The importance of air quality on human health

Air quality is of paramount importance. Often underestimated, poor air quality affects everyone, without warning, without mercy. People of all ages are faced with various problems that could often be avoided with adequate prevention.

Prsentation FR

How important is the quality of the air you breathe to you?

Considering that we must breathe to live,

That we breathe about fifteen times a minute,

And that the equivalent of 0.5 liters of air is inhaled with each breath…

Let us suggest that you give it well deserved consideration!

It is said that wisdom is gained from pain or experience…

It is also said that the intelligent one makes decisions based on personal experience and that the most intelligent one makes decisions based on the experiences of others…

Let’s hope that no one will need to suffer the adverse effects of having breathed foul air to fully appreciate the importance of air quality!

Smog, Environment and Climate Change ?

Stepping outside for a breath of fresh air is sadly no longer relevant these days. It’s barely synonymous with good health anymore! Everyone is aware of the record levels of pollution reached, in large part due to human activity. Poor air quality is a huge concern of the scientific community and environmentalists. Smog warnings are even issued on our smartphones nowadays…

The following table shows the pollution episodes significant enough to issue an air pollution advisory in 2021. 

Number of SMOG days per period in 2021
Source: Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec, 2021 Curve: Duraclim


Everyone has heard about the major causes of air pollution and their harmful effects on human health. Cases of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and respiratory ailments are on the rise.

Use of fossil fuels seems to be so closely embedded in economic growth…Yet they generate the fine particles that every good air quality forum warns against.

Did you know that smog is composed of ground-level ozone (the result of a photochemical reaction between volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides), primary particles (pollen and dust) and secondary particles (sulphur oxide, ammonia and volatile organic compounds)?

The weather forecast is not the only thing changing our outdoor activities planning now, the air quality index also has its impact.

Take cover!

What about the indoor air quality ?

We find strange comfort in being back inside after getting a smog alert. But how safe are we really? 

Most people are unaware that good air quality in our homes, businesses and establishments is far from being a given. And yet the damaging effects we are told foul air has on human health seems hard to believe, almost abstract in a way…

Bare with us, we’ll show you concrete!

You think that because it’s new, it doesn’t need cleaning? Think again!

Did you know this fact about renovations and new constructions ?

Every new construction owner, whether it is residential or commercial, should make it a priority to clean their ducts and ventilation/air conditioning/heating systems as soon as the construction work is completed.

Indeed, the materials used during construction contain chemical substances that remain in the ducts and contaminate the ambient air.


Sick Building Syndrome: What is it ?

Have you heard of the Sick Building Syndrome?

Although this condition has now been recognized by the World Health Organization since the 70’s, it is not sufficiently publicly displayed as potentially harmful to our health. If this were the case, the proper maintenance of ventilation ducts and systems, as well as heating and air conditioning systems, would be carried out in a much more rigorous manner.

The prevalence of this syndrome appears to be increasing

In the early 2000s, in wealthy, industrialized countries, approximately 50% of employees worked in office buildings, and 20-30% of this group of workers reported symptoms that would suggest the prevalence of sick building syndrome.

Source: Gauthier, R., AESEQ, 2015 Circular diagram Duraclim


Living or surviving…

Poor air quality can cause symptoms that reach far beyond respiratory problems.

Sick Building Syndrome, can cause the following symptoms

Mucous membrane irritation such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nosebleed
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory tract damage

Skin irritation such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Dermatitis

General symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Problems with mental concentration and memory
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

There may be multiple causes for the presence or aggravation of those symptoms, such as:

  • Poor air supply
  • Excessively dry air 
  • Excessively humid air 
  • Mold 
  • Biological contamination
  • Sustained presence of chemical contaminants consisting of cleaning agents, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (solvents and others, released by synthetic materials in carpets, curtains and drapes, furniture, photocopier, laser printer, etc.).

Live or die…

If the cause of these symptoms remains unresolved or that said symptoms stay untreated, they can lead to the following diseases:

Diseases of an allergic nature:

  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis

Diseases of infectious nature:

  • Tuberculosis
  • SARS
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Any other disease transmitted through the ventilation system

Chemical illnesses:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning, from a poorly ventilated parking lot
  • Any other poisoning caused by the presence of chemicals. (even low concentrations are harmful…)

Diseases of a physical nature:

  • Diseases caused by mineral or glass fibers

Diseases of a chronic nature :

  • Cancer

Please note that these are no longer non-specific ailments, but diagnosed diseases! 

Hope for possible treatments?

Although today’s medicine offers various treatments that can alleviate the symptoms of the medical conditions listed above, we must admit that the results will be limited, that their effects will be short-lived and that a cure will be potentially unattainable until the patient’s air quality is restored.

Source: Le Manuel Merck, Version pour le grand public, 2020


Let’s not neglect the importance of maintaining our heating and ventilation systems to limit our degree of exposure to contaminants and their harmful effects on our health.

By all means, please refer to a professional!

Why should you contact a professional ?

DuraClim offers maintenance of heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment, ducts included (For Residential or Commercial systems; Let’s keep the office’s air clean!!!)

Prevention is, and ALWAYS will be, better than cure!

Filter and system maintenance varies from facility to facility. You may also do part of the work yourself in some cases. (Last link of last article to post)

Nevertheless, all systems require professional cleaning at regular intervals.

Please note that it is normal to experience a temporary increase in the amount of particulate matter in the air up to a few hours after cleaning the ducts and/or heating systems. It is important to take this into account!

*For particularly sensitive individuals, it is preferable to avoid the premises while the particles settle and to clean the surfaces before re-entering the area.

Neglecting the maintenance of your wall or central heat pump will have direct effects on your health and that of the people you love!

Our professionals will offer you the best!

DuraClim’s specialized teams will make sure you get the peace of mind you deserve.

We treat our clients like family, and family deserves the best.

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