Friday, November 06, 2009

VOG (volcanic smog): Higher incidence of thyroid cancer in volcanic area

People living in volcanic areas may be at a higher risk for thyroid cancer, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The increasing incidence of thyroid cancer has been attributed to more sensitive screening, but recent evidence indicates that this may not be the only cause. Various environmental factors, such as those associated with volcanoes, have not been excluded as risk factors.

Gabriella Pellegriti, M.D., Ph.D., of the endocrinology division, University of Catania Medical School, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital in Italy, and colleagues collected incidence [newly diagnosed cases] of thyroid cancers in Sicily from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2004 to compare the cancer rates of residents living in the volcanic area of Mt. Etna of Catania with those in the rest of Sicily.

The researchers found that residents of the Catania province had a more than two times higher incidence of papillary thyroid cancer, but not follicular or medullary thyroid cancers, than elsewhere on the island. Also, papillary tumors from patients in Catania more frequently carried the BRAF V600E gene mutation, which has been associated with more aggressive thyroid cancer.

The authors point out that a volcanic environment—which can produce toxic compounds that are suspended particulate matter and gases and elements that may pollute the water—may increase the incidence of thyroid cancer; however, the mechanism by which it affects risk is unknown.

"The striking increase in papillary thyroid cancer incidence that was associated with the Etna volcanic environment leads us to suggest that residents of other volcanic areas…could be at increased risk for thyroid cancer and, possibly, of other cancers," the authors write. "Although specific risk factors for thyroid cancer in this volcanic environment are still unknown, identification of these factors could help to better understand the cause(s) of the increasing thyroid cancer incidence in Europe and North America and perhaps to develop prevention measures."

AllerAir has customized air purifiers which are currently being used by clients in Hawaii for VOG and sulfur dioxide. These units feature a special carbon blend which targets the gaseous components specific to volcanic by-products, as well as medical-grade HEPA filtration for fine airborne particles. Call today for a customized recommendation 1-888-852-8247. We have over 40 blends of carbon to target numerous air quality issues. Trusted by home-owners and professionals world-wide!

Friday, July 03, 2009

AllerAir Battling Toxic Chinese Drywall

AllerAir Industries develops filters to combat gases that can threaten house occupants

By MIKE KING, The Gazette

A Montreal air purification firm has joined forces with Spiderman to battle what has become known as toxic Chinese drywall, which is ailing North American homeowners and damaging their residences.

AllerAir Industries Inc. is working with Spiderman Mulholland, a leading U.S. forensic expert on the effects of water intrusion on buildings and toxic mould, to find a solution to the harmful gases emitted from the construction product imported from China between 2001 and 2006.

"We developed a carbon filter unit specifically to reduce the hydrogen sulfide (that has been found to leach from the drywall)," AllerAir president Sam Teitelbaum said from the company's manufacturing plant in St. Laurent. "In a 24-hour test, there was an 85-per-cent reduction."

AllerAir was contacted a few months ago by Mulholland, whose Florida-based U.S. Building Consultants Inc. has a government-accredited testing facility that can determine toxic-drywall problems.

It was there a pair of AllerAir systems - a modified model of its industrial RSU carbon filter machine for large surfaces and the RAP-H2S for smaller residential areas- were successfully tested.

As a result of those findings, Mulholland has ordered 25 more units to test on affected homes in the Sunshine State.

His laboratory analysis of the drywall found 11 sulphur compounds and contaminants to which prolonged exposure may cause serious problems to the nervous system.

Some of the serious health conditions and illnesses attributed to those sulphide gases include shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, eye irritations and respiratory difficulties.

Often, occupants are forced to leave their homes.

"As of now, we have the only machines allowing people (experiencing problems from the Chinese drywall) to continue living in their homes," noted Henri Chero, sales, marketing and design consultant at AllerAir.

The systems are priced from $1,000 to $8,000, depending on the size of the unit.

While initial estimates are that more than 100,000 homes had Chinese drywall installed across the U.S. during the building boom that followed after hurricanes Wilma and Katrina depleted domestic drywall supplies, Chero said that number could easily triple.

The crisis some are calling the worst case of sick houses in U.S. history has hit 41 states and is starting to be felt in Canada.

Cases have been reported in the Lower Mainland of B.C., Calgary and Toronto.

In cases where there is high humidity, sulfuric acid is created, which can result in failure to home heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems as well as electrical appliances, copper coils turning black, corroded electrical wiring, tarnished silver jewellery or utensils and light bulbs burning out at a faster rate.

To date, several lawsuits have been filed against German drywall manufacturer Knauf KG, its Chinese plasterboard units and U.S. home builders.

On the Web: or

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spring Cleaning for Allergy Sufferers A Real Must: Dust Mites, Pet Dander & Household Mold Beware!

Like clockwork, every year, my husband turns into a real grump. He sniffles, he sneezes and he glares at me for a few key reasons: I keep a huge flower garden (in the front yard and back yard), I have two cats (one of which has extremely long hair, and lots of it) and perhaps most importantly, because I don’t suffer from allergies.

And so the yearly spring-cleaning routine begins. Our target is to get the major allergy culprits like dust mites, pet dander and household mold, while giving any rugs, drapes and upholstery a deep cleaning.

Another allergy trigger that people often overlook is the actual cleaning product that they’re using in the spring-cleaning. Chemical household cleaners can contribute to headaches and allergies, as well as being especially toxic to anybody with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or someone with even minor reactions to chemicals.

We don’t promote our 100% all-natural cleaning products very often, simply because our main focus is on our air purifiers, but I’m going to slip a worthwhile plug here, because I have to say, these products are really superb. As someone who always thought that you couldn’t get the same level of clean with a green cleaning product, I have officially changed my mind.

And since many allergy sufferers are actually allergic to mold, AllerAir’s Mold Away is a great choice because it contains no fragrances, is 100% all natural and uses the power of billions of natural enzymes to clean away dirt, germs and mold.

With more than 20 percent of Americans suffering from allergies, and symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes, persistent cough, sneezing and runny nose, the demand for relief is now reaching unprecedented numbers. While there is no real cure for allergies, it is possible to relieve symptoms by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens.

I think it’s safe to say, that most people are aware of pollen, dust, pet dander and other airborne particles as major contributors to allergies. But airborne chemicals and mold spores can also contribute to allergy symptoms, albeit to a smaller percentage of people.

Since some people are allergic to particles, others to chemicals and still others to mold particles, our air purification recommendation includes a three-step approach.

1. Medical-HEPA filtration for particles
2. Deep-bed carbon filter for chemicals
3. UV light for mold

Allergy Air Purification System Recommendations

5000 Exec with UV Option

6000 Exec with UV Option


Call us at 888.852.8247 to ask us about our 100% all-natural cleaning products—great for moldy bathrooms and kitchens, and for allergy sufferers too! For more information on our full line of air purifiers, ideal for removing airborne chemicals, particles and mold spores, please visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HELP—My Apartment Has Mold!

A call we receive a lot is from apartment renters who have problems with mold. They’ve told their superintendent that a mold problem exists, they’ve tried to remediate the mold themselves and they’ve even tried to break their lease. But often, apartment dwellers are stuck between superintendents who just don’t care and the fear that their health is at stake.

Many apartment dwellers complain of increased sinus infections, upper respiratory infections—even bronchitis, pneumonia and far worse. But still their pleas go unanswered. Their illnesses checked off as a figment of their imagination, or not the responsibility of the apartment owner. And the mold remains. And the situation worsens.

Can Air Purifiers REALLY Help?
Air purifiers are certainly a viable, affordable option for renters with mold problems, especially since many of them are looking for a temporary solution until they can have the problem resolved permanently, or find a new place to live. Either of which is advisable.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—air purifiers cannot remove mold.

What air purifiers can do is filter the dangerous mold spores and mycotoxins that are produced as a byproduct of mold, and which can also make you sick. Very sick.

A Common Mistake
A common mistake that people make when purchasing an air purifier for mold is stopping at a HEPA-only air purifier. Indeed, HEPA filters play an integral role in the filtering of mold particles and spores, but as we will explore in the Recommendations below, they fall short of providing a complete solution.

Beware of Ozone Air Purifiers
Now before we get to the solution, I want to add (just in case some of you don’t make it to the end of this blog) a word about air purifiers that emit ozone to clean indoor air of pollutants, such as mold. According to the EPA, “whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health.” Moreover, “if used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants.”

In a nutshell, ozone air purifiers can be dangerous, AND even if they weren’t, they don’t work anyway.

AllerAir recommends air purifiers that combine a HEPA filtration system, a deep bed of activated carbon and UV light technology.

No question, HEPA is a key ingredient in the war against mold. The HEPA filter serves to trap 99.97% of the mold particles. However, something to keep in mind when dealing with mold. When choosing a HEPA filter, make sure that the lid (that holds the web of fibers together) is not made of cardboard, as this is an ideal food source for mold. A better choice would be a lid made of metal or polyurethane.

2. A Deep Bed of Activated Carbon
The activated carbon works to adsorb that musty smell that is associated with mold and adsorbs its harmful mycotoxin gases. The deeper the carbon filter, the better the adsorption capacity. An acceptable filter depth might be around 2”, but a better filter depth would measure closer to 3” or 3.5”.

Your carbon filter is important because it dictates the dwell time that a pollutant remains in the air purifier. The deeper the filter, the longer the dwell time. The longer the dwell time, the better the adsorption of the air pollutant.

3. UV Light
The UV light’s role is to sterilize any mold spores that are not trapped by the HEPA filter. This may seem irrelevant considering the HEPA traps 99.97% of the spores, but when it comes to mold, even the .03% that escape the HEPA filter can be enough to propagate a new mold problem. Plus, UV light technology also sterilizes bacteria and viruses, so if you’ve invested in a good air purification system, it just makes good sense to cover all your bases.

Why Invest in an Air Purifier if I’m Going to Eventually Leave My Mold-infested Apartment Anyway?
If today you rent a mold-infested apartment, then you need protection. The great thing about air purifiers, really, is that they serve many purposes. This means, when you move into your next home, you can use this same air purifier for general improved indoor air quality, or to remove Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC’s) that are generated through new home furnishings and renovations. In fact, you can use your air purifier for a myriad of indoor air quality solutions—mold just happens to be one of the many great applications.

Ideal AllerAir Air Purifiers for Mold

AirMedic+ with UV Technology

5000 Exec with UV Technology

6000 Exec with UV Technology

For more information on air purification solutions for mold, please visit, or call one of AllerAir’s Indoor Air Quality Experts at 888.852.8247. You can also send an email to us at

Got industrial-sized indoor air quality problems? We’ve got industrial-sized solutions!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Report: Third-hand Smoke Dangerous for Children

It’s a fairly new buzzword, and it’s making waves in and outside the indoor air quality (IAQ) industry. It’s called ‘third-hand smoke’. The term refers to the lingering toxic particles that remain on clothing, hair, furniture and various other surfaces long after a cigarette has been stubbed out. New research shows that these particles can be especially dangerous to babies and children, who can inhale these lingering poisons.

Most smokers and non-smokers alike have heard of the dangers of first- and second-hand smoke. The indoor air quality industry answers a large demand from both smokers (who don’t want to bother non-smokers) and non-smokers (who are bothered by smokers).

Certainly AllerAir doesn’t put itself in the position of condemning or condoning smoking, whether indoors or outdoors, but we will be the first to express the negative effects smoking has on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

According to Health Canada, Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is a combination of exhaled smoke and the smoke produced by an idling cigarette, cigar or pipe. It consists of solid particles, liquids and gases.

Over 4,000 different chemical compounds have been identified in ETS, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, arsenic, dioxins and furans. More than 50 of these substances are known carcinogens. Others are known or suspected mutagens, capable of changing the genetic structure of cells.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently declared ETS to be a class-A-carcinogen, since many of its components are also found in industrial effluents where they are treated as hazardous waste.

According to the EPA, children's exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:

1. Increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma
2. Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age)
3. Respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year

We feel the best way to avoid the dangers associated with first, second and third-hand smoke is to stop smoking altogether. For those who do smoke, or who are surrounded by smokers, AllerAir has a full line of air purifiers designed specifically to tackle the dangerous properties of smoke.

Available in our 5000 and 6000 series, our smokers’ units are equipped with:
· Deep (“DS”) or extra-deep (“DX S”) carbon beds to adsorb the dangerous particles, chemicals and odors associated with cigarettes, cigars and other alternative smoking products
· Unique tar-trapping filters to collect the sticky tar droplets associated with cigarettes, which clog conventional air cleaners
· Between 24 lbs. and 36 lbs. pounds of activated carbon

For more information on air purification systems for smoking applications, contact 888.852.8247 to speak to one of AllerAir's Indoor Air Quality Experts, or visit and click on Tobacco Smoke.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Study Reveals Dangers of Third-Hand Smoke

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals interesting research that gives smokers one more reason to keep their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking.

According to the research, lead by Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, even if a smoker goes outside for a puff, the lingering smell of smoke, dubbed ‘third-hand smoke’, can be harmful to others, especially children.

Most smokers are well aware of the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke, but this research reveals that the brew of gases and particles associated with cigarettes adheres to clothing, furniture, hair, carpeting and a host of other things that smokers come in contact with, and can affect the health of others long after the cigarette has been stubbed out.

So even if you smoke when nobody’s home, third-hand smoke still lurks; the toxins are just as harmful, but invisible.

AllerAir has designed a full line of air purifiers to adsorb the dangerous toxins associated with cigarettes, cigars and other smoking alternatives. Our Smoking Series of air cleaners are equipped with a deep carbon bed, a HEPA filtration system, as well as a unique tar-trapping pre-filter to provide the most advanced adsorption of harmful smoking chemicals.

For more information, contact one of our Indoor Air Quality Experts at 888.852.8247 or visit

MOLD: An Indoor Air Quality Nightmare

Respiratory difficulty. Allergies. Sick Building Syndrome. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Fibromyalgia. Cancer. Death.

Toxic mold can be responsible for serious conditions, illnesses and even death. In the 1930’s Stachybotrys Chartarum, or green mold, was responsible for the deaths of farm animals in Russia after it was found growing on wet grain used for feeding the animals.

In 2005, mold toxin made its way into pet food supply, which consequently led to the death of dozens of dogs.

Earlier that same year, after 2-year old Neveah Lair died, her mother along with 68 other apartment tenants filed a lawsuit, blaming the building for not addressing its mold problem.

There have been thousands upon thousands of other similar stories about the health consequences of mold.

Mold illness has become a controversial issue. Just as asbestos was the health nightmare of the 1980’s and 1990’s, buildings contaminated by mold biotoxins have become the scourge of the 21st century.

Mold spores may be found lying dormant on almost every surface. Unless large numbers of spores become airborne, there is usually little problem. However, when mold spores are on a surface with appropriate moisture content, nutrients, and temperature, the spores will germinate and mold will grow. Ideal breeding grounds for mold are kitchens, bathrooms, windows and basements, but virtually any place will do. In just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with room-temperature conditions and an organic food source can lead to mold growth.

Not all molds are dangerous for your health; indeed, one of the most well-know types of molds is penicillin, which has saved millions of lives. Black mold, however, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a toxic greenish-black fungi found worldwide that colonizes particularly well in high-cellulose material such as straw, hay, wet leaves, dry wall, carpet, wall paper, fiber-board, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, etc. The fungus, before drying, is wet and slightly slimy to touch.

3 Signs of a Potential Mold Problem

1. High Humidity
If you live in a high-humidity area, then you should always be wary of mold. A relative humidity (RH) level of greater than 55% promotes the growth of mold and other fungi. Monitor the rooms of your home, and use a dehumidifier if need be.

2. Water Damage/Flooding
The more moisture mold is exposed to, the more it thrives. When water damage or flooding occurs, the damp environment is conducive to aggressive mold growth. If water damage remains hidden, or if it takes several days to dry out flooding damage, mold has ample opportunity to grow.

3. Musty/Mildew Smell
Mold often grows in areas that are unseen, like behind walls, in crawl spaces or beneath a carpet or flooring. If you smell a musty/mildew odor, it may be a sign you have a mold problem. Further investigation is recommended.

What Kind of Air Purifiers Best Combat Mold?
There are definite ways to combat mold. The best way is to control the amount of moisture in your home or business, thus avoiding a mold problem before it begins. That said, air purifiers offer an additional level of protection.

The ideal air purifier to combat mold will combine 3 essential technologies: HEPA, UV and a deep bed of carbon, with the most important focus being on the UV technology.

· The HEPA filters work to remove 99.97% of airborne mold particles
· The UV light then sterilizes any mold spores that are not trapped by the HEPA filter
· The deep carbon bed creates increased dwell time in the air purifier, which is key to adsorbing the strong odors and gases associated with mold

Best Unit Recommendations

The 5000 Exec with UV
· 18 lbs. of carbon, 2.5” carbon bed
· Medical-grade HEPA
· UV light

AirMedic+ with UV
· 18 lbs. of carbon, 2” carbon bed
· Medical-grade HEPA
· UV light
· The AirMedic series features 360-degree air intake which provides enhanced surface area contact, thus improving mold spore filtration

Source Removal
If a mold problem is present in a home or office, the source of the mold growth must be removed. An air purifier can work to remove the harmful effects of mold, but source removal is essential if the problem is to be resolved permanently.

Study: Clean Air = Longer Life

A recent study by Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health reveals that breathing cleaner air can add about five months to your life.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we ask, what better gift for your loved one than cleaner air, and a longer life together?

AllerAir manufactures a full line of air purifiers for home and businesses across the globe. For more information, contact one of our Indoor Air Quality Experts at 888.852.8247 or visit

Monday, January 05, 2009

Airborne Chemicals to Blame for Travolta Death?

It’s always a shame when it takes a tragedy to shed light on an otherwise much-ignored topic. Shortly into the New Year, on Friday January 2, 16-year old Jett Travolta, son of acclaimed actor John Travolta, was found dead at his family’s vacation home in the Bahamas.

The cause of the young boy’s death will not be known until the results of the autopsy can be analyzed and released to the public. It is known that Jett had a seizure, and hit his head on a bathtub when he collapsed.

The family, however, has long upheld that Jett suffered from Kawasaki disease, a condition that is largely misunderstood, and under-researched. It is also difficult to diagnose since there are no known tests that can confirm or deny its presence.

According to a Children's Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical school information page on the disease, “Some studies have found associations between the occurrence of Kawasaki disease and recent exposure to carpet cleaning or residence near a body of stagnant water; however, cause and effect have not been established.”

Kelly Preston, John’s wife and Jett’s mother, had worked tirelessly to purify her home of all airborne chemicals, such as those found in carpet cleaners.

I imagine over the next few days and weeks, many will argue over the legitimacy of Kawasaki disease. There will be, I suspect, the same who argue that chemical sensitivities, like those that plague people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are merely... figments of their imagination. Exaggerations. Lies.

Not only do we not agree with this, but we’ve also based much of what we stand for at AllerAir on the sole purpose of raising awareness about the dangers associated with poor indoor air quality (IAQ), and developing air purifiers that offer alternatives to breathing dangerous airborne chemicals and gases.

For more information on harmful airborne toxins and chemicals, visit To speak to one of our Indoor Air Quality Experts, call 1.888.852.8247.