Dirty windows turned out to be very dangerous: scientists told us how this affects health

Dirty windows turned out to be very dangerous: scientists told us how this affects health

According to a new study conducted by scientists from Birmingham University, the fatty acids that are released during cooking are very stable and difficult to separate in the atmosphere.

This means that when they hit a solid surface, such as a window, they form a self-organizing thin film. Over time, it accumulates and very slowly destroys other chemicals in the atmosphere. During this process, the film becomes more rough and attracts more water because of the humidity of the air. In addition, toxic pollutants that are protected from degradation in the atmosphere are held under this persistent crust. In the end, human health may be affected by hazardous substances.

Dr. Christian Pfrang, Senior Author of the new study, stated that "fat acids in films are not particularly harmful in themselves, but because they do not break up, they effectively protect any other pollutants".

In the study, scientists used both neutrons and X-rays to study the nano-size composition of films and changes in their surface structures. By changing the humidity and amount of ozone, a key pollutant inside and outside the premises, experts also simulated the behaviour of the films over time.

They found that the self-organised location within them in the form of repeated molecular layers — the so-called lamelar phase — makes it difficult for smaller molecules, such as ozone, to access reactive parts of fatty acids within these structures. After deposition and exposure, the surface of the film becomes less smooth and more likely to absorb water. This is important for the formation and life expectancy of aerosols in the atmosphere.