We spend 90% of our time indoors, in schools, offices, hospitals and our homes. We take it for granted that the air we breathe is clean and pollutant-free, as fresh as the air in our glorious rolling countryside. Yet impurities found in both our working and living spaces can cause health problems and a reduction in our general wellbeing. Pollutants called VOCs – volatile organic compounds – are naturally emitted into our homes, offices and schools by people, pets, cleaning products as well as furniture, carpets, paints and varnishes.
Some of the health problems VOCs can cause
People often complain about health problems after extended periods of time spent indoors. Many of these symptoms can be attributed to VOCs:
- Headaches - Nausea
- Lack of concentration - Eye irritation - Fatigue - Breathing problems
Why formaldehyde is the most important VOC
You can’t see formaldehyde, or smell it. Therefore there is no way of knowing what concentrations you are being exposed to on a daily basis.
Dr Crump, Director of the Institute of Environment and Health at Cranfield University, talks in this short video about the importance of indoor air quality.
There is a lot of research available on the effects of volatile organic compounds and indoor air quality. Read our desk research.
Converts formaldehyde into harmless compounds
ACTIVair is a new technology added to Thistle PureFinish plaster, Rigidur H plasterboards, Rigitone and Gyptone ceiling products.
The effectiveness of the ACTIVair technology has been tested by the accredited Eurofins laboratory. The test shows that ACTIVair decomposes 70% of the formaldehyde in a controlled test environment when 1m² of ACTIVair technology is installed per volume (m³).
The effectiveness of ACTIVair technology
Improving the indoor environment
Improving the indoor environment is a major consideration amongst clients and building occupants, most notably those concerned with sustainability and health and wellbeing. Good clean air can reduce health problems as well as enhancing healthy living in both our work and living spaces.
A case study from classrooms in Kallo in Belgium can be seen below. It demonstrated a decrease in formaldehyde concentration of 60% over 2 months when only the ceiling was refurbished with ACTIVair.
Furthermore, ACTIVair technology:
- Contributes towards 2 BREEAM points under indoor air quality, as part of a management plan and handover test plan
- Works through an emulsion paint finish
- Is recyclable through the British Gypsum closed loop Plasterboard Recycling Service (PRS)
- Has no impact on the performance of the ceiling system regarding fire, acoustics and durability.
Rigidur H with ACTIVair technology
View the British Gypsum acoustic ceilings product range
Mary's Hospital, Kettering