Bamboo Charcoal: Fighting Sick Building Syndrome the Natural Way

Bamboo charcoal recently gained a lot of attention as a great cleaning agent especially with the rise in popularity of bamboo charcoal toothpaste. Not many people are aware though that it is also effective in fighting “Sick Building Syndrome”.

In this article, we’ll look into Sick Building Syndrome and the use of bamboo charcoal as its countermeasure.

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) describes what happens when a combination of indoor air toxins and lack of ventilation meet the human respiratory system. Due to the varied number of pollutants, the effects are also mixed and multiple symptoms may come up. In general, however, the most common symptoms include eye irritation and nonspecific upper respiratory symptom.

Although it’s mainly common in developed nations, SBS has become a global problem and received global attention. In California alone, an examination of 37 buildings found that all of the buildings had very ineffective filtering systems. Furthermore, many buildings failed to meet ventilation standards.

Sick Building Syndrome can have horrible and disastrous consequences for workplace productivity. Symptoms of SBS are often direct causes for increased absenteeism and can also progress to situations of a class-action magnitude.

Here’s an infographic with quick facts about indoor air quality from Triple T Heating.

Indoor Air Pollution

What is Bamboo Charcoal

For centuries bamboo charcoal is used as a filtration medium and an essential part of medicine in Asia. It is especially common in countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

It is an effective and environmentally friendly purifier and deodorizer with a plethora of other uses. And its benefits and uses have become apparent to the westerners in recent years.

Quite simply, bamboo charcoal is made through the process of pyrolysis. Bamboo is harvested and then heated in a kiln at temperatures ranging from 800 to 1200°C for weeks.

How Does Bamboo Charcoal Work?

The natural adsorption capabilities of bamboo charcoal and its large surface area makes it one of the most effective adsorbent materials available. Its millions of pores effectively trap and store large amounts of pollutants and other harmful substances.

Charcoal adsorbs pollutant particles and odor by trapping them in the pores, while water and air flow through them, thereby purifying the surrounding air and water in the process. Keep in mind that bamboo charcoal is 4 times more porous than regular charcoal, making it more effective.

Yes, you read it correctly. The term used when molecules attach to the surface of the bamboo charcoal is adsorption. Here’s a quick video to explain the difference between adsorption and absorption.


Science Supports the Effectiveness of Bamboo Charcoal

Professionals advise different methods in improving indoor air quality. These include investing in a good HVAC system, avoiding toxic room sprays, or worse, doing a major renovation in your home. Natural methods to alleviate SBS include maintaining indoor plants, letting air in, and using bamboo charcoal.

Scientific studies have supported the effectiveness of bamboo charcoal in the control of odor and in the removal of harmful atmospheric pollutants. This is highlighted in a study conducted by the Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan in March 2002.

The study concludes that charcoal can be effectively used as a countermeasure against “Sick Building Syndrome” or as a deodorant. Further, certain bamboo charcoals have to be used to remove specific chemicals and pollutants.


Other Uses of Bamboo Charcoal

Bamboo charcoal not only adsorbs carbon dioxide, ammonia, benzopyrene, and other pollutants in your home or office. It even lowers the concentration of pollutants in the environment that trigger asthma and allergies.

It’s also a great dehumidifier. Place a bag or two of the Vitchelo bamboo charcoal bags in your closets, drawers, and cabinets to keep your clothing fresh and prevent mold in such places. When used in water filtration or as fertilizer, it is a great source of minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, and iron. You’ll find more great uses of it in your home in our blog article The Simplest Ways To Make The Best Of Bamboo Charcoal.

On a side note, activated charcoal also has a lot of benefits to the body when taken orally. Let Dr. Josh Axe explain to you its benefits in this video.

Should You Buy It?

What do you do if you do not have the funds to do a major overhaul of your home or office? Or if maintaining plants is too much of a hassle for you?

Bamboo charcoal is cheap, all-natural, and comes from a renewable source. Between spending a good fortune and using toxin-filled sprays, using bamboo charcoal to improve air quality in your home is a no brainer.

If you have used bamboo charcoal and have reaped its benefits or if you have questions, feel free to comment below.


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