DentalAir’s Hayden George says: “Air quality, a vital consideration”
Air, we like to take it for granted, but air quality is a big concern. Impurities and toxins in the air can have dangerous consequences, and it’s important to consider the air quality in your practice because it can directly impact both your staff and your patients.
In some highly polluted areas, every lungful of air contains over 20 million particles of dangerous chemicals and other pollutants . Various parts of London such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and other central locations are up to five times over the EU limit for pollution  although that might have reduced over recent days thanks to the lockdown.
Northern cities including Manchester have also exceeded EU guidelines for air pollution. The Manchester city council released a statement saying that almost 200 people a year die because of air toxicity . It is clear that maintaining good air quality must be a priority no matter where your practice is – smaller towns and villages will inevitably have better quality air, but it’s still something to bear in mind.
Air pollution is dangerous. It is currently the greatest environmental threat in the UK. The polluting cocktail of chemicals from vehicle exhausts, factories, and even certain agricultural processes, cause between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths from lung disease per year .
Figures released by the British Lung Foundation reveal that someone in the UK dies from lung disease every five minutes, and every week 10,000 people are diagnosed with a lung condition that can be attributed to pollution  Some authorities even posit that air pollution in Northern Italy is one of the elements exacerbating the effects of COVID-19.
Air quality in the dental practice
In your dental practice, equipment such as high-speed handpieces need to use purified air or the result will be airborne pollutants being expelled during treatment. And it’s not just airborne contaminants – you need to be wary your handpiece isn’t using air contaminated by pathogens.
It has been known for decades that if the air compressor used to power handpieces doesn’t sterilise the air properly, infections including influenza and the common cold can be spread through the airflow .
Maintaining a dental compressor that purifies air effectively is easier said than done. It can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when you have a practice to look after with countless other urgent things to deal with. So why not ensure your air compressor is covered by signing up for DentalAir’s AirCare Adoption Programme?
Keeping your air compressor compliant, safe and in good working order, the AirCare Adoption Programme is a support service through which DentalAir will look after your air compressor for you, meaning the equipment receives all the necessary maintenance and air quality checks it needs to guarantee the air you are using in your treatment is safe and contaminant free.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a Europe-wide reduction in air pollution in the short term, but tackling the pollution problem remains a pressing concern for governments around the world, so it’s likely that in future we will see improvements in pollution levels affecting dental practices, especially in city centre locations.
Even so, the rapid spread of infection has highlighted the value of ensuring your air compressor is purifying air effectively. By investing in a programme that maintains your air compressor properly and without stress, you can help guarantee that you and your patients will enjoy dental treatments using air that poses no potential threats.
1] The Guardian. Air Pollution: Everything You Should Know About A Public Health Emergency. Link: Click HERE. [Last accessed December 19].
2] Big Think. A Map of London’s Most Toxic Breathing Spots. Link: https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/london-air-quality-pollution-health [Last accessed December 19].
3] Manchester City Council. Air Quality. Link: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/200075/pollution/7697/air_quality [Last accessed December 19].
4] GOV.UK. Public Health England Publishes Air Pollution Evidence Review. Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-publishes-air-pollution-evidence-review [Last
accessed December 19].
5] British Lung Foundation. Lung Disease in the UK. Link: Click HERE. [Last accessed December 19].
6] Shpuntoff, H., Shpuntoff, R. High-speed Dental Handpieces and Spread of Airborne Infections. N Y State Dent J. 1993 Jan;59(1):21-3.
Photos by Jerry Zhang and Dakota Corbin on Unsplash