Sunday, October 20, 2019

Nippon Paint Launches Indoor Wellness Programme

The hazy days may have gone, but is the air in your home is safe to breathe? You may think that it's safe, but did you know that 60% surveyed Malaysians suffer from poor indoor air quality? That being said, Malaysia's No. 1 coating solution provider, Nippon Paint Malaysia Group has officially launched its Indoor Wellness Programme, an educational campaign aimed at empowering Malaysian homeowners to take charge of improving their overall indoor air quality at home, towards a more holistic wellness.

The launch event was graced by Dr Amir Hamzah Dato' Abd Latiff, President of Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI) and Dato' Dr Rajbans Singh, President of Malaysian Wellness Society.

Speaking at a panel discussion session after the official launch, Dr Amir Hamzah said, "On behalf of the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology (MSAI), we are indeed pleased to partner with Nippon Paint in developing the Indoor Wellness Guideline. As environmental pollution is one of the key focus areas at MSAI, it is in our best interest to acknowledge how indoor air quality affects healthcare in general, specifically allergy and respiratory-related diseases and eventually its impact on climate change. At MSAI, we aim to work hand-in-hand with the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APAACI) as a regional initiative in bringing awareness to indoor wellness."

"Indoor wellness is a key part of the components within the Wellness Wheel, comprising of areas related to individual's overall health and wellness in seven dimensions, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial and spiritual. All dimensions are interconnected and plays an important role in achieving a well-rounded, holistic and balanced lifestyle," says Dr Rajbans Singh, President of Malaysian Wellness Society (MWS), who was a panellist at the "Healthy Homes vs Sick Homes" panel discussion during the launch event. He continued, "Unfortunately, awareness on the importance of good indoor air quality has received very little attention and I hope that through the Indoor Wellness Programme, we can further educate Malaysian homeowners on the importance of good indoor air quality through various awareness and educational initiatives."

Left to right : Ms Gladys Goh, Group General Manager of Nippon Paint Malaysia Group and Dr Amir Hamzah, President of the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology officiating the launch of the Indoor Wellness Programme and marking Nippon Paint and the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology's (MSAI) joint efforts in developing MSAI's first-ever Indoor Wellness Guideline.

The Indoor Wellness Programme consists of two phases, the Indoor Wellness Survey and the Indoor Wellness Guideline. The survey studies the habits of 511 Malaysian homeowners on the cleanliness of various spaces at home, focusing on the living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Their Indoor Wellness Score were categorised from Healthy, Unhealthy and Very Unhealthy.

According to the Indoor Wellness Survey, approximately 60% of surveyed Malaysians (or 6 out of every 10 respondents) have poor indoor air quality, with almost 70% of them who are single and the remaining being married. The Survey further shows that the healthiest group of respondents are those aged between 25 to 34 years old (making up 37% of the Healthy score category), while the unhealthiest group of surveyed Malaysians are younger with age range from 18 to 24 years old (making up 45% of the Very Unhealthy score category). From the survey, 75% of respondents who live in urban areas tend to have unhealthier home, while the remaining 25% of surveyed respondents' practices good habits that leads to a healthier indoor air quality.

Comparing all the various spaces at home, the kitchen is rated as the cleanest space at home while the unhealthiest spaces in the surveyed homes are the living room and bedroom, which is attributed to the fact that walls and floors are not cleaned often enough. Did you know walls are the largest surface at home and are easily an active medium for the transmission of viruses and bacteria? So make sure you clean your walls at least once a week!

Following the survey, an Indoor Wellness Guideline was developed in partnership with the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology ("MSAI"), the first-ever of such guideline by MSAI. The guideline further educate the public on why indoor wellness are important and sharing practical steps and expert advice on ways we can minimise or eliminate indoor pollutants.

The ten common air pollutants are :
  • VOC, colourless, strong smelling formaldehyde released from furnishings and building material. 
  • Mould and bacteria
  • Chemicals from cleaning product
  • Cigarette and tobacco smoke
  • Combustion gasses
  • Outdoor air pollutants 
  • Animal hair and dander
  • Gasses including radon
  • Dust mites
  • Carbon monoxide
Long term exposure to these pollutants could increase the risk of health problems such as asthma, allergies, cataracts, acute lower respiratory infections, ear and upper respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers. Don't wait! Here are some easy ways you can improve the air quality at home : 

  • Vacuum rooms at least twice a week. 
  • Swap chemical cleaners for milder disinfectants or try to use natural alternatives such as lemon juice, baking soda etc.
  • Clean your sofas, mattresses and storage units every week.
  • Ventilate rooms daily by opening windows.
  • Invest in a good air purifier. 
  • Wipe your toiletries dry frequently to prevent the growth of bacteria. 
  • Empty your trash can daily and place a lid over your trashcan to prevent bacteria from escaping into the air. 

The Indoor Wellness Programme is a continuation to Nippon Paint's Child Wellness Programme (CWP) which was rolled out in 2017 to empower discerning parents and key decision makers in child care centres and kindergardens, working towards creating uplifting environments for little ones be it at home or otherwise. Through the CWP, Nippon Paint partnered with four national associations including the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology (MSAI), Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia (PPBM) as well as Persatuan Tadika Malaysia (PTM) to reach out to parents, child care centres and kindergarden owners and operators and the community in terms of provision of expert advice and information for them to make informed decisions regarding their children's health and wellness.

The Nippon Paint's functional coatings go hand-in-hand with the concept of providing a safer and sustainable future for all, especially through the Child Wellness Range and Green Choice Series. The Child Wellness Range leverages on the Active Carbon Technology, designed to absorb harmful formaldehyde from the air, converting them into water vapour for cleaner air. It also contains the Silver Ion Technology to mitigate the growth of viruses and bacteria from spreading through walls. Leveraging on its Anti-Stain Technology, the Nippon Paint's coating solutions provide parents the ease of mind for their children to express creativity because stains can be easily cleaned or wiped off. On the other hand, Nippon Paint's Green Choice Series includes both interior and exterior paints formulated with the wellness of the environment and consumers health in mind. The series features water-based, non-added lead and mercury as well as near-zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) coatings. 

Wellness is not just about maintaining a balanced diet or following a fitness regimen, it is also about breathing in clean air, indoors. With the Nippon Paint Indoor Wellness Programme, you'll learn about the dangers of polluted air, as well as tips to clean and tidy the main living spaces the right way. Not to mention, the solutions for cleaner air also come from the paints you use. The Nippon Paint Indoor Wellness Programme is available for download here.

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