How SunLit™ Roof Hatches and Smoke Vents Influence Indoor Air Quality

SunLit Roof HatchNystrom has long been an industry leader in manufacturing roof hatches and smoke vents. Over the past two decades the installation of glazed roof hatches and smoke vents has grown in popularity. This is due in part to green efforts to reduce dependence on electricity, enhance worker morale and productivity. A new study linking natural daylighting may add to known air quality benefits.

In a recent NPR article, Kathleen O’Neil talks about lighting being an effective way to kill germs and bacteria. The article “Grandma Was Right: Sunshine Helps Kill Germs Indoors” discusses research completed by the University of Oregon where various dust samples were tested for bacteria growth across light exposure. This is the first study that links air quality and light. The study posits that darkened rooms are almost twice as likely to produce bacteria growth. Some of the human-associated bacteria known to cause respiratory disease didn’t survive in the study’s light rooms. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, study co-author, states “Until now, daylighting [illuminating a building with natural light] has been about visual comfort or broad health. But now we can say daylighting influences air quality.”

Additional studies utilizing polycarbonate domes and multi-wall panels will need to be performed to determine exact benefit of daylighting and UV exposure.


The full published study “Daylight exposure modulates bacterial communities associated with household dust” is available from the Microbiome Journal.