Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical aspect of any indoor environment, and airports are no exception. With the large number of people that pass through airports every day, the quality of the air inside the terminal can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of passengers and staff. Poor IAQ in airports can lead to a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and infections. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the air quality in airports is of the highest standard.
The importance of IAQ in airports can be attributed to several factors. First, airports are enclosed spaces with limited ventilation, which makes it easier for pollutants to accumulate.
Common types of indoor air pollutants found in airports and their potential health effects.
Particulate Matter (PM)
Particulate matter (PM) is a type of air pollutant that is made up of small particles, such as dust, dirt, and smoke. PM can be emitted from a variety of sources in airports, including construction activities, aircraft emissions, and vehicle traffic. PM is a concern because it can be inhaled into the lungs and cause respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. In addition, exposure to PM has been linked to heart disease and lung cancer.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a type of air pollutant that are emitted from many different sources in airports, including cleaning products, paints, and adhesives. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as headaches and dizziness. Some VOCs are also known to be carcinogenic, meaning they can cause cancer.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can be emitted from gas-powered vehicles, generators, and other equipment in airports. CO can be especially dangerous because it is odorless and colorless, and can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness. High levels of CO can even lead to unconsciousness and death.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a gas that is emitted from vehicles and other equipment that burn fossil fuels. NO2 can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis, and can aggravate existing heart and lung conditions. Long-term exposure to NO2 has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Formaldehyde is a type of VOC that is emitted from a variety of sources in airports, including carpets, furniture, and building materials. Formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as headaches and dizziness. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Biological pollutants, such as mold, bacteria, and viruses, can be a concern in airports, especially in areas with high humidity or moisture. These pollutants can cause respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma, and can also cause infectious diseases. Airports must take proper measures to prevent the growth and spread of these pollutants.
The high volume of people and the various activities that take place within airports, such as the operation of aircraft, the use of cleaning chemicals, and the presence of food outlets, can all contribute to poor IAQ. Second, air travel itself can affect IAQ as passengers may carry germs and viruses that can be spread through the air conditioning systems. Therefore, the need for good IAQ in airports is paramount.
To achieve good IAQ in airports, several measures can be taken. One of the most critical is to ensure that the ventilation system is working correctly. Proper ventilation helps to remove pollutants from the air and bring in fresh, clean air. The use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can also help to capture airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and bacteria, making the air cleaner and healthier to breathe. In addition, regular maintenance and cleaning of the ventilation system can help to prevent the build-up of dust and debris, which can affect IAQ.
Another critical factor in maintaining good IAQ in airports is the control of humidity levels. High humidity can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. Low humidity, on the other hand, can lead to dry skin and respiratory irritation. Therefore, it is essential to keep humidity levels within the recommended range of 30-60%.
The use of environmentally friendly cleaning products can also contribute to good IAQ in airports. Traditional cleaning products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and human health. The use of non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products can help to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals in the air, making it safer to breathe.
Lastly, the importance of IAQ in airports can also be addressed through education and awareness. Passengers and staff should be made aware of the importance of good IAQ and the steps that can be taken to maintain it. This can include information on the proper disposal of waste, the use of designated smoking areas, and the importance of reporting any spills or leaks that could affect IAQ.
Air filtration systems in airports must handle very large volumes of air. Approximately 50% of a building’s energy consumption goes to the heating, cooling, and moving of air. In considering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), it is important to keep in mind that in order to have a cost-effective building, planning maintenance is an important step in maintaining energy efficiency, minimizing costly downtime, and extending the lifespan of your equipment.
At the same time highest possible control of airborne particles and molecular pollutants is required to protect passengers and airport staff to provide a comfortable, healthy and odor-free environment.
AAF can offer the full set of air filtration equipment needed to operate airport air handling units. Besides highly efficiency particle filters, meeting highest requirements, AAF can provide activated carbon gas phase filters and equipment to reliable remove unpleasant odors as well as harmful gases like aircraft exhaust fumes and diesel fumes.
Contact AAF representative to get customized air filters, air purifiers for your needs : https://www.aaf-india.com/contact/