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Desso highlights the danger of particulate matter at World Asthma Day 2012

26 April 2012

On 1 May 2012 - World Asthma Day - the European carpet manufacturer Desso will be highlighting a global problem: the poor indoor air quality in many homes and public buildings. An excessive quantity of dust particles and particulate matter in indoor air can cause serious health risks, especially for people who suffer from asthma. Asthma is a global problem the consequences of which are suffered by more than 300 million people1 worldwide. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm by reporting that more than 2 million people1 die every year as a result of pollution of indoor and outdoor air.

Indoor air
Collot d'Escury (CCO Desso): "In the home, in offices, schools and other public buildings, the quality of indoor air is often below the required standard. The excessive amount of particulate matter within a room plays a decisive role in this." Research conducted by the WHO in 1100 cities worldwide reveals that a significant majority of the population has average annual exposure to particulate matter (PM10) that significantly exceeds the standards set by this organisation1. Desso has made a commitment to improving people's health and welfare. For Desso, World Asthma Day presents an important opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the situation and, more importantly, to put forward solutions.

Tips for improving indoor air quality
1. Take preventive measures by opting for a floor covering that absorbs dust rather than releasing it. In other words, choose carpet;
2. Regularly use a vacuum cleaner with high vacuum power, a roller brush and a HEPA filter;
3. Maintain a healthy humidity level (around 30% to 50%);
4. Harness the powers of nature to keep the indoor air clean: buy plants;
5. Invest in effective HEPA air filters to help purify the indoor air and ensure that the filters are regularly checked and replaced.

Response to a crisis
Back in 2010, concerns about the quality of indoor air prompted Desso to develop the AirMaster. This revolutionary carpet is eight times more effective in absorbing and retaining particular matter that hard floors and four times more effective than a standard carpet2, as demonstrated in research by the independent German Test Institute GUI. This means it significantly improves the quality of indoor air, reducing the risk of health problems.  Collot d'Escury: "As early as in 2005, the DAAB, the German Asthma Fund, confirmed that the use of carpet in indoor areas reduces the concentration of particulate matter in the air3."

People spend 90% of their time indoors
Good air quality inside buildings is essential because people spend much of the day indoors. For example, people with a full-time office job spend an average of 1880 hours in the office every year. Collot d'Escury: "In recent years, we have also been drawing the attention of schools to the dangers of poor indoor air quality. The fact that children spend a higher proportion of their time in an environment that is unnecessarily unhealthy cannot be a good thing." Desso has already fitted AirMaster carpet in a large number of European schools. It also works in close alliance with the organisations Frisse Scholen, Gezonde Scholen and Vitaal Lokaal, all of which are committed to a healthy environment in schools. "The response has been extremely enthusiastic. It couldn't be simpler: the air in the classrooms becomes cleaner, helping to create a better learning environment. For children and teachers with asthma or other respiratory problems, it is like a breath of fresh air."

For more information about AirMaster, visit

1 Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

2 Source: Tests by GUI, in which DESSO AirMaster® was compared with a standard hard PVC floor and a standard structured loop pile carpet.

3 Source: study conducted by Deutsche Allergie- und Asthmabund e.V. in 2005.

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