SynAir-G for the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies
The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is an initiative organised by the United Nations Environment Programme since 2019, aiming at increasing awareness of the hazards caused by air pollution, and the effects on environmental health on humans, strengthening the common efforts to improve air quality. This year’s theme, #TogetherForCleanAir, calls attention to the urgent need for stronger partnerships, increased investment, and shared responsibility to address air pollution.
In full alignment with this year’s theme, SynAir-G, together with the other 6 projects part of the IDEAL Cluster, is fostering multidisciplinary partnerships and international research, with the common intent to learn more about indoor air pollution and develop innovative solutions to improve air quality in schools and other indoor spaces, to improve the health and wellbeing of children and, eventually, improve the quality of outdoor air, reducing air pollution.
Air pollution and Health
Air pollution causes annually approximately 7 million premature deaths from strokes, heart failures, COPD, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections. Besides the deadly effects on humans, air pollution is a driver for climate crisis and damages nature and ecosystems; and adversely affects food security, social and gender parity, and economic development.
Air pollution particularly affects women, children and the elderly, as they are often exposed to high levels of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution. Air pollution is linked to premature birth, low birth weight, and even infant mortality. These noxious effects can be brought to adolescence and adulthood, leading to asthma or other respiratory infections, cognitive effects, cancer or obesity. (Brumberg et al. (2021)).
For children who spend a large part of their day in schools, is essential that schools provide safe environments and clean indoor air. But this is not always the case: severe indoor air quality problems in schools are frequently caused by poor building construction and maintenance, poor cleaning, and poor ventilation (Annesi-Maesano et al. (2013)). Moreover, outdoor pollution plays also a role, since air enters schools through windows, doors and ventilation systems.
Therefore is crucial to continue investigating and researching the different causes of air pollution, developing new, easy-to -use and accessible ventilation technologies.
SynAir-G for Clean Air
SynAir-G is investigating the interaction between the different pollutants in schools, and the related health effects on children at school. It will ultimately create a comprehensive and personalised user-friendly solution to monitoring indoor air quality, and proposals for possible interventions and an improved regulatory framework.
This will be achieved through the attentive work of SynAir-G partners, who work on different steps of the research, from the detection of air pollutants in schools to the study of their health effects of air pollutants, developing more effective detectors and air purifiers.
The SynAir-G project will contribute to science and policy to identify new standards to promote better indoor air quality and eventually improve the overall quality of air, for cleaner air and bluer skies.