While many of us are concerned about the quality of the air we breathe outdoors, air pollution inside the home is often overlooked. In fact, the World Health Organisation places air pollution at the top of the list when it comes to environmental health risks, with over 4 million people a year dying prematurely from ailments triggered by indoor air pollution. Of course, it's possible to get state-of-the-art air filters or even buy air purifying plants to help keep your air fresh and clean, but IKEA has announced that it's working on ways to make clean air a reality for more people.
The Swedish multinational has just announced GUNRID, an air purifying curtain that helps combat pollution. IKEA product developer Mauricio Affonso has been working with a team of developers, scientists, and engineers on an affordable solution to indoor air purification. What they've developed is a textile that breaks down common indoor pollutants like odors and formaldehyde.
“We wanted to create a simple, convenient and affordable way to clean air that wouldn’t take up much space in people’s homes,” shares Affonso. “We were also curious about creating a product that is multifunctional and that would help break down air pollutants that many air purifiers leave behind.”
The concept by GUNRID is unique and innovative. A mineral-based, photocatalyst coating is applied to the textile, which is activated by light, working much like photosynthesis. While most photocatalysts only work under natural light, IKEA's team has worked to create an innovative coating that is also activated by artificial light so that it can break down pollutants indoors.
GUNRID is currently in the testing phase and has successfully passed lab tests showing that it's safe and works properly. Next, it will move to home tests in order to ensure that the curtains are effectively removing pollutants. If all goes well, these air purifying curtains will be available in 2020.
Considering how many textile-based objects are found in homes around the world, this could be just the beginning of a whole set of IKEA items that will help people who suffer from poor indoor air quality. As Affonso puts it, “Wouldn’t it be great if everything in our homes could contribute to better air and a healthier life at home?”
It's not yet known if IKEA's new air purifying curtains will be available in different colors and patterns.
Learn more about the development of GUNRID—IKEA curtains that help break down air pollutants.