If you just arrived to China, chances are that you might have been warned against the country’s air pollution and are already experiencing some effects of relatively no good air quality. Not to worry, for each problem, a solution exists! Here is an exhaustive list of issues you might encounter related to air in China, and the solutions that can be provided to counter them.
Air Purifiers and masks for PM2.5
PM2.5 and dust
Air pollution is the main cause of air induced problems and diseases. The most commonly heard pollutant nowadays would be PM2.5, or particulate matters whose diameters are less than 2.5 micrometers. These pollutants come from either natural or anthropogenic sources. From ash and cinders issued from forest fire or volcanoes to pollen and dust, or from fossil fuels combustion to trash burning or industrial dust, those sources take various forms. Moreover, vehicles emission can react with some atmosphere gasses and transform into PM2.5 as well.
Sure, there are pollutants, but why are they so bad? Well, PM2.5 can cause Lungs or heart pressure, respiratory diseases, facilitators of bacteria, germs and virus inhalation. These are rather serious issues, especially for more fragile people with inefficient immune systems. So what can you do to protect yourself against these pollutants?
Air purifiers and masks
Two solutions present themselves to you, depending on whether you are outdoor or indoor. For indoor, the good solution is an air purifier. Air purifiers effectively remove bacteria and PM2.5. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and formaldehyde will be removed as well if they are using activated carbon filter sinside. For outdoor, good masks will be the protectors for such issues.
For these driving out or having drivers drive out often, especially in the polluted days, some car air filter will help with the polluted air inside as well.
HEPA vacuum cleaner is some choice out there which helps a lot of households to clean the dust on the floors without increasing the PM issue in the air and causing symptoms like sneezing and so on.
VOCs treatment for VOCs
VOCs stand for Volatile Organic Compounds. Harmful to human health, the indoor VOCs are mainly produced from building and coating materials on furniture and the paintings on walls. Every year, millions of people get even blood cancer due to these. For the newly renovated living and working spaces, treatment will be strongly recommended.
To fight against these pollutants, a chemical substance called Photocatalyst is often used to decompose the harmful compounds to carbon dioxides and watermolecules. Applying Photocatalyst in VOC treatment can remove over 90% of VOCs from indoor environment. If you are interested in VOC treatment, the following procedures are what you need to know:
1. Please cooperate to close all windows and doors for 24 hours before the formaldehyde and TVOC tests, as well as the overall implementation for the VOCs treatment. Please also store your electronic devices, books and products made with fabrics properly, to avoid any potential damage caused by the dampness if you moved in already.
2. Formaldehyde and TVOC tests will be done before and after VOCs treatment without extra cost. Comparing the results before and after the treatment, you will clearly know how effective the treatment is. The testis completed within 40~60 minutes. After the tests, the VOCs treatment will bedone within 2 hours.
3. Doors and windows are recommended to be closed for 12 hours in summer and up to 48 hours in winter after the treatment, to leave enough reaction time between the functional materials and materials containing VOCs. Doors and windows opening for ventilation will be necessary for the whole week.
4. Post treatment testing over formaldehyde/TVOCs, floor wiping, wooden furniture cleaning will be necessary after one week before moving in. Testing will be done by us, you will be responsible for the whole cleaning process.
Ventilation is very important after the treatment to make sure the results are meeting expectations. For basements or storage places where ventilation is not possible, the use of big fans is recommended. Otherwise, a second treatment might be necessary.
Counter humidity and mold issues
Humidity and mold
Humidity levels in China are pretty bad. Between 60% and 70% of humidity at home is the advised level to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. However, areas in China usually go to the extremes: too humid or too dry. In the South of China, especially in summer, humidity is so high it will cause a lot of issues with mold, bacteria and fungi. This has a destructive effect on both your house AND your health: wall and property destruction, harmful damp that will increase the risk of respiratory issues and allergy symptoms, and more over, help small particles penetrate your body.
Here are the most common symptoms a direct effect of mold in your living environment can cause irritation to eye, nose and throat, phlegm build-up, coughing and other respiratory symptoms, asthma symptoms like chronic wheezing, allergy symptoms to skin and other body parts.
To dehumidify and remove mold
Getting a de-humidifier will be the easiest and most effective solution against high humidity levels. It functions very simply: the dehumidifier sucks in moist air, just like a vacuum cleaner would do with dust, but then collects the water particles to keep them and then blow the remaining air, dry this time, back in the room. With different humidity values, it is very convenient to get the humidity level down to your liking.
In case of mold growing already, some professional service might be needed to figure out where the problem is and treat it in a comprehensive way. In the field, our partner PureLiving China is so far the only company we know handles that.
In the North of China, however, in cities such as Beijing or Harbin, dryness is highly present, especially in summer. High uses of air-conditioning to cool down the overall temperature of the house can very easily be the cause of dryness taking over, which in turn will cause moisturizing and hydration, irritating many parts of the body.
A humidifier will help to prevent dryness by adding moisture to the air. This will help treat very efficiently every dryness related symptoms, such as skin, nose, throat or lips dehydration, but even symptoms caused by flu or a simple common cold.
For humidifiers, its always suggested to add purified water inside, not tap water, not boiled tap water, not simply filtered water, not mineral water. These will leave sediments inside the humidifiers and also increase the PM issue in the air.
Clean the air conditioners
Air con issue
Air conditioning is very important in China: whether in summer or winter, extreme temperatures often require an extensive use of your AC. The nature of air conditioning being a circulation system means that the air that goes through it does not change. It is recycling the same air over time. If the original air quality is not good or the machine has not been properly cleaned and disinfected, fine particles attached on the indoor machine will be the source for pollutants circulating freely and even more easily, as well as bacteria andvirus if not cleaned or disinfected well.
Clean the air cons
Cleaning your AC is therefore essential to live in a clean environment. Both the indoor and outdoor parts of the AC need to be thoroughly cleaned, with the same level of efficiency on both sides, to prevent any harmful particle to get through the cleaning and enter the house.
In order to clean the air conditioner, environmental detergent will be the mosturised way, while alcohol based disinfectant or high temperature steam will take charge of disinfection. High temperature steam is a good option, especially with a machine able to raise 130℃ high, enough to kill all bacterias.
Filters, second hand filter and rental
Replacing filter is also very important, to use regularly maintained purifiers can give them a longer longevity and provide you with a cleaner environment. At Greenwave, we make sure to update you whenever your filters need to be changed no matter of which branded filters you are using, so look forward to us calling you!
Second hand product
We are aware that air purifiers can be quite an expensive commodity for some people. As such, we also help you with second-hand products, which can grant you purified air at a lower price!
Air filter rental
Another option is to rent your air purifier. This is ideal if you are not planning to stay in China for long, or would like to try it first before investing more into it.
Greenwave helps more than above
Contact Greenwave if you have any of the above concerns or needs. Our professional team members (speaking english) will help you out. Besides, we provide many different water filtration solutions, in order to make sure you consume and use clean and/or purified water. From shower and faucet filters in your bathroom to drinking water purifiers in your kitchen, without even mentioning whole house or laundry water filters, we have solution for everywhere in your home! Be sure to take a look through our previous articles to learn more about clean water.