Sunlight is a huge factor in reducing bacteria found in household dust.
Recently an important new study by a team at the University of Oregon’s Biology and The Built Environment Center was able to determine that sunlight plays a huge factor in reducing bacteria that can be found in common household dust. This discovery has proven that in order for buildings to act as a healthy space for human occupancy, high performing windows should be regarded as a health requirement for building regulations.
The University of Oregon’s study showed that sunlight filtered through today’s high-performance coated glass results in about 50% less bacteria in household dust, compared to when dust is left under non-illuminated conditions. Ultraviolet light also acts as a sterilizer, reducing bacteria counts.
The bacteria that survived less within the day-lit rooms were linked to the germs that are known to cause human respiratory infections.
In the 1850’s Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, believed that direct sunlight possessed a purifying effect and prescribed it to her hospital patients. By the end of the 19th century, the Journal of the American Medical Association officially referred to sunlight as “nature’s disinfectant”, using it as a way to treat Tuberculosis.
However, sunlight is not taken into consideration when building planning, Richard Hobday, an authority of the Health of Build Environment believes. “The best disinfectant is sunlight,” Hobday says.
Another way to improve indoor air quality when building planning is to utilize proper fenestration, otherwise known as the arrangement of windows and doors on different elevations of a building. Bacteria typically has a lower survival rate in dry conditions with higher humidity. If a window collects moisture and condensation, there is a greater risk for germs to breed and cause mold, which is proven to cause health issues.
Thanks to this new study, high performance windows will be taken into consideration for future architectural building designs, and will act as an important key factor for the health and well being of occupants in buildings with outdated windows.
Consider replacing your old and failing windows with ones that will reduce the bacteria and risks for health in your home or building. When it comes to replacing exterior and interior elements, the experts at Fusion are extremely knowledgeable and are ready to help you every step of the way.