those individuals and residents exposed to these hazardous levels indoors – especially older adults with compromised immune systems. Traditionally, many of these senior living facilities utilized ozone air machines to aid in the reduction of airborne pollutants and odorous compounds in the air of this indoor environment, but these ozone machines may produce elevated levels of ozone into the air that can be potentially hazardous to human health. In addition, with recent studies and alarming health concerns, turning to an alternative form of air purification may be necessary in these challenging environments.

The OdorKlenz® engineered commercial air filter and purification product offerings are effective for odor control and mitigation and neutralization of chemical compounds in the air, as they are easily integrated into air handling systems and placed as stand-alone units in senior living facilities. The proprietary OdorKlenz® materials consist of safe, earth minerals that allow for containment and neutralization of a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from an indoor environment. These proven and tested OdorKlenz® materials are highly efficient “adsorptive neutralizers” for chemicals making them not only competitively advantageous, but very commercially attractive.

The OdorKlenz-Air for HVAC Filter can simply be utilized in the central air system(s) for broad spectrum odor and chemical neutralization in the air, including particulate removal as well. These filters will last in the air handling system for up to 4 to 6 months, providing this industry a cost-effective air quality solution. In addition, the OdorKlenz Mobile Air Systems may also be utilized in these industries to work as stand-alone air filtration for smaller environments 1,000 sq. ft or smaller to rapidly filter the indoor air using the same OdorKlenz® materials in the system along with HEPA filtration for fine particulate removal.

OdorKlenz has been third-party tested by some of the leading laboratories around the world including Battelle Memorial Institute, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and others. In addition, the OdorKlenz technology has undergone extensive in-house testing against a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors, including the OdorKlenz materials effectiveness in commercial industries for odor control.

Air for HVAC Filter

The OdorKlenz-Air Cartridge for HVAC systems eliminates pollutants, odors and corrosive gasses associated with indoor air quality problems without releasing chemicals, fragrances, or masking agents back into the environment. The cartridges install right into your system and treat the air as your system is running and begins to immediately improve indoor air quality the moment installed. 

Technology originally designed for chemical warfare decontamination

Patented Earth Mineral Technology works to attack the VOC and break down on a compound level.

Can be incorporated into an existing air handling system (HVAC) and configurations, or used in portable/mobile air filtration systems

No chemicals or masking agents

Will not release any chemicals back into your environment

Offers superior performance when compared to commercially available counterparts

Comes in a variety of custom sizes and depths