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SOUTH AFRICA

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Monnit and the Monnit logo are trademarks of Monnit Corporation

AIR QUALITY

Research indicates 96 percent of homes or offices have at least one type of indoor air quality issue. An indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor will report on the levels of common pollutants and other air conditions inside your home or office in real time.

The culprit could be anything from excessive dust to high humidity to emissions from household cleaners or building materials. The problem is, most people don’t know there’s a problem, and if they do figure it out—usually tipped off by allergy-like symptoms or more dramatic health effects—they don’t know precisely which pollutant is causing it.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) broadly refers to the environmental characteristics inside buildings that may affect human health, comfort, or work performance. We monitor IAQ because we spend approximately 90% of our time breathing “indoor air”. Unlike outdoor air, indoor air is recycled continuously causing it to trap and build up pollutants. IAQ characteristics include the concentrations of pollutants in indoor air, as well as air temperature and humidity.

Poor indoor air quality has been linked to sick building syndrome, reduced productivity and impaired learning in schools.

Poor IAQ contributes to both short and long term health issues which can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and possible litigation.

What typical symptoms are often linked to poor indoor air quality?

  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

  • Headache.

  • Fatigue.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Hypersensitivity and allergies.

  • Sinus congestion.

  • Coughing and sneezing.

  • Dizziness.

 

In some cases exposure to indoor air pollution can lead to acute and chronic respiratory illnesses including asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, systemic hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Legionnaires’ disease, and humidifier fever. 

In some countries indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air quality, especially when we consider the amount of time people spend indoors versus outdoors.

PM2.5: Particulate matter, or PM, is a mix of particles and droplets in the air. PM varies in shape and size, but those of 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller can adversely affect your health because they can be inhaled. PM 2.5 refers to fine particulate matter—that with a diameter of two-and-one-half microns or less.

Sufficient exposure to PM2.5 can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, leading to allergy-like symptoms and shortness of breath in otherwise healthy people. It can also exacerbate existing medical problems, such as asthma and heart disease.

Indoor PM2.5 levels can be influenced by outdoor sources like vehicle exhaust, wildfires, and power plant emissions.

VOCs: The acronym stands for volatile organic compounds, gases emitted from a variety of materials that can have short- and long-term health effects. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, concentrations of many VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors.

 Formaldehyde is one of the most common VOCs and can be found in many building materials, including plywood, glues, and insulation. Formaldehyde is also used in some drapes and furniture fabrics. 

Short-term exposure to the low levels of VOCs can cause throat irritation, nausea, fatigue, and other minor complaints.

Long-term exposure to high concentrations of VOCs has been linked to more severe respiratory irritation as well as liver and kidney damage. Products can emit VOCs even when they’re in storage, though to a lesser extent than when they’re actively being used.

Carbon monoxide: By now, most people are aware of the deadly effects of high concentrations of this odorless, colorless gas. But exposure to lower levels sometimes given off by fuel-burning appliances can also cause adverse reactions, including confusion and memory loss.

A few air-quality monitors claim they can detect these lower levels. The only reliable way to be alerted to this notoriously hard to identify killer, however, is with a standard carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon Dioxide: While the effects of high levels of CO2 were long thought to be benign, research has found that concentrations as low as 1,000 ppm can affect people’s cognitive function and decision-making performance.

The greatest source of indoor CO2 is people themselves, as it’s a byproduct of our respiratory function. Coupled with poor ventilation, this commonly leads to high levels of CO2 in many homes. 

Temperature and Humidity: These levels can affect more than your comfort. High temps and excessive humidity promote mold and mildew growth. These can cause structural damage to your home and cause allergy-like symptoms in those with sensitivities. Monitoring these levels can help you prevent home and health problems and tip you off to potential sources like foundation cracks or leaks and poor insulation.

We have a range of wireless sensors to suit your application. 

The ALTA wireless Air Quality PM2.5 um meter measures PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in the air and transmits the measurement to iMonnit. The PM2.5 meter works by turning on a small fan at the beginning of a measurement cycle to bring in a volume of ambient air and measuring the particulate matter (PM) content of that sample volume. The sensor measures PM content using a laser that scatters based on the number and size of particles suspended in the air. It is important to keep the inlet ports of the sensor clear to ensure proper readings.

The mems based wireless carbon monoxide sensor allows you to monitor the level of carbon monoxide (CO) gas in the surrounding air. Monnit wireless CO sensors have a small footprint and low cost but boast industry leading, premium performance specifications and are the longest lifetime sensors in the industry and the only CO sensor on the market powered by a coin cell battery (battery lasts over a year at 1 hour heartbeat). User customization allows you to set the frequency of readings and the ability to set customized alerts via SMS text or email when the sensor detects CO levels outside of the user's defined safe levels.

The mems based wireless carbon dioxide sensor allows you to monitor the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in the surrounding air. Monnit wireless CO2 sensors have a small footprint and low cost but boast industry leading, premium performance specifications and are the longest lifetime sensors in the industry and the only CO2 sensor on the market powered by a coin cell battery (battery lasts over a year at 1 hour heartbeat). User customization allows you to set the frequency of readings and the ability to set customized alerts via SMS text or email when the sensor detects CO2 levels outside of the user's defined safe levels.