We recently co-hosted a talk, An Insider’s Look at the Truth Behind Shanghai’s Air and Water, with Dr. Saeid Mirafzali of United Family Healthcare for members of the Shanghai expatriate community at a health and well-being seminar organized by NCompass Mobility. As noted by NCompass, many of the topics covered are appropriate not only for Shanghai, but may have applicability other large cities as well.
Topics covered included
- Indoor air quality and VOCs such as formaldehyde
- Mold and humidity
- Tap water quality
- Pros/cons of delivery water, and the need to disinfect water dispensers [see directions in English and Chinese]
Attendees had the opportunity to ask all manner of questions about how the environment affects their health, ranging from concerns about mold and how to get rid of it, whether to boil tap water (not necessary), and whether there are medical tests to detect long-term human exposure to VOCs (not at present).
We emphasized that occupant activity does have a direct bearing on indoor air quality – for example, smoking cigarettes in your flat or in a neighboring flat may significantly affect the levels of indoor particulates. Dr. Mirafzali advised attendees to put environmental risks in perspective, and he stressed the importance of leading a balanced lifestyle, pointing out that excluding certain foods or limiting physical activity due to concern about the environment could also result in unintended negative side effects.