When it comes to a newborn, you want to provide the best environnment possible. Living in China for over 3 years, we have been sensibilized to the problems of air and water quality. Here is a sum-up of what we learned and our advices.
Air quality Apps and hardware:
There are several apps that are monitoring air quality at different levels, CO2, NO2, O3, pollen etc (Air Matters does a pretty good job and has a large database of cities). Airpocalypse is what I used back in China because of it’s more appealing interface.
While those apps are telling you what the air quality is outside, it wasn’t clear for us what the air quality was inside. The Laseregg will solve this problem. This is basically a monitoring station for your home (measuring the particles above 0,3 micrometer). It’s pretty simple to setup and use.
These machines are basically air-sucking fans filtering the air of a room. The pollution particles are measured in micrometer, so the smaller the particles are the more dangerous they are becasue they can enter your blooddstream! While one particle (PM) of 10 micrometer, will most likely be filtered by your nostril and other natural filters, particles below 2,5 micrometer are more harmfull. The paper filters of air purifiers are catching these particles.
Dust, pollen and allergies are reduced, but in order to efficiently improve your air quality at home air purifiers need to run 24/7. The capability of your air purifier should match the room size. Usually manufacturers are recommending their models according to your room size. Filters should be changed every 6 months, sometimes even more frequent.
Blue air and Philips were the 2 market leaders in China, closely followed by the cheaper model from Xiaomi, which is unlikely to be sold outside China.We were satisfied by the Blue air 203, in which we put the optional carbon filter (for odors).
If your home has a general AC and air vent, we highly recommend you to put paper filters in your air duct. This additionally reduces particles.
Air purifiers have the slight tendancy to dry out the air because small water particles will also be filtered. Air humidifiers will solve this problem. They are also great to avoid skin problems as you can control the amount of humidity in your rooms and especially the baby’s room. The ideal range is 40%-60% of humidity for most people, sensitive groups might prefer to have a humidity level between 45%-55%. Many air humidifiers also provide a measuring device, like the Xiaomi we have, but you can get something like a Muji hydrometer to measure your humidity level. (Don’t forget your closet ! your clothes deserve no mold!)
Apart from the limescale that Will damage both your skin and your washing machine on the long term (don’t get me started on those hard-to-scrub stains) tap water can also contain traces of particles, medicines and heavy metals… If you are using tap water in your humidifer, you are vaporizing those elements to the air! We saw our laser egg climbing up everytime we used a steaming iron or when we put unfiltered water inside the humidifer. As for the air purifiers you need to be sensible to the PM value, the smaller it is the better it will be filtered.
Back in germany we are now looking at 2 products : Quellenatura for the tap water and HZWO for the shower. We will report back in another post !
Nothing gets you to realize how important clear air and water are, than living for a while in China. However, we believe that we have it in our own hands to provide a healthy environment for our family and we hope you can now navigate better through these products.