What is biological pollution?

The pollution found in our air is usually separated into three types: chemical pollution, particulate pollution (or fine particles), and biological pollution. This article will be focusing on biological pollution. Read on below to learn more about what biological pollutants are, where they come from, and how we can protect ourselves from the dangers they pose.

A hoover vacuuming up dust

What is biological pollution and from where does it come?

Biological pollutants are any contaminants found in our environment that are sourced from living organisms. Some common examples may be pollen from plants and trees, animal excreta (urine, faeces, dander, skin cells, saliva, etc.), dust mites, fungi like mould and mildew, insects, and pathogens like bacteria and viruses1.

All of these pollutants come from various living organisms. Pollen comes from trees and plants as a means of reproduction. Viruses are spread from humans and animals to other humans and animals. Bacteria can be spread through humans, animals, soil, and plant debris. Animals are the source of excreta and exposure may be through pets, rats, or mice present in your space. Dust accumulates in places that are not cleaned regularly. Mould and mildew grow as a result of moisture and will breed prolifically if you have moisture or humidity in your home or office2.

While biological pollution is not harmful to everyone who encounters them as opposed to chemical pollution and fine particle pollution, many individuals experience negative effects as a result of exposure. People who do experience sensitivities to biological pollution may have severe reactions, particularly those who suffer from asthma and allergies. Illness caused by bacterial or viral exposure is also a potential risk.

A woman comforting her child who is using an inhaler

How can we protect ourselves?

There are precautions that we can all take to limit the growth and spread of biological pollution in our home. Some of those steps are:

  1. Ensure that your spaces are dry. A relative humidity of 30-50% is recommended for most homes to reduce the propagation of mould and mildew. This can be achieved by proper ventilation and by avoiding leaving any standing water or wet surfaces which may become a breeding ground for mould, mildew, bacteria, and viruses. Even dust likes humidity, preferring environments that are damp and warm2.

  2. Combat mould and mildew as soon as you see it. If signs of mould and mildew are seen, it must be treated as soon as possible with a dilute bleach solution to kill it (1 part bleach to 20 parts water).

  3. Do not open your windows during periods of warm weather. Pollen and fungi spread most under these conditions, and by keeping your windows closed, you can keep these pollutants from entering your home and/or office. Air out your space at night instead.

  4. Avoid exposure to allergy-causing animals. If you experience allergies, it is best to avoid keeping certain animals as pets and to reduce your exposure if family members or friends have them in their homes. If you do have pets already and begin developing allergies, don’t fret! An air purifier can help you clear pet allergens from your air so you can continue to live alongside your furry friend.

  5. Use “mite-proof” pillows and comforters. If you experience severe allergies to dust, these special covers may help. Also, perform regular washing of your sheets and bedspreads in hot water to kill dust mites.

  6. Do not use carpets in your home. Carpets attract a variety of allergens such as mould spores, pet dander, and dust mites. Remove carpets from your home if you experience allergies to dust1.

Purchase an Eoleaf air purifier to reduce allergens

It is impossible to remove all biological pollutants from your space. It is also detrimental – some biological pollutants like pollen serve very important purposes! However, using an air purifier, you can reduce the number of organisms in your home that may be causing you to have asthma attacks and allergies. By reducing the number of organisms present in your space, you can reduce the severity of your symptoms.

Eoleaf high-quality air purifiers contain a broad spectrum of filtration technologies and action, enabling them to rid your air of several allergy-inducing indoor contaminants including:

  • Allergens (pollen, mould, pet dander, dust/dust mites)
  • Germs (bacteria and viruses)
  • Fine particles and nanoparticles
  • Smoke (from cigarettes or wood-burning stoves)
  • Chemical pollutants

We are here to help you start breathing fresh air at home and in the workplace. Reach out to one of our specialists today to find the perfect device for you!

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1 Biological pollution. EHEP. (2014, October 21). Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ehep/biological-pollution/

2 Environmental Protection Agency. (2022, October 27). What are biological pollutants, how do they affect indoor air quality? EPA. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-are-biological-pollutants-how-do-they-affect-indoor-air-quality

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