Concern about the air we breathe is giving rise to a new wave of home tech.
We can control what we eat and what we drink – but what about the air we breathe? Worries over air quality are affecting a growing number of key life decisions that we make, and have also given rise to a new wave of technology.
A global YouGov report on behalf of Blueair that quizzed more than 6,000 people across three generations from five different countries about their perceptions of air quality, found that how it affects health is a major concern for many of us.
As we spend around 90% of our time indoors, these concerns are specifically around indoor air. The report found that 78% of UK respondents are worried about dust in their homes, and 69% are concerned about breathing it in in their workplaces.
Bacteria and viruses were also a concern with 65% of UK respondents saying they worry about germs in their homes, while 73% have concerns about germs in their workplaces, and 61% say they worry about the indoor air quality at their children’s schools.
Chemicals indoors also caused worry with 49% concerned about it at home, 61% in the workplace, and 47% in their children’s schools.
As having access to clean air is rising up our list of priorities, it is influencing decisions that we make. Some 60% of UK respondents revealed they choose their holiday destinations based on the availability of clean air, a third consider clean air an important factor when choosing which gym to use, and more than half said that access to clean air influences their dining decisions.Having access to clean air is rising up our list of priorities and it is influencing decisions that we make about holidays, gym memberships, restaurants, housing and schools #airquality Click To Tweet
It’s an issue that plays a part in the bigger decisions too, with nearly six out of 10 in the UK believing clean air is an important factor when choosing schools for their children, and around seven in 10 considering access to clean air when deciding where to live.
These anxieties are not unfounded – pollution is on the rise, and according to the British Society for Immunology, allergies are too.
But technology to combat this is now available and the market is awash with air purifiers that help trap floating particles and circulate fresh air. Brands such as Blueair, Electriq and Philips produce purifiers at varying price points, with some of them app connected so they can be operated via a smartphone and offer up air quality information.
Which? testers found that these products are indeed effective when it comes to combating hay fever, but some also tackle other aspects of air quality too. Ionisation modes are also available, with products such as Falmec’s Bellaria helping to create an ionic balance in the home environment.
Worries about global pollution are helping drive other markets too. Vitality Air sells bottled air and oxygen products, and Freka has a range of high-fashion anti-pollution face masks. But in today’s world, where so much that causes us stress is beyond our control, technology that can help reduce our anxieties clearly has a huge part to play.