Scientific evidence for maintaining a healthy humidity

There are many scientific studies that show the direct and indirect effects of low relative humidity on human health and how it can influence airborne infection.

Here is just a selection of the overwhelming evidence for maintaining an optimum indoor humidity of 40-60%RH for human health and wellbeing.

Studies showing how humidity affects the survival and transmission of bacteria and viruses

Noti et al 2013

High humidity leads to loss of infectious influenza virus from simulated coughs

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Sterling et al 1985

Criteria for human exposure to humidity in occupied buildings

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Arundel et al 1986

Indirect health effects of relative humidity in indoor environments

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Metz J A, Finn A 2015

Influenza and humidity - Why a bit more damp may be good for you!

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Lowen et al 2007

Influenza virus transmission Is dependent on relative humidity and temperature

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Yang W, Marr LC 2011

Dynamics of airborne influenza A viruses indoors and dependence on humidity

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Lester W 1948

The influence of relative humidity on the infectivity of air-borne influenza A virus (PR8 strain)

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Myatt T. A. et al 2010

Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting

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Shaman et al 2010

Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States

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Dunklin EW, Puck TT 1948

The lethal effects of relative humidity on bacteria

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Studies showing the effects of dry air on human airways, eyes and skin

Ewert G 1965

On the mucus flow rate in the human nose

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Salah B et al 1988

Nasal mucociliary transport in healthy subjects is slower when breathing dry air

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Wolkoff P, Kjaergaard SK. 2007

The dichotomy of relative humidity on indoor air quality

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Abusharha AA, Pearce EI 2013

The effect of low humidity on the human tear film

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Sunwoo Y et al 2006

Physiological and subjective responses to low relative humidity

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Intervention studies showing the effects of dry air on absenteeism and sickness

Sale C 1972

Humidification to reduce respiratory illnesses in nursery school children

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Gelperin A 1973

Humidification and upper respiratory infection incidence

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Green G 1975

The effect of indoor relative humidity on absenteeism & colds in schools

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Green G 1981

Winter humidities and related absenteeism in Canadian hospitals

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Taylor S, Hugentobler W 2016

Is low indoor humidity a driver for healthcare-associated infections?

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