Don’t let the quiet whir of your HEPA air purifier fool you. It is hard at work protecting your home from indoor pollutants and keeping your air fresh and healthy. In fact, recent research published in an American Thoracic Society press release indicates that high-efficiency particle air filters—better known as HEPA filters— may help lower cardiovascular health risks associated with indoor air pollution.
Canadian researchers looked at 45 adults from 25 different homes (self-reported tobacco-smoking households were excluded) in a community where wood-burning stoves were one of the primary sources of pollution. Researchers installed portable HEPA filters in the homes and collected data for two consecutive 7-day periods. During the first 7-day period, the HEPA filters operated normally. The following period, the HEPA filters were not used. This was done without study participants knowledge. During these two periods, researchers collected data that included random air sampling from the study homes as well as blood and urine samples from study participants.
Researchers found that normal operation of HEPA filters reduced average concentrations of fine airborne particulate matter by as much as 60% and woodsmoke as much as 75%. This resulted in improved blood vessel health and reductions in blood markers associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to study author Ryan Allen, assistant professor, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, the research was prompted by the need “…for a simple intervention to improve indoor air quality and reduce pollution-related cardiovascular health risks and to better understand the mechanisms that contribute to air pollution related cardiovascular health problems.”
Allen and his colleagues are encouraged by these results because HEPA filters are relatively inexpensive and easily accessible options for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with wood smoke. Allen believes that wood smoke as a source of air pollution may increase due to the ever-rising costs of other fuel options.
Even if the air pollution in your home is low, Allen goes on to note that research indicates you can still receive health benefits by adding a HEPA air filter to your home. Taking care of your indoor air is especially important since we spend such a tremendous amount of time indoors.
Ready to start reaping the benefits of a portable HEPA air purifier? Take a look at one of our Allerair air purifiers. These air purifiers combine an industry gold-standard HEPA filter with a carbon filter for effective and efficient removal of airborne particles, chemicals, gases, and odors.