Home appliances are often overlooked when people look at the health risks of indoor air pollution.
But with the rise of digital devices, home appliances are increasingly being seen as the key to reducing air pollution in homes, a study has found.
The Australian Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (AiOSH) said the rise in the number of smart home devices in the home has led to a significant increase in the amount of indoor pollution in the past two decades.
“Our results demonstrate that the prevalence of smart thermostats and home automation has significantly increased in the last 20 years,” AiOSH research associate Professor Peter Hirsch said.
“This increase in exposure to indoor air is associated with the increased consumption of household goods and household appliances.”
The increase in household appliance use also leads to increased indoor air quality.
“It is likely that this trend has accelerated due to the increasing use of home automation, as the use of smart devices to control appliances in the homes is increasing.”
Mr Hirsch’s team analysed data from a number of studies looking at indoor air in Australia, with their analysis showing that home appliances were more likely to cause indoor air pollutants, including dust, than non-smart home appliances.
They also found that people living in urban areas had more indoor pollution than people living further away.
“When people live closer to the equator, the average household exposure to outdoor air is lower,” Professor Hirsch told news.com:au.
“In rural areas, exposure to airborne particles is higher than in urban settings.”
People living in rural areas have lower levels of indoor pollutants than those living in cities.
“Prof Hirsch also said people living closer to their workplace were also more likely than people who lived further away to have a home appliance with a built-in temperature control system.”
As you can imagine, this means people living near their workplace have lower exposure to air pollution than those who live further away,” he said.
Aiosh researcher Dr David O’Connell said while the use and efficiency of smart appliances and the increase in indoor air had increased, the amount people were exposed to indoor pollution had remained relatively stable.”
We were able to observe the trend over the last decade,” he told news