What are the Health Benefits of Air Filters in Vietnam?

Health - Vietnam: July 17, 2018

Residents of Vietnam are seeking to combat the health risks caused by poor air quality by investing in air filters for their homes.
The US Consulate monitors the Air Quality Index (AQI) on an hourly basis, and recent air pollution levels have been alarming. The AQI is measured in ranges from 0 to 500, with 0 being the optimal level and anything from 100 to 300 classified as unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups such as children, the chronically ill and the elderly. Levels above 300 are deemed hazardous for the entire population. In late April and early May, HCMC saw AQI levels reaching as high as 200.

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How Do Air Filters Work?

Air filters range greatly in the ways in which they work, their prices, and quality. Namni Goel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania told Time Magazine that “Ionisers generate negative air ions, which attract dust and allergens and other positively charged airborne particles and basically lock them in.” However, a drawback of ionisers is that they produce ozone. Although ozone exists naturally in our atmosphere, it does so at low levels of concentration. At higher levels it can cause respiratory damage.

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High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are rising in popularity due to their ability to trap up to 99.9 percent of particles from the air. Rufus Edwards, an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Irvine says that in large spaces “the amount of air in a room far exceeds the amount of air they are able to clean.”A Finnish study found that installing these filters into the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems reduced exposure to particulates by up to 27 percent, which Edwards described as “enormous”.

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The downside to the HEPA filters is that they are costly. They can also be noisy, some of them as loud as an air conditioner. The benefits of having a HEPA system are clear, especially for families with small children, people with allergies, asthma, or those who are susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Overall, they can be of immense value to anyone who believes that you can’t put a price on good health.

Where to Shop

Two top brands to check out are Coway, a highly rated Korean brand that is available at Coway.com.vn, Nguyenkim.com or Lazada.vn. Prices range from just under VND6 million to VND12.5 million. IQ Air, a Swiss company established in 1963, sells high performance air purifiers that filter out the finest pollution particles called PM2.5. No prices are listed on the brand’s website, iqair.com, but according to expat blogger ExpatHeather.com, these beauties can set you back as much as USD2,500 or close to VND57 million.

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