Correct humidity is essential to patient health, staff comfort and prevention of electrostatic damage to medical equipment.
Dry sinuses, dull hair, skin irritations and catching an influenza virus are common side effects of living or working in a low humidity environment. According to a recently published research conducted by the Oregon Department of Health Services the right levels of humidity are proven to reduce and prevent harmful bacteria and respiratory infections from spreading. To achieve an optimal level of humidity to support health and comfort between 40% and 60% of room humidification are recommended. Particularly during the winter seasons while indoor heating dries room atmosphere the air humidity level is very likely to drop below the recommended minimum of 40% RH. A low humidity level like this causes a very dry indoor environment which will ultimately causes patients and inhabitants physical discomfort.
Dry air tends to find moisture sources in a room in anything possible, such as mucousmembranes. Since these membranes function as the natural shield of a body, once they dry out we tend to be more vulnerable to colds, flus and viruses.
Dry Eyes and Sore Throat
Dry eyes and a sore throat are common initial signs of overexposure to dry air and can create an uncomfortable work environment for employees. Particularly people with a weak immune system are likely to experience health problems in a dry air office environment.
A dry room forces the air to draw moisture from any possible other source, one being hair and skin which results in itchy skin and dull hair.
A humidity level of above 40%RH significantly decreases the spreading of any airborne viruses, such as influenza.
Static and Dust
The accumulation of static electricity is highly likely in an environment of humidity below 40%RH. That means that fragile electronic tools may suffer damages due to dust rising into the atmosphere. By keeping RH levels above the 40%RH mark, this possibility is significantly reduced.
The Sterling Chart – optimum RH for health
The Sterling Chart below illustrates how RH affects health and well being. It shows that an increase in bacteria, viruses and ozone production in low humidity levels affect people’s health in an adverse way.
Increase overall comfort by eliminating dry nasal passages, dry eyes, and sore throats
Prevents electrostatic discharge