How Wool Increases Indoor Air Quality Of Your Home

Wool is a wonderful fiber for absorption of indoor pollutants in your home. The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is affected by human activities, building materials, heating, ventilation, floor coverings and furnishings.

As discussed in earlier posts, wool is made up of about 18 amino acids leading to its complex molecular and chemical structure. The high reactivity of amino acid chains
lends wool its incredible ability to bind itself to toxic air pollutants emitted by Volatile Organic Compunds (VOC).

The most hazardous indoor pollutants are sulphur dioxide (SO2), formaldehyde (HCHO) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are by products of fuel burning and are commonly caused by fireplaces, home appliances and vehicle exhaust.

How Wool Combats Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

A wool carpet in the house can significantly reduce the nitrogen dioxide levels compared to nylon carpets. In a test, both wool and nylon carpets initially absorbed nitrogen dioxide rapidly but wool absorbed it better at different concentrations. But the real problem was noticed on heating wherein the nylon carpet re-emitted twice the volume of absorbed nitrogen dioxide as the woolen carpet.

Also, wool carpet yarn with its superior sorption (better absorption) lowered the volume of nitrogen dioxide by 12 times compared to the nylon carpet yarn. A graphical representation of nitrogen dioxide absorption by wool and nylon carpet yarn is presented below:

nitrogendioxide absorption between wool and nylon carpet yarn
nitrogendioxide absorption between wool and nylon carpet yarn

How Wool Combats Sulphur DiOxide (SO2)

Tests done comparing the sorption rates of sulphur dioxide of wool, rayon, nylon and viscose fibers showed that rayon and nylon absorbed SO2 rapidly and reached saturation point in 90 minutes. Wool absorbed SO2 steadily in lower amounts over a longer peiod of time.

As discussed above, the unique amino acid chains in wool is responisble for this prolonged absorption of SO2. This is an irreversible chemical reaction with wool releasing less than 1% of the sorbed sulphur dioxide over a 2 hour period.

How Wool Absorbs Formaldehyde (HCHO)

Many homes use resin based wood products like chipboard floors which are active emitters of formaldehyde. These emissions increase with temperature and humidity and the resin hydrolyses releasing the formaldeyde.

Wool with its unique protein structure containing amin acid groups absorbs formaldehyde aggressively in an irreversible chemical reaction without any re-emission. Thus wool effectively and permanently removes formaldehyde from the air inside a home. If the temperature and humidity increases, the increased emission of formaldelyde is effectively repelled by an even higher rate of absorption by wool.

Research shows that wool absorbs formaldehyde effectively at high and low concentrations. Use of wool for indoor furnishings like carpet and wall coverings in buildings affected by formaldehyde has brought down HCHO levels to less than 0.05 parts per million (ppm).

absorption of formaldehyde by woolabsorption of formaldehyde by wool

The Woolrest wool mattress pads and wool mattress toppers are ideal home furnishings that not only help you gain a great night’s sleep but also help in keeping toxic substances at bay and improving the indoor air quality of your house providing you and your dear ones a healthy lifestyle.

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Wool Benefits – Absorption And Desorption

Under highly humid conditions and in water, wool passes through a glass transition wherein the wool molecules rapidly increase their rate of absorption and desorption.
Desorption is the reverse of absorption where wool molecules disperse the absorbed moisture.

The figure below shows the glass transition curve on a graph between temperature and the absorption/desorption rate of moisture. Synthetics do not exhibit such symptoms under the same conditions.

glass transition graph for wool absorption desorption
glass transition graph for wool absorption desorption

Wool Garments Vs Synthetic Garments

After physical activity like running or power walking, the human body starts sweating. Wool rapidly absorbs the moisture till it exceeds the glass transition temperature. This causes the wool fiber molecules to intermingle at a faster rate or increases their diffusion rate and causes them to absorb odors faster.

After a while, the body cools down, the absorbed moisture evaporates and this slows down the diffusion rate and temperature falls below the glass transition curve. The odors are now trapped in the wool fiber.

When the wool garment is washed, the temperature of the water used for washing increases the diffusion rate and hence the glass transition temperature making it release the odors into the water and getting washed away.

Woolen Socks Vs Synthetic Socks

When woolen socks are worn, they do not emit odor that you normally experience after wearing of synthetic or non-woolen socks, be it post idle or brisk activity. Odors are either prevented from developing in the first place or if formed, they are trapped in the fiber.

On washing even with cold water, the woolen socks release odors better due to the glass transition sensitivity in comparison with other fibers.

Wool Mattress Products From Woolrest BioMag

Wool mattress products from Woolrest BioMag in the form of wool mattress pad – Woolrest gold fleece and wool mattress topper- Woolrest double fleece are made from the most luxurious Australain and New Zealand wool, combination of the best of Merino and Downs varieties for pampering you to no end and giving you a great night’s sleep.

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Wool And Odor Absorption In Human Body

Wool A Natural Temperature Regulator

Wool’s unique molecular structure and moisture absorption properties make it naturally resist the build up of body odors.

Humans regulate body temperature by sweating which is the body’s natural response to hot and humid conditions or when involved in intense physical activity like sport or exercise.

There are about 3 million sweat glands to enable the body to let out the sweat which evaporates rapidly. Though sweat is odorless, it sticks to the skin and in a few hours, bacteria develops leading to body odor.

In the case of extreme adventure sports like mountaineering, climbers have experienced minimal odor build up wearing woolen garments instead of artificial synthetic fibers.

Wool’s natural qualities like moisture absorption, comfort, breathability and control of body odor has resulted in manufacture of quality wool products ranging from skin hugging wear to outdoor wear. Such fabrics allow the skin to breathe.

How Does Wool Prevent Body Odor?

Wool is a fiber that can absorb moisture naturally. This removes the moisture built up on the skin surface. This leaves no moisture for the bacteria to act upon that causes body odor inthe first place. Synthetic fibers lack natural moisture absorption properties thus compounding the problem.

Anything resistant to water is hydrophobic. The surface of wool fibers is hydrophobic and they deny access to the bacteria to act on the moisture they have absorbed. In short, wool is a poor growth medium for bacteria.

Structure Of Wool Natural Microbe Repellent

The wool fiber surface structure is uneven making it difficult for microbes to attach themselves. This is a natural anti bacterial quality that wool possesses.

The outer waxy layer or epicuticle of wool contains a high volume of the C21 fatty acid. There is speculation that this acid layer has anti-bacterial properties.

The internal structure of wool is quite complex and naturally allows it to bind sulphurous, basic and acidic odors. These are important components of body odor.

Our range of wool mattress products such as the Woolrest gold fleece wool mattress pads and double fleece wool mattress toppers are made out of the finest quality Australian and New Zealand wool to take the definition of luxury and comfort to an all new high.

We will discuss the absorption and desorption properties of wool further in an ensuing post.

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Wool – Miraculous Gift Of Mother Nature

Unique Molecular Structure of Wool

Wool is a natural miracle fiber graciously offered by Mother Nature to humankind. Wool’s unique molecular structure and moisture absorption properties makes it the perfect candidate to eliminate body odors in the most natural way possible.

Unique Chemical Structure of Wool

The complex chemical structure of wool allows it to absorb poisonous agents from the atmosphere with very little or no emission of toxic vapors.

Environmental Benefits Of Wool

Wool is completely natural fiber that is renewable and biodegradable.

Wool For Comfort

Wool is excellent at temperature control. It also controls the humidity very well.

Wool For Performance

Wool is a great moisture management fiber. It is known for its micro climate control. It is also excellent at odor and toxic absorption.

Wool For Protection

The therapeutic properties of wool abound. Wool is flame retardant. It has better thermal insulation than any other fiber.

Quality of Woolrest Wool Mattress Products

The Woolrest wool mattress toppers and wool mattress pads are made of the finest Australian and New Zealand wool. The Downs wool bred in Australia and New Zealand
provides the strength, durability and spongeyness. The Merino wool gives our wool the softness.

High Quality of Woolrest Wool

The Woorlest wool that we use in our magnetic therapy products and wool mattress products have the prestigious Gold Woolmark certification. This certification assures the
top quality of the wool and its machine washability.

You can rest assured that when you buy our magnetic therapy products encased in wool or our wool mattress products, you are getting the best bang for your buck in terms of quality and price.

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