A human inhales 10,000 to 20,000 liters of air per day and most of the inhaled air comes from indoor environments.
Indoor pollution is responsible for 2.7% of the global disease burden (Source: Global Health Risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks WHO, 2009).
In some European countries, 20-30% of families have humidity problems in their homes with a consequent 50% increase in the risk of respiratory disorders and 13% of cases of childhood asthma (Source: World Health Organization 2009).
Among the diseases related to buildings, allergic respiratory diseases are of great importance for their impact on health and their incidence is increasing throughout Europe. Asthma affects the European adult population at a level of 3-8%, while the prevalence in the pediatric population is even greater.
In Italy we spend 89% of our time indoors, with values ranging between 84% and 93%.
The health emergency caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus in 2020 highlighted the need to revise and accelerate protocols regarding indoor air quality, which have been suspended by the design deficiency and now claim all irresponsibility for the failure to take measures to prevent and assist a pandemic of this magnitude.
If it is true that the cure for the disease is entrusted to medicine, it is equally true that the first measures of containment are those related to the cleaning, sanitation and sanitization of environments.
In this direction, the Istituto Superiore della Sanità has published REPORT N°5/2020 INDICATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF INDOOR ENVIRONMENTS IN RELATION TO THE TRANSMISSION OF INFECTION FROM VIRUS SARS-COV-2, in which it reports:
In the various buildings and environments where a variety of activities and functions are carried out (such as homes, uﬃci, health facilities, pharmacies, parapharmacies, banks, post offices, supermarkets, airports, railway stations and public transport) it is useful to promote processes that enable the acquisition of behaviour and health prevention measures.
Several studies show that traces of SARS-Cov-2 have been found on particulate matter (PM). Monitoring particulate matter in cities becomes an indicator for early detection of outbreaks.
The term particulate matter refers to substances such as atmospheric dust, which are very small size, ranging from a few nanometres to just over 500 microns.
The damage to the organism and the environment depends on its chemical composition. If particles stop in the respiratory tract they can cause tumours and teratogenic forms in addition to the transmission of viruses and bacteria. On plants they interfere with photosynthesis, on buildings they corrode materials and reduce their durability.
Designing a building is not a style exercise. Yet the fundamental aspect, people's lives, has been lost. Environments are made to be lived in. Forgetting the importance of daily cleaning and its role in protecting health is an unforgivable mistake.