October 18, 2019

Have you ever thought, pollution can happen when we are indoor? It is important for us to protect our family when we stay indoors. Malaysia’s No. 1 coating solutions provider, Nippon Paint Malaysia Group (“Nippon Paint”), 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 more holistic wellness.

The Indoor Wellness Programme consists of two phases – the Indoor Wellness Survey and the Indoor Wellness Guideline. The Survey, which polled 511 respondents, was aimed at assessing the habits of Malaysian homeowners when it comes to the cleanliness of various spaces at home. With a focus on 4 areas of the home – the living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – the respondents were then given an Indoor Wellness Score in the following categories: Healthy, Unhealthy and Very Unhealthy.

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 guidelines by MSAI. The purpose of this guideline is to further educate the public on why indoor wellness is important and practical steps and expert advice on ways we can minimize or eliminate indoor pollutants. The Guideline is available for download here:

Speaking at the launch event, Gladys Goh, Group General Manager of Nippon Paint Malaysia Group said, “It is our priority to always place the needs of our consumers at the forefront. Although indoor space is where most, if not all of us spend most hours in, there is an absent focus on acknowledging how healthy an indoor space is. Indoor wellness is an almost invisible element in our lives, but one that presents dangers if it’s overlooked. With Nippon Paint’s Indoor Wellness Programme, and together with the rollout of MSAI’s first Indoor Wellness Guideline, it is our hope that every Malaysian homeowner will be more aware, educated and empowered to take charge of their indoor wellness, working towards providing a safer environment for themselves and their loved ones.”

The launch of the Indoor Wellness Programme was graced by Dr Amir Hamzah Dato’ Abd Latiff, President of Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI).

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 the 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.”

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 homes, 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. Insights from the survey showed that only 25% respondents clean their living room walls weekly, while less than half (43%) clean their bedroom walls only once a year or never – a worrying insight as walls are the largest surface at home and are easily an active medium for the transmission of viruses and bacteria.

Only one-third of the respondents (31%) reported cleaning their bathrooms floors 3 to 4 times a week, despite 55% of respondents admitted to spotting mold in the area. Furthermore, more than 60% of respondents use scented products in their living room, bathroom and bedroom with the misconception that it is beneficial for the areas, when in reality, scented products could actually release chemicals that cause the areas to appear dingy and grey and releases pollutants into the indoor air.1 This goes to show that there is a need to further educate and empower Malaysians to take charge of their overall health and wellness, including the wellness of their homes.

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