Reducing the DALY Tally Through IAQ Improvements

Nick Agopian, VP of Sales & Marketing at RenewAire, and Paul Raymer, Chief Investigator at Heyoka Indoor Solutions LLC, joined Tyler Kern for the third installment of their focus on indoor air quality (IAQ) best practices for the home with a fascinating look at improving disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). No one likes to dwell on life’s end, but enhancing one’s lifespan is worth pondering, and a pondering Raymer and Agopian went.

“You want to live a healthy life up until the last moment,” Raymer said. “DALYs are a way of evaluating diseases in populations that impact the healthy life of people, so that if your life expectancy is, let’s say, 100 years, but the last ten years of that, you’re in a wheelchair, those are disability-affected life years.”

In terms of indoor air quality, there are many issues proven to affect people’s health from unconditioned air. Air pollutants contribute to a host of disorders that the European Union (EU) estimates equal more than 2 million DALY years. The EU is not alone in this research either. Experts contend that the cumulative effects of poor IAQ will lower life expectations. Clearly, overall health should be taken very seriously.

And it’s not just health and wellness that is impacted by ventilation; it also can affect cognition and productivity. Eating healthier diets and exercising are often steps people take to extend their life, but IAQ may play an even more vital role. For instance, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, asthma, COPD, upper and lower respiratory infections, and acute CO toxication are illnesses and diseases that are linked to poor ventilation. Researchers at Berkley Lab even found that poor ventilation hurts learning and test-taking, claiming SAT test scores rose by 18% with better IAQ in schools.

It’s clear that air quality should be considered a key factor in a holistic health approach. And unlike the other health trends, ventilation will save you money after a certain amount of time. For Agopian, he believes wholly that “ventilation is life and … a no brainer.”

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