Can your roof help you breathe more easily by "filtering", reducing the amount of toxic contaminants from urban air? "Yes" is the answer of John Renowden, Deputy Director of Boral Roofing Technology Company (USA), along with the company's launch of roofing products capable of "sucking" pollutants.
According to experts, air pollution is one of the biggest urban problems in the world. It poses a serious threat to the health of city residents.
The director of environmental health at the World Health Organization Maria Neira said indoor and outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause more than 2 million deaths a year worldwide."This is undoubtedly one of the biggest health challenges we face. Exposure to urban air pollution can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer as well as diseases. Other respiratory-related things like asthma, pneumonia . " , Maria Neira said.
A recent study of air quality in the UK, published by MIT experts Steve Yim and Steven Barrett, shows that the number of deaths due to traffic pollution is higher than the number of deaths from traffic accidents, with 13,000 cases per year. Another report published last year also showed that increasing air pollution associated with vehicles also increased the risk of stroke.
According to the American Lung Association's 2012 air condition report, Califorina is home to the most polluted cities in the country, in which Los Angeles continues to top the list due to its heavy traffic density and commercial port.
Boral, based near Los Angeles, introduced the "smoke brick" to improve air quality by neutralizing nitrous oxides formed by photochemical smog of most waste-city vehicles. out.
The tiles are coated with titanium dioxide, a photocatalyst that oxidizes harmful air pollutants released by burned fossil fuels. When exposed to natural light, titanium dioxide breaks down nitrogen oxides in the air and turns them into harmless calcium nitrate.
This calcium nitrate will wash your roof with normal rainfall and is a common fertilizer for plants. Although this type of bricks usually takes about $ 600-1,000 more to cover, however, for a period of 1 year, the number of tiles per square foot (US area measurement unit, about 0.3m 2 ) oxidation of nitrous oxide (N 2 O - is a greenhouse gas, produced during the burning of fossil fuels) is equivalent to the amount emitted by an automobile when traveling 10,000 miles in a year.
Boral Roofing Company is the first construction company in the US to introduce titanium dioxide coatings in roofing products. This technology originated in Japan, and has been applied in several industries in Europe. In the last few years, it has been used in the manufacture of a number of products, including environmentally friendly cement, architectural plates and paints.
Anti-pollution properties of titanium dioxide - a commonly used compound is a white substance in paint and plastic that has been tested in a project supported by the European Commission in 2005. According to the Program European Commission environmental technology action, trials in urban environments have shown some pollutants such as nitrous oxides - the main pollutant in emissions, can be reduced from 20- 70%.
In the fight against urban air pollution, it is necessary to have a more sustainable solution."We have to overcome dependence on oil, however, it is not something that can happen overnight, " Renowden said. And therefore, living under the roof can help you prevent pollutants, which are evaluated by experts as one of the immediate effective solutions to help urban people - everyday people living with pollution. .