Air quality is important to everyone. But for one Allentown, Pennsylvania woman who suffers from environmental illness, it has called for desperate measures.
Elizabeth Feudale-Bowes, 52, is extremely sensitive to chemicals, allergens and other everyday substances. As a result she suffers from migraines, joint pain, bladder inflammation, seizures and even temporary paralysis.
So her husband built her a safe-zone structure in their backyard—- what the couple lovingly refers to as their “bubble”.
But yesterday, the county court ordered the couple to dismantle the unsightly shelter that was built without a permit and does not conform to building regulations.
Feudale-Bowes maintains that the chemicals and substances in the air make her so violently ill, that without the bubble, where she spends 10 hours a day, she is unable to function.
The county and the couple’s neighbors want the structure down by the end of the month. The couple is threatening to sue the township under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
This story is controversial and is making headlines. But the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Experts at AllerAir say they hear stories just like this one on a regular basis.
“We receive phone calls on a weekly basis from people just like Elizabeth Feudale-Bowes, who are desperate, and as a result take some pretty desperate measures,” said Karen Hand, chemical engineer and IAQ Expert at AllerAir. “Their illness is often viewed by society and the medical community as psychological, and support is often lacking.”
Hand says that people suffering with Environmental Illness (EI) and similar chronic conditions such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) often turn to air purifiers to help them create a safe-zone, like the one that Feudale-Bowes’ husband made for her in their backyard.
“Being outfitted with the wrong air purifier is often worse than not having one at all,” warns Hand. “Only an air purifier with pounds of activated carbon can help adsorb dangerous airborne chemicals—- but what many air purifier companies don’t know, or don’t say, is that EI and MCS sufferers can be sensitive to the carbon itself.”
Hand says choosing the right blend of carbon is key to finding the right air purifier. She recommends the AirMedic MCS with EcoFlow TM Technology, which comes standard with a test kit. “The client is given the test kit with different blends of carbon and is able to then choose the type of carbon that best suits their chemical sensitivities. This greatly limits a negative reaction to the unit itself.”
Hand also says that EI and MCS sufferers must stay away from air purifiers designed with plastics. These units, she says, have dangerous off gassing that can be detrimental to EI and MCS sufferers.
“Air purifiers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Hand. “A HEPA air filter is not designed to remove chemicals, so it’s another perfect example of an air purifier that won’t work for this purpose.”
Hand suggests that people who have serious sensitivities and extreme IAQ problems speak to a air purifier professional, and not just pick up a random unit at the hardware store. “This move can often make a bad situation worse, and lead to circumstances like the one with Elizabeth Feudale-Bowes, where desperate measures are taken in desperate situations.”
To speak to an AllerAir IAQ Expert, call 1.888.852.8247.