What is ISO 9001 Certified? Meaning & Regulations

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) first published their ISO 9000 family of quality management systems in 1987.

What is ISO 9000?

At the core of ISO 9000 are seven quality management principles. ISO 9001 sets out a series of requirements that any organisations that wishes to met the quality standards must fulfil.

ISO Certified Meaning

If an organisation is ISO 9001 certified, it means they’ve satisfied the criteria to embed the seven quality management principles across their operations.

The seven quality management principles are as follows:

  • Customer Focus – The organisation understands current and future customer needs. They meet customer requirements while striving to exceed customer expectations.
  • Leadership – Directors and managers define the organisation’s goals and work to create unity of purpose. The organisation creates and maintains a culture in which people can work towards achieving the organisation’s objectives.
  • Engagement – Across the organisation and at all levels, people make full use of their abilities to help the organisation achieve its goals.
  • Process Approach – The organisation manages activities and related resources as a process.
  • Improvement – One of the organisation’s ongoing objectives should be to strive towards overall performance improvement.
  • Relationship management – The organisation treats all external providers, including suppliers and contractors, as interdependent. They work towards establishing a mutually beneficial relationship.

How to Become ISO 9001 Certified

The ISO does not itself certify organisations. Instead, they rely on independent certification bodies to audit organisations based on the seven quality management principles. These certification bodies also have the power to issue ISO 9001 compliance certificates.

During the certification process, the auditor will scrutinise the organisation’s various sites, functions, products, processes, and services. Following the audit, they’ll present the organisation’s directors with a list of areas for improvement. The auditor will only issue a certificate if the organisation can present a satisfactory improvement plan.

There are no degrees of ISO 9001 certification. Organisations are either certified, or they’re not. ISO 9001 certification does not last forever. The certification body will conduct a fresh audit every three years or so.

You can read a detailed explanation of what it means to be ISO 9001 certified in this resource from the ISO.

Who Needs ISO 9001 Certification?

Many seem to think that ISO 9001 certification is only for manufacturing businesses. But ISO designed the standard so that any organisation can use it, regardless of their size or sector. This includes service providers such as schools, universities and hospitals.

So what might it look like in practice for a service provider to achieve ISO 9001 certification?

As we specialise in improving certain standards in healthcare settings, let’s explore what it might mean for a healthcare provider to become ISO 9001 certified.

ISO 9001 for Healthcare

In a healthcare setting such as a hospital, an ISO 9001 auditor might consider the following:

  • The hospital works to ensure its patient’s needs are met and exceeded. But it’s also focused on meeting the needs of regulatory bodies, and any other interested parties.
  • The leadership can define the hospital’s purpose and objectives, enabling hospital managers to clearly outline responsibilities and define roles in order to help the hospital achieve its objectives.
  • The hospital can define the risks associated with its service provision, equipment, infrastructure and clinical resources, and can demonstrate its ability to manage these risks.

If you’re aiming for ISO 9001 certification in your healthcare organisation, we can help you get there.

Air Quality & Exposure Levels for ISO 9001

We offer workplace air quality monitoring consultations, with which you can monitor your staff’s exposure to any potentially harmful substances in your hospital. This will help you understand your risk levels, so you can devise an air quality solution that works for you.

This will help you demonstrate that you’re aware of the inherent risks in your organisation, and that you take a proactive approach to managing these risks. It will also help you demonstrate your commitment to ongoing improvement – another key ISO quality management principal.

We also stock an extensive range of specialist air purification systems for healthcare settings. These will enable you to significantly improve the air quality in your organisation, which will help you secure your ISO 9001 certification for the long-term. Head here to browse our range of hospital air purifiers.

What is a Hazardous and Toxic Air Pollutant?

All employers in all industries have a legal requirement to reduce their employees’ exposure to hazardous substances. This is all outlined in a piece of legislation known as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

COSHH covers various substances, including many hazardous and toxic air pollutants.

In this post we’ll explain what counts as a hazardous and toxic air pollutant, and explore ways you can improve the air quality on your premises.

What is a Hazardous and Toxic Air Pollutant?

A hazardous and toxic air pollutant is any pollutant which is known or suspected to be harmful to health or the environment. The source of these pollutants will vary by location and workplace. Poor air quality from vehicle use is common across the UK, while specific workplaces will have other hazardous and toxic air pollutants to monitor and reduce.

What Pollutants Do Cars and Vehicles Emit?

Emissions from vehicles are one of the most common sources of air pollution. Air pollution from cars and vehicles can lead to headaches, nausea, sinus congestion, shortness of breath, irritations, and coughs. It can make asthma, allergies, and other conditions worse. So really, any air pollutant can be potentially hazardous.

Common Air Pollutants

The government regulations concerning air quality are particularly concerned with the following air pollutants:

  • Particulate matter
  • Nitrogen Oxide
  • Ammonia
  • Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Sulphur Dioxide

We’ll discuss each of these in more detail.

What is Particulate Matter?

Anything in the air that isn’t a gas. Particulate matter is composed of a huge variety of chemical compounds and materials, some of which are toxic. As these particles are so small, they can enter the bloodstream after inhalation, ending up lodged in the heart, brain, and other organs.

Prolonged exposure to particulate matter can result in serious illness, especially among children, elderly people, and people with respiratory problems.

UK legislation classifies particulate matter according to size. They’re currently focused on particulate matter composed of particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter (PM10) along with that composed of particles less than 2.4 micrometres (PM2.5)

Some potentially hazardous particulate matter, such as pollen and sea spray, comes from natural sources. Human activity can also increase the concentration of particulate matter in the air, including wood burning, road transport, industrial processes, and manufacturing.

What are Nitrogen Oxides?

Nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) are mainly formed as a by-product of burning fossil fuels. So areas with high levels of road traffic will generally have high levels of nitrogen oxides.

In the short-term, exposure to nitrogen oxides can cause inflammation of the airwaves, which can make symptoms worse for people who suffer from respiratory infections, allergies, and heart and lung conditions.

Nitrogen oxides are also harmful for the environment, as they can change soil chemistry and upset the biodiversity in sensitive habitats.

What is Ammonia?

The majority of ammonia emissions comes from agricultural processes, including the spreading of manures, slurries and fertilisers. Waste management processes can also contribute to ammonia emissions.

When ammonia mixes with other gases in the atmosphere, such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, it can form particulate matter. This particulate matter can subsist for several days, during which time it can spread over a large area. And as we saw above, particulate matter can prove immensely hazardous to public health.

What are Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds?

The government treats non-methane organic compounds (NMVOCs) as a group. This is because, while these compounds can differ widely at a chemical level, they all behave in a similar way in the atmosphere.

Sources of NMVOCs include:

  • Combustion, such as smoking, heating, cooking and candle burning.
  • Petrol vapours.
  • Air fresheners.
  • Cleaning products.

Outdoors, NMVOCs can react with other air pollutants to create ground-level ozone, which can trigger inflammation and asthma. Indoors, NMVOCs can react with certain chemicals to produce formaldehyde. In low concentrations, formaldehyde can cause irritation in the eyes and upper airways. But formaldehyde also happens to be a carcinogen. So in high concentrations it can lead to serious health concerns.

Certain settings can have unique air pollution risks. Hospitals, for example, have a number of hazardous and toxic air pollutants in addition to the most common pollutants caused by vehicles emissions and other sources. For example, Nitrous Oxide (Entonox), sevoflurane, chlorine and phenol are just a few hazardous air pollutants which may be found in hospitals as a result of anaesthetic medication and antiseptic solutions.

What is Sulphur Dioxide?

Sulphur dioxide is primarily produced following the combustion of coal or crude oil. It’s a corrosive, acidic gas that’s associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Sulphur dioxide can also combine with nitrogen oxides and ammonia to form particulate matter. And as we saw above, particulate matter carries numerous health risks.

Finally, sulphur dioxide can combine with water vapour to form acid rain, which can devastate ecosystems including forests and freshwater habitats.

Removing Harmful and Toxic Pollutants with Air Purifiers

As we’ve seen, a huge variety of human activity can contribute to the production of hazardous and toxic air pollutants. But at the same time, there’s a lot we can do to help improve air quality.

Commercial air purification systems designed for workplaces, hospitals and schools can catch 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns – this includes viruses and bacteria as well as larger particles related to air pollution from vehicles.

Our air purifiers play an important role in minimising the risks of air pollution in wards and waiting rooms in hospitals where air pollution from vehicles breach legal limits.

Browse our air purifier range designed for hospitals and healthcare settings.

Working to Improve Air Quality in Your Organisation

Not only will organisations need to improve air quality in relation to these most common air pollutants related to traffic, workplaces will also need to identify and monitor any other substances specific to their work which may be harmful.

As we’ve discussed, hospitals have a number of potentially harmful substances that require monitoring, as do dentists and doctors surgeries. Workplaces like factories will also likely be required to monitor workplace exposure to dust or harmful chemicals.

Workplace Air Quality Consultation Services

We offer workplace air quality consultation services. We can monitor your staff’s exposure to any potentially harmful substances in your workplace. This will help you understand your risk levels, so you can devise an air quality solution that works for you. We also stock advanced air filtration systems capable of catching and killing many common hazardous and toxic air pollutants.

Whether you work in a school, an office, a workplace or a hospital, we can carry out a bespoke air quality consultation and exposure monitoring service that’s tailored to meet your needs. Find out more about our workplace exposure monitoring services.

 

Speed Limit for Air Quality: How Does It Work?

You may have heard about how some areas of the UK are trialling lower speed limits in a bid to improve air quality.

In September 2021, the Welsh government introduced new 50 mph zones in five locations in south and north-east Wales. National Highways have also revealed their plans for setting new 60 mph speed limits on certain short sections of their network.

But what sort of impact can a speed limit have on air quality?

In this post we’ll explore the link between speed and pollution. We’ll also discuss some ways you can help improve the air quality in your workplace – whether it’s an office, a school, or a hospital.

How Speed Affects Air Quality

The faster a vehicle travels, the more fuel it burns. And the more fuel a vehicle burns, the more emissions it creates. Emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust contain many potentially harmful pollutants. One of the more harmful pollutants found in a vehicle’s exhaust emissions is NO₂ – nitrogen dioxide. Chronic exposure to NO₂ can lead to a range of respiratory conditions.

NO₂ is also terrible for the environment. If it interacts with the water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere, it can create acid rain, which can cause immense damage to lakes, forests, and other sensitive ecosystems.

Do Lower Speed Limits Reduce Pollution?

In late 2019, National Highways published the results of a survey that demonstrated a link between speed and emissions in light vehicles. This review suggests that even dropping the speed limit from 70 mph to 60 mph could lead to an overall reduction in harmful emissions.

The Welsh government stated that, following their 50 mph speed limit trials, they’d seen a 47% reduction in air pollution in some areas.

A lower speed limit means less speeding, which means less fuel burnt, which means lower emissions. But a lower speed limit can also discourage certain driving habits. Vehicles burn the most fuel when they’re accelerating. With a lower speed limit, drivers may be less likely to aggressively accelerate to overtake other motorists. This too will have an impact on emissions.

In these trial areas across the UK, the traffic might have slowed down, but it still moves. If all vehicles move at a steady 50 or 60 mph, then it may be less likely that congestion will build up on busy roads. This is why certain “smart motorways” introduce variable speed limits – they can help prevent traffic jams. This can have a positive impact on air quality, as vehicles burn a lot of fuel when they’re idling in traffic.

How to Reduce Pollution and Improve Air Quality In Your Area

Air quality can have a significant impact on public health. This is why workplaces across the country should seek ways to improve the air quality on and around their premises. As we’ve seen, a lower speed limit can positively influence air quality. So if you can, consider introducing a low speed limit on your premises. Not only will this improve air quality, it will also improve safety conditions – particularly if you’re running a school or a hospital.

Unfortunately, it’s likely that you have very little control over the roads surrounding your premises. But you can still make a difference to the air quality inside your workplace.

We offer bespoke air quality monitoring systems for workplaces including hospitals, schools, universities and offices. We can assess the air quality of your premises and advise on a solution to help your staff and service users breathe cleaner, healthier air. We also stock a range of powerful air purifiers suitable for a range of environments, from open plan offices to operating theatres.

Want to talk about how we can help reduce air pollute and improve the air quality in your workplace? Get in touch to talk to one of our air purification experts today

What is the Clean Air Hospital Framework?

First launched in 2019 by Global Action Plan and Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Clean Air Hospital Framework (CAHF) is a strategy for improving air quality in and around hospitals. The aim is to create a healthier environment for staff, patients, their families, and the local community.

Key Areas of the Clean Air Hospital Framework

The framework focuses on seven key areas to tackle air pollution:

  • Travel
  • Procurement and supply chain
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Local air quality
  • Communication and training
  • Hospital outreach and leadership

How To Use the Clean Air Hospital Framework

Hospital managers can go through each section of the framework and assess their hospital’s activities against a specific criteria. The end result is a score out of 1,079. Score 50-70% and your rating is “good”. Score over 70% and your rating is “excellent”. Anything below 50% suggests that there’s still a lot of work to be done!

Travel

This section concerns how staff, visitors and patients travel to and around the hospital. It focuses on:

  • Hospital travel planning – providing information and encouraging greener journeys.
  • Walking and cycling infrastructure and facilities.
  • Zero emission vehicle infrastructure.
  • Patient transport and ambulances.
  • Routes to minimise travel.
  • Monitoring and reporting.

Procurement and Supply Chain

This section is all about the choices you make around purchasing, as well as your relationships with suppliers, and the way they deliver their materials.

It focuses on:

  • Procurement and supply chain management.
  • Internal ordering.
  • Items purchased.

Design and Construction

This section considers building layout, material choices, building site traffic, and construction site impacts. It focuses on:

  • Design, including on-site green spaces.
  • Building materials and equipment.
  • Construction and demolition sites.

Energy

How does your hospital generate, procure, and store energy? This section focuses on:

  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units and onsite boilers.
  • Electricity procurement and generation.

Local air Quality

This section is all about how your hospital monitors onsite air quality, and the steps you take to improve it. It focuses on:

  • Air quality monitoring.
  • Plant life.
  • Smoking regulations.

Communication and Training

Are you training your staff to think about their role in improving air quality? Do you provide advice to patients? Are you engaging the hospital board, and sharing information across the hospital?

This section focuses on:

  • Clinical advice.
  • Engaging patients.
  • Board level commitment.
  • Communication within the hospital.

Hospital Outreach and Leadership

The final section asks you to consider how your hospital can amplify its impact to reduce air pollution in the local area and beyond. This section focuses on:

  • Community engagement.
  • Influencing for change.

Complete the Clean Air Hospital Framework

You can access the gull CAHF guidance on the Action For Clean Air site. The guidance contains a full breakdown of the scoring system, along with details of the various criteria to focus on when assessing your current activities. There’s also room for outlining your action plan for any areas that need improvement.

Head here to access the Clean Air Hospital Framework Guidance.

Monitoring and Testing Air Quality

To find out more about testing your air quality, read our recent article on how to test indoor air quality in hospitals.

We also offer bespoke air quality monitoring services for hospitals and other healthcare settings. We can monitor your staff’s exposure to any potentially harmful substances. This will help you understand your risk levels, so you can devise an air quality solution that works for you. Find out more about air quality and exposure limit monitoring in the workplace.

How to Improve Your Hospital’s Local Air Quality

Section five of the CAHF invites you to consider how your hospital monitors onsite air quality, and the steps you take to improve it.

We have a range of air purifiers designed for hospitals and healthcare settings which play an important role in minimising the risks of air pollution in wards and waiting rooms in hospitals where air pollution from vehicles breach legal limits.

Explore our range of air purifiers for healthcare settings.

 

 

What Air Filtration Systems are used in Hospitals?

The 2020 pandemic highlighted the critical importance of good air filtration in medical settings. A University of Cambridge study found that an air filtration system in a Covid-19 ward successfully removed almost all traces of the airborne virus.

But what sort of air filtration system is suitable for a hospital setting? And how do hospital air filtration systems differ from the sort of systems you might find in the home?

A Quick Guide to Air Filtration in Hospitals

An off the shelf, one-size-fits-all approach to air filtration is unsuitable for a healthcare setting. Different areas of the hospital will have different requirements.

Waiting rooms and other public areas will need a good supply of clean air to prevent the spread of infections among staff and outpatients. Operating theatres and other treatment areas will have much more substantial air filtration needs. Other parts of the hospital, including laboratories and storage areas, might not handle patients directly. But good air filtration will still be necessary to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

There’ll be strict regulations governing the hygiene standards in every area of a hospital – and these regulations will often extend to air quality. They might specify a set number of air changes per hour (ACH), for example. They might even specify the exact sort of air filtration equipment required for each healthcare setting.

What Air Filtration Systems Are Used in Hospitals?

Hospitals rely on a combination of specialist heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to regulate airflow, and to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Any air entering the hospital might first pass through a series of filters before it’s allowed to circulate. These filters will reduce the levels of potentially harmful particulates in the air, such as dust, pollen, and pollution from nearby roads.

In some areas, static cooling systems will cool the air without circulating it. But in areas where infection control is paramount – such as wards and operating theatres – dedicated air filters will work to trap any airborne contaminants while delivering a set number of air changes each hour.

What’s The Difference Between a Hospital Air Filtration System and a Domestic Air Filtration System?

Hospital air filters differ from the sort you might find in your home in a number of ways. They’ll likely be larger, more powerful and catch smaller particulates as they’ll need the extra performance level to suit the healthcare setting.

Hospitals might have to filter the air in a much larger space than they would in the home. But whereas you might place a domestic air filter on a surface, a hospital air filter will likely be mounted on the wall or the ceiling. This helps to maximise the amount of usable space in the room, while also making it possible to direct the flow of air to wherever it’s needed.

Healthcare air filtration systems are also likely to be much more powerful, as effective infection control in a healthcare setting often depends on a substantial number of air changes per hour.

Lastly, hospital air purification systems often use much finer filters. An air filtration system in the home is designed to capture dust, pet dander, and other common pollutants. But an air filtration system in the hospital will be capable of removing much smaller contaminants – such as viruses.

Examples of Air Filtration Systems for Healthcare Settings

Our range of HealthProtect air purifiers are specifically designed for hospitals and healthcare settings.

The BlueAir HealthProtect 7740i Air Purifier can deliver complete filtration ever 12.5 minutes in rooms as large as 62m². Its filters can trap up to 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns. And it doesn’t just trap tiny virus and bacteria particles – it kills them too, using a combination of low air draft and plasma charging. Meanwhile, a gentle stream of air prevents any germs from building up on the filters.

As well as stocking powerful air filtration systems for hospitals, we also offer bespoke air quality monitoring systems. We can assess the air quality of your premises and advise on a solution to help prevent exposure while ensuring both staff and patients can breathe cleaner, healthier air.

Want to talk about how we can help reduce air pollute and improve the air quality in your hospital? Get in touch to talk to one of our air purification experts today.

How Do You Test Indoor Air Quality in Hospitals, Schools and the Workplace?

The air inside can be even more polluted than the air outside. Indoor environments can produce a number of potentially harmful pollutants. In the home, this can include dust, pet dander, and smoke particles. And unless you circulate or purify the air, all of these pollutants can linger, polluting the air you breathe in your home.

In other indoor environments – such as schools, workplaces, and hospitals – harmful chemicals from cleaning products and other substances can also linger in the air, potentially leading to some serious health conditions.

Symptoms of Indoor Air Pollution

Symptoms of indoor air pollution include headaches, nausea, sinus congestion, sneezes, coughs, irritations, fatigue, and a shortness of breath. Indoor air pollution can also make asthma, allergies, and other conditions worse.

In this post we’ll explore a few methods for testing indoor air quality. We’ll look at the sort of things you might want to test for and the sort of things you should measure. We’ll also discuss a few ways you can improve the air quality of an indoor environment.

How To Test Indoor Air Quality

There are various methods to test indoor air quality, you can either:

  • Continuously monitor an area for a set period of time – such as a day, a week, a month, or longer. This will give you a “snapshot” of an area’s air quality, which could highlight whether you should take action.
  • Perform spot checks with exposure patches. These can help you detect the presence of specific pollutants in the air. For example, many homes use small patches to test for carbon dioxide. These patches are usually light, but they darken if exposed to carbon dioxide.
  • Continuously monitor an area in real time. Rather than testing the air quality for a set period of time, you can also test the air quality on an ongoing basis. This way, you can detect the presence of harmful pollutants as they emerge, and act before they can cause any health problems.

Indicators of Poor Air Quality

You can use numerous techniques to test indoor air quality:

Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms of Mould

Mould is a reliable indicator of poor indoor air quality, and mould spores usually make their presence known. Black mould is hard to ignore, and a musty smell that doesn’t go away after cleaning is also a tell-tale sign.

You can buy mould testing kits on the high street. But these are not very useful, as there are trace amounts of mould in almost every indoor environment. Really, you should only test for mould if the problem becomes significant – with substantial black patches and a persistent smell of damp or mustiness. Certain companies offer specialist mould-testing services which can give you an accurate picture of the extent of the problem – along with clear advice on how to address it.

Unfortunately you can’t rely on your eyes and nose alone to test indoor air quality. Certain harmful pollutants, such as radon and carbon monoxide, are tasteless, colourless and odourless.

Testing for Specific Pollutants

Almost all buildings have smoke alarms, which alert you when they detect too much heat in the air, or too many smoke particles. But you should also consider fitting a carbon monoxide alarm.

If you live or work in an area with high radon levels, you could also test for radon. Radon testing usually involves testing the air quality with a specialist device for a set period of time – often around a week, but sometimes up to a year.

In some workplaces, such as hospitals, it’s important to test for other harmful pollutants, such as chlorine, entonox, phenol, and inhalable dust particles. An air quality monitoring procedure can monitor the levels of these harmful substances in the air, while exposure monitoring can help you determine just how at-risk your staff might be.

Ongoing Air Quality Testing

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitors provide ongoing testing. A good IAQ monitor will operate 24/7, continuously testing for the presence of harmful pollutants in the air. Some models provide app support, allowing you to monitor air quality in real-time on your tablet or smartphone. You can even get alerts if your IAQ monitor detects anything that needs your attention.

Most IAQ monitors are designed for the home, and for working environments including schools and offices. They can test for particulate matter, humidity (and by extension, mould), temperature, carbon monoxide, and certain chemical pollutants. Some can even test noise levels.

However, it’s unlikely that a high street IAQ monitor can test for the sort of harmful pollutants you might find in a medical setting. For that, you might need a specialist air quality monitoring service.

How to Improve Air Quality in Hospitals, Schools and Workplaces

It’s one thing to test the air quality in a room. But this can only alert you to potential problems. Actively improving the air quality of an indoor environment takes extra work

Air purifiers can filter many harmful particles, and they can even trap and remove certain airborne diseases and viruses. You can get small standalone purifiers for single rooms, as well as larger systems for larger rooms, some capable of achieving five air changes per hour. Head here to browse our range of air purifiers.

We also offer a workplace monitoring service. We can monitor your staff’s exposure levels to any potentially harmful substances in your workplace, helping you to understand your risk levels so you can devise an air quality solution that works for you. Head here to learn more about our bespoke air quality monitoring services.

 

How to Measure Air Quality

When we talk about air quality, we’re talking about how clean or polluted the air we breathe is at any given moment.

When we say the air quality is poor, it means there are pollutants in the air. These can be hazardous to breathe, especially if you have a heart or a lung condition.

The UK government determines its Daily Air Quality Index through measuring the concentration of five pollutants in a site or region:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Sulphur Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter – they search for two different particle sizes at once. This can include natural particles such as pollen, sea spray and desert dust, as well as human-made particles, such as vehicle emissions.

How is Air Quality Measured?

We measure air quality by measuring the relative levels of these pollutants in the air. There are two main ways to do this. One through continuous monitoring and one through monitoring periodically for days at a time.

Continuous real-time air quality monitoring: Monitoring stations can provide up-to-date data on an hourly basis, which makes it possible to determine the air quality in any given area at any given time.

Periodical air monitoring: Another way to measure air quality is to place a filter or canister in an area for a given period – such as a day, three days, or a week. At the end of this period you remove the canister and analyse the build-up of contaminants on the filter.

What Affects Air Quality?

Some sources of air pollution are natural. For example, the pollen count affects air quality, and this largely depends on the time of the year, and the weather. But it’s mainly human activity that affects air quality. And these are the activities that can have the greatest impact:

  • Burning fuel – From burning wood in domestic fireplaces, to burning fuels on an industrial level for energy generation. These practices produce small particulates as well as sulphur dioxide.
  • Road transport – Vehicle emissions contain harmful particulates, as well as other pollutants including nitrogen oxide.
  • Farming – Practices such as spreading manures, slurries, and inorganic fertilisers can create pollutants such as ammonia and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCS).

On the other hand, these are the factors that can improve air quality:

  • The weather – Air quality is generally lower on hot and still days, and higher on cool and breezy days.
  • Your location – Air quality will be considerably lower next to busy roads and junctions, and the air quality in a rural area will depend on the levels of industrial or agricultural activity in an area.
  • Ventilation – You can filter the air in a building to remove any harmful particles, and keep an area ventilated to ensure that no pollutants can build up in a closed area.

How to Improve Air Quality in Hospitals, Schools and Workplaces

Many workplaces are located in built-up areas, often close to major roads. So maintaining healthy air quality can be a constant battle. Air purifiers can filter many harmful particles, and they can even trap and remove certain airborne diseases and viruses. You can get small standalone purifiers for single rooms, as well as larger systems for larger rooms, some capable of achieving five air changes per hour. Browse our range of air purifiers for hospitals, schools and workplaces.

We also offer a workplace monitoring service. We can monitor your staff’s exposure levels to any potentially harmful substances in your workplace, helping you to understand your risk levels so you can devise an air quality solution that works for you. Head here to learn more about our bespoke air quality monitoring services.