Air pollution: It can hurt your heart

Dirty air makes us sick. There seems to be no way around that.

Graphic: human heart with wave form on chart.This blog draws attention to studies on the impact of air pollution on the human cardiovascular system and overall life expectancy.

Healthy hearts work for us all day, every day.

Based on hospital admissions and cardiovascular deaths among people experiencing high levels of air pollution, it appears air that is dirty with tiny particles threatens our hearts in a variety of ways, including increased inflammation and thicker, more viscous blood. [1]

Further, researchers examined the effects of ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter of varying sizes and determined that, except for ozone, all of them produce a significant association – a relationship between cause and effect — with heart attack [myocardial infarction]. [1]

Reducing air pollution increases life expectancy

In the U.S., reducing air pollution has been a long-time goal.

A study published in January 2013 concludes: “Air pollution control in the last decade has continued to have a positive impact on public health.”

Further, the study says, “Reductions in particulate matter air pollution are associated with reductions in both cardiopulmonary and overall mortality.”

The study’s authors say that a decrease of 10 micrograms of fine particulates (dust and talc are examples) per cubic meter of air (about 35 cubic feet), could add about one-third of a year to life expectancy. [2]

(For reference, an average office or cubicle is about 800 cubic feet. A typical living room is about 4000 cubic feet.)

Protecting yourself can improve cardiovascular health

A 2012 study in Beijing demonstrated that simply wearing a face mask while exposed to high volumes of particulate matter reduced symptoms in people diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

Researchers found that blocking particulates from being inhaled by heart patients reduced the occurrence of myocardial ischemia (decreased blood flow to the heart).

In addition, the study indicated that not breathing particulate matter improves blood pressure in exercising individuals.

The study concluded that reducing personal exposure to air pollution “appeared to reduce symptoms and improve a range of cardiovascular health measures in patients with coronary heart disease.” [3]

Indoor air pollution: just like outdoor air pollution

In case you’re thinking you’ll be good to your heart and spend more time indoors, you may want to think again.

A 2000 EPA study of 100 randomly selected office buildings found that the pollution of indoor air by particulate matter was roughly the same as the outdoor air pollution in the office building’s neighborhood. [4]

See where we’re going with this?

Breathing clean air is good for your heart.

At Sentry Air, we design and manufacture air purifiers for industry, office and home.

All our air cleaners are rated by their ability to move volumes of air (CFM, or Cubic Feet of air per Minute) through filtration systems that trap particles before they are inhaled or dispersed.

They utilize powerful fans and high-quality HEPA filtration and/or Activated Carbon filtration to effectively trap tiny particles in the air of offices and homes.

You can choose a model appropriate for the size of the room and the nature of the pollutants in its air.

Sentry Air ambient air cleaners are available in a variety of models.

Our customers use our room air cleaners in offices housed in hospitals and laboratories as well as metal and woodworking shops.

Capture the particles where they are created

To contain particles and odors created by work processes before they migrate to other areas, consider capturing the pollutants at the source.

For example, a small hood, like the one shown below, can trap odors associated with adhesives and solvents as well as particles associated with sanding woods and metals.

Technician uses a Sentry Air Model 212 ductless containment hood

This 12” wide, fully assembled, Mini Ductless Fume Hood — a very compact negative-pressure hood — is designed to protect the operator and environment from hazardous fumes and particulate generated from applications performed within the hood.

Ductless Fume Hoods

Sentry Air offers a complete line of Ductless Fume Hoods.

While they are called “fume” hoods, a term many associate solely with odors, our innovative modular design means our hoods can be readily configured to trap particles as well as fumes.

Pharmacist compounds a drug within a Sentry Air Model 340 ductless containment hood.

Pharmacists use our Ductless Fume Hoods to contain the powders they use to compound drugs.

Custom ductless fume hoods contain entire multi-step applications

In addition to our standard line of source-capture air cleaners for industry and office, we design hoods to precisely meet the requirements of our customers’ specific applications.

Shown below is a custom ductless fume hood designed to encompass a sink and a washing machine used with a strong disinfectant.

It offers respiratory protection to workers from the disinfectant’s fumes whenever they open its container, pour the disinfectant or hang clean articles to dry.

Custom Hood encapsulates a sink. a machine and a drying rack to protect workers from a strong disinfectant.

While this hood is designed to trap the fumes of a particular multi-step application, we also design custom hoods that trap the particulates produced by specific applications.

Flexible hoses get right to the source

Our fume extraction arms and exhaust hoses can be used in combination with the majority of Sentry Air Systems’ air purification units or as an attachment to your existing fume extraction systems.

Worker handling powdered material uses a Sentry AIr Model 400 portable fume sentry to protect his respiratory zone

The flexible arm attached to the Model 400 Portable Floor Sentry shown above pulling particles away from the worker can be repeatedly re-positioned to address new tasks involving respiratory risk.

Call us

For information on reducing air pollution in your office or home, give us a call at 1.800.799.4609, email us at, or fill out this online form to have a Sentry Air Systems’ Applications Specialist contact you to discuss your process.


[1] Main Air Pollutants and Myocardial Infarction, A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, JAMA, January 15, 2012, Vol. 307, No. 7

[2] Effect of Air Pollution Control on Life Expectancy in the United States,
An Analysis of 545 U.S. Counties for the Period from 2000 to 2007,
Epidemiology, January 2013, Vol. 24, No. 1

[3] Reducing Personal Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution Improves Cardiovascular Health in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease, Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2012, Vol. 120, No. 3

[4] Airborne Particulate Matter within 100 Randomly Selected Office Buildings in the United States (BASE), Proceedings of Healthy Buildings 2000, Vol. 1, p. 157

Particle Size Chart