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How clean is the air in your workplace?

The pandemic has created new problems and brought greater attention to the quality of the air in office spaces – never before has a cleaner, healthier office environment been more needed.

Working from home has become a haven, a small microclimate where people have more control over the quality of the air that they are exposed to. However, as more employees eventually return to office spaces, most of this responsibility shifts to employers and facilities managers to ensure the air their teams are breathing is clean and safe. In fact, a Dyson Global Hygiene study found that in Singapore, 75% of respondents that have a work place away from home said they were concerned about the air quality within their indoor working environment

Indoor air pollutants in a workspace

Ventilation is a common method of controlling an indoor environment with airflow, often involving the movement of air between outdoors and indoors. One way to increase ventilation is by opening windows. However, by doing so poor air quality from outdoors can come inside, particularly if the office space is in a city location with high traffic flow.

On the other hand, built-in ventilation systems in spaces may not have adequate filtration systems, meaning that airborne pollutants are simply being blown around the room. These pollutants can include PM2.5, PM10, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted from both indoor and outdoor activities.

Some possible pollution sources in a workspace include:

Formaldehyde: Carpets, carpet cleaner, wallpapers, paint, furniture, floor varnish
VOCs: Cleaning products, hand sanitiser, air freshener, personal care products in bathrooms
NO2: Idling traffic outside, cafeteria kitchen
Particulate Matter: Printers, dust, idling traffic outside, cafeteria kitchen, pollen

Formaldehyde, in particular, is a colourless gas pollutant, which can be released by furniture and wooden products containing formaldehyde-based resins, such as plywood and fibreboard, insulating materials, paint, wallpapers, varnishes and cleaning products.

Being 500 times smaller than 0.1 microns, formaldehyde is particularly difficult to capture and left undetected, can be trapped in a space for years. The impact of formaldehyde has been widely reported by the World Health Organisation and other research bodies, with some governmental institutions setting formaldehyde safety limitations and regulating its usage.

“The off-gassing tendency of formaldehyde means that it can go undetected in a space for years. Dyson has engineered a machine that provides accurate and successful sensing, capture and destruction of the pollutant. Our solid-state sensor doesn’t dry out overtime, lasting the lifetime of the machine. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised global awareness about the air that we breathe and Dyson’s commitment to providing cleaner air through innovation and technology remains at the forefront of our mission.”

Alex Knox, Vice President of Environmental Care at Dyson

Dyson purifiers circulate air around the whole room, and purify simultaneously With employees slowly returning to the workplace, Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) installed Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde air purifiers in a step towards improving indoor air quality.

“Creating a healthy workspace is more important than ever before, with detection and remedy action working hand-in-hand to ensure that indoor environment quality remains optimal to safeguard occupant health and wellbeing. We are thankful for this collaboration opportunity which showcases the ease in which good indoor air quality can be achieved.”

Ms Yvonne Soh, Executive Director of the SGBC

  • Not all filters and machines are created equal. The way they are designed, constructed and sealed determines the proportion of particles that are captured and those that are not. For years at Dyson, we’ve fine-tuned our expertise in filtration, beginning with the separation systems used in our vacuum cleaners and progressing to the cutting-edge technology integrated into Dyson purifiers.

    Dyson purifiers are engineered to effectively sense, thoroughly filter and powerfully project:

    Sensing: Formaldehyde is a common indoor pollutant and one that is notoriously difficult to sense and capture. Dyson wanted to integrate a sensing and filtration system that could effectively counter this pollutant. By developing a new sensing technology, Dyson sought to overcome issues associated with conventional formaldehyde sensors, including cross-sensitivity and a short sensing lifespan.

    Capturing: In Dyson’s new purifiers, it’s not just the filter that meets HEPA H13 standard, but the whole machine. It captures 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns2 such as dust, allergens and haze particles. Dyson engineers took a forensic approach to achieving a fully-sealed machine, creating high pressure seals at an additional 24 critical points to prevent dirty air from bypassing the filters and carrying pollutants back into the room.

    Projecting: Using Dyson Air Multiplier Technology, the machine can project purified air to every corner of the room3. Auto mode enables the machine to maintain a preferred room temperature4 and air quality levels, while the machine can be entirely controlled by the MyDyson™ app and activated by voice control5.

    Acoustically engineered to be 20% quieter6: Dyson engineers increased efforts to further reduce the sound output of the Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde air purifier while maintaining purification performance. Through an iterative design, test, build process managed at the Global Development Campus in-house acoustics chamber, the machine was re-engineered to be 20% quieter. To achieve this noise reduction, Dyson engineers refined the overall airflow path by widening the aperture (slot in which the air exits the machine) and its geometry was improved. This reduced the amount of friction between the air and surface of the machine, resulting in less sound. Noise was reduced from 64 to 61 decibels at max fan speed.

[1] Tested on Influenza A (H1N1) under technical conditions resulting in reduction of airborne virus by 99% (in 28.5m3 area). Results may vary.
[2] Tested for filtration efficiency at 0.1 microns (EN1822, ISO29463).
[3] In maximum setting. Tested for air projection (DTM 801) and purification coverage in a 81m3 room (TM-003711).
[4] Applies to heating function only.
[5] Requires device to run app, Wi-Fi or mobile data, Bluetooth 4.0 support, and iOS version 10 or Android version 5 (or above). Standard data and messaging rates may apply. Voice control requires compatible device.
[6] 20% quieter than Dyson’s predecessor machine, applies to Dyson Pure Cool and Dyson Pure Cool Formaldehyde only.

Press Contact

Debra Rajwani

Dyson Newsroom

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