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New Window Screens Filter Pollution From Air

In good news for the day, Scientific American reports that specially treated window screens have been invented that keep out as much as 90 percent of air pollutants. The screens are made with nanofibers sprayed into them.

While the article didn’t say how long the screens’ protection lasts — hopefully months or years — this is good news in the face of the bad news that 92 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air.

Although these numbers are considerable, the estimates of poor air quality may be conservative, as ozone or nitrogen oxides, which are known pollutants, are not factored into them. This is important because, when oxygen combines with nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sunlight, ozone is formed.

Ozone for the most part remains outdoors but, still, air pollution, inside or out, can cause numerous ill health effects, including developmental delays in children, asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular concerns and more. And may I remind you, new estimates of health effects related to air pollution are not based on the rising rates of pollution, but rather on better understanding of the link between disease and poor air quality — and it’s distressing that your indoor air actually may be more polluted than what’s outside because of chemicals inside your house, including paints and cleaning products.

The good news is you can make a significant difference in the air quality. Besides getting the aforementioned new screens, you can purchase air filters that run continuously. Remove harsh chemicals from the premises, and decorate with plants, which can filter your air for you.
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