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Definition of Policies and Standards

The effects of air pollution on health, crops and forest harvests, ecosystems and the climate impact on market expenditures. The market costs of air pollution include reduced labour productivity, additional health outlay, and crop and forest yield losses. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that these costs will increase to reach about 2% of European gross domestic product (GDP) in 2060, leading to a reduction in capital accumulation and a slowdown in economic growth.

It should be our priority to protect our health and wellbeing on earth. One of the first steps is to develop and implement local, national, and international policies and standards.
Technological development and structural and behavioural changes must be bound together in new holistic solutions. These will be necessary to achieve human wellbeing and social development, to protect natural capital and to support economic prosperity.

There are several actions which we can take to make air quality better, not only for us but for our future generations. If not addressed in a timely manner, worsening air quality can cause severe harm to the entire planetary ecosystem.


The best way to address residential indoor air pollution is to control or eliminate the source of the pollutants and to ventilate the home with clean outdoor air.

Air filters are the most common devices to address air quality. Some are installed in the ductwork of a home’s central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to clean the air in the entire house. Portable room air cleaners can be used to clean the air in a single room or in specific areas, but they are not intended to filter the air in the whole house.

Devices can be divided in two categories:

  • Those which remove particles from the air
  • Those which remove gases, odours and biological pollutants.



In 1973 during the Skylab III mission, NASA identified 107 volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that were emitted from synthetic materials inside the spacecraft. As a result, NASA realised that indoor air pollution in any tightly sealed structure could present health-related problems and should be addressed.

One of the NASA experiments was the BioHome: an early test in what the Agency called “closed ecological life support systems.” The BioHome was a tightly sealed building constructed entirely of synthetic materials, designed as suitable for one person to live in, with much of the interior occupied by houseplants.

Once the plants were introduced to the environment, analysis of the air quality indicated that most of the VOCs had been removed, and the symptoms disappeared. This was proof that plants are highly efficient in removing specific kinds of pollutants from air. These can be successfully used today in our living environment, both at home and at work.

Innovative Technologies

Some patented technologies can now transform any surface into an air purifier. The core technology is the same used in the high efficiency Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) cleaners. Catalysis is the process where a substance participates in a chemical reaction without being altered or consumed, and so can act repeatedly. Because of this, only very small amounts of catalyst are required to alter the reaction in most cases. Think of the catalytic converter in modern cars.

Photocatalysis uses light as an energy source. Chlorophyll within plants is a typical natural photocatalyst. A synthetic (man-made) catalyst is the special semiconductor material, nano TiO2. Whereas a chlorophyll uses sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glycogen, nanTiO2 uses a strong oxidation agent to break down highly toxic pollutants like Nitrogen Oxidants and other VOCs into harmless salts in the presence of light, oxygen and water.

improve air quality - Photocatalytic Oxidation