Friday, November 21, 2008

Indoor Air Quality: What’s That?

One thing about working in the air purifying business is that you start to learn a lot about indoor air quality-- perhaps even too much. It’s scary because you quickly realize exactly what you’re breathing, what your children are breathing, and you become conscious that these air pollutants, these chemicals, are not just outside, but right in your very own home.

The strange thing is the air purifying business is still fairly low on the totem poll. Look at a comparable industry, like the water purifying business, and it’s booming. People often turn their noses up when it comes to tap water, knowing far too well the benefits of drinking clean water.

So is clean water more important than clean air? Both water and air are essential to life. Both water and air affect our health and well being. So why does clean water take so much precedence over clean air?

If a waiter brings you a glass of water and you see something floating in it, chances are that you’re going to ask for another glass of clean water. Now what if we could see airborne contaminants? Keeping the same example of the restaurant, what would you do if you saw all the contaminants floating in the air? Now what if you saw these very same contaminants in your living room, your bedroom—your nursery, your playroom, and your schools?

The truth is, airborne chemicals and particles are miniscule, and are basically invisible to the naked eye. We don’t demand cleaner air because it’s easy to forget that the air we breathe is so dirty, so polluted… so bad for our health. And so many people think that choosing to drink clean water is just easier—you can pick up a bottle of purified water for a dollar or so at almost any corner store.

The truth is breathing clean air is no less important than drinking clean water. Don’t take my word for it, check out Health Canada or the EPA website. Look at the Canadian Medical Association’s recent report that stated poor air quality will cause the death of approximately 700,000 Canadians over the next two decades. 21,000 Canadians will die this year alone. Even if you’re young. Even if you’re healthy.

So it’s part of our mandate at AllerAir. We talk about air quality because it’s our business, but we also talk about it because it’s time people know. The air you breathe is laden with chemicals, not just pesky particles. They are in your home because chemicals are found in everyday items like, carpets, furniture, household cleaners, toys, floor coverings, computers, shower gels and detergents, textiles and mattresses. We are lying on, walking on, touching and wearing chemicals every day. And breathing them too.

But if these chemicals are found in our everyday items, they must be safe—right? They must be tested, approved… there must be a governing body that states that these chemicals are not harmful to us, otherwise they just wouldn’t be used. Right?

There are definite steps to be taken to work towards providing our homes and workspaces with cleaner air. Greenpeace suggests substituting hazardous chemicals wherever there are available alternatives. It is imperative that we take this responsible step, at least until the government demands that manufacturers provide consumers with safe products.

When we recommend air purifiers, we are not suggesting that other pro-active steps, such as the ones recommended by Greenpeace be disregarded. Making environmentally-friendly purchasing decisions in combination with air purifiers is what we believe provides the cleanest air available.

Be informed. Make an educated decision about the quality of air you breathe. And then decide how you want to ensure that the air you breathe, the air your children breathe, is clean.

For more information on the importance of breathing clean air and indoor air quality solutions, visit or call 888.852.8247.

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