Friday, July 29, 2011

VIDEO: One year later worries remain over Michigan oil spill

Concerned about industrial chemical fumes, pollution and allergens in your region? AllerAir makes industrial grade air cleaners for the home that remove chemicals, gases, odors and particles. Connect with us to learn more:

Visit our website:
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E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Asthma Relief: An odd trigger you may not be aware of

Photo: prozac1/
For the millions of people with asthma, staying attack-free means knowing your triggers. Did you know that thunderstorms can also be added to the long list of triggers that includes airborne chemicals, pollen, dust and dander?

Scientists who tracked years of emergency room visits noted a significant increase in asthma attacks immediately after storms.

They believe that the rain breaks apart pollen grains, releasing allergens, while high winds pick up these irritants and other pollutants, dispersing them over a wide area.

Researchers add that with global climate changes, thunderstorms may actually increase in the coming years. Since we can’t change the weather, what’s a sufferer to do for real asthma relief?

“Besides sticking to your doctor’s asthma treatment plan, one of the most proactive things you can do for asthma relief is to address airborne irritants,” says Stephanie Bristow, an AllerAir Air Quality Expert. “A good quality air purifier with both a HEPA and carbon filter will reduce airborne dust, pollen, pollution and chemical fumes.”

For more information on AllerAir air purifiers for help with asthma relief connect with us:

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
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E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Thursday, July 28, 2011

VIDEO: Lung Association aims to thwart Congressional attempts to weaken Clean Air Act

Every day, millions of Americans suffer from the effects of toxic air in the form of asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and even premature death. In an effort to thwart Congressional attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act the American Lung Association has issued a new video to draw attention to the devastating effects of air pollution on children.

"Right now, some in Congress and special interests are trying to stop the cleanup of toxic mercury air pollution; they are encouraging the EPA to ignore scientific evidence that smog harms health and can even cause premature death and they are erroneously claiming that it’s too costly for big polluters to install modern pollution controls," said a press statement issued by the group. “Members of Congress must know that any vote against clean air policies and ignoring the health of our children is unacceptable.”

For more information on reducing airborne pollutants connect with us: Visit our website:
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Too much BPA in our environment? EPA considers new action

The chemical BPA even shows up on
money around the world.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency asked for public input earlier this week to determine whether it needed to take more action with regards to the widespread occurrence of BPA.

The commercial chemical bisphenol A is an ingredient in many plastics and food-contact resins and has become a concern because people are more exposed to it than previously believed.

“A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and environmental effects of BPA,” a Science New article quoted Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. 

Data from the proposed new tests, he said, “would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of BPA.”

It may require new toxicity testing and environmental sampling because of a concern that it “is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact, particularly on children’s health and the environment,” EPA notes on the BPA Action Plan website.

Recent animal studies have shown that even low level exposure to BPA can have worrying health effects.

Recent findings include:

  • Studies involving mice showed that early exposures — in the womb and up through a period equivalent to puberty — could affect gender-linked behaviors in adults: Males became subtly feminized, and in one instance females appeared somewhat masculinized.
  • One human study linked higher BPA exposures in the womb to subtly altered gender-specific behavior in toddlers: Girls became somewhat more aggressive than normal; boys more anxious and withdrawn.
  •  Low-dose exposures in one study, where mice had been exposed to BPA during fetal development, resulted in later prediabetes when the rodents reached early middle age.
  • A 2009 study in mice showed that the uterus of female mice exposed in the womb to BPA became supersensitized to the effects of estrogen in adulthood; a change that the authors said might jeopardize reproduction. (A test-tube study reported by others at the same time — at the Endocrine Society meeting — showed BPA altered the contractile rate of heart-muscle cells, especially in the presence of estrogen).
  • Genetic studies using roundworms showed it affected the genes responsible for successful reproduction and could cause sterility.

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Contact AllerAir today to find the right air cleaner for your needs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

California’s toxics law celebrates a quarter century of successful regulation

California toxics law turns 25
California is often seen as one of the frontrunners when it comes to passing and implementing environmental or consumer protection laws.

One of the reasons is the well-known Proposition 65, which was introduced 25 years ago and required businesses and buildings to offer warning labels about the potential for cancer or birth defects related to the use of their products or spaces.

Since its introduction a quarter century ago, the law has prompted companies worldwide to change their formulas or products in order to comply with the regulations and to avoid negative publicity and consumer wariness.

According to an article in the San Diego News, the list of altered items runs from correction fluid and nail polish to jewelry and vitamins. 

Thousands of consumer products changed

By one count, more than 12,000 kinds of consumer products have been reformulated directly because of Prop. 65 warnings — and an unknown number of others have been changed before they entered the legal process.

Even as some companies and individuals continue to complain about higher costs and more difficult production, fact is, the law put California at the forefront of an international movement to limit human exposure to dangerous chemicals and compounds.

The list now includes more than 840 substances “known to the state of California” to cause cancer or reproductive harm, up from 30 in 1987.

International influence of toxics law

Even though the law remains unmatched in other states or countries, many international companies have changed their products or have taken measures to follow the law, experts say,  because no business would want to get caught using one safer product in California and offer a different product anywhere else.

It may not be effective all the time – the law was and remains effective and has made many people aware of the risks of chemicals and other toxic substances.

Source: San Diego News

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Contact allergies may protect you from cancer

A study shows a link between contact
allergies and a lower risk of cancer.
If your skin reacts to common metals and chemicals (contact allergies), then you may have a lower risk of developing cancer.

Scientists in Denmark have studied environmental allergens that cause contact allergies in adults, including nickel and other chemicals, and the study’s lead author Kaare Engkilde of the National Allergy Research Center at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte concluded that those who tested positive for such allergies were less likely to develop cancer years later than those who did not have contact allergies.

The study recorded cancer rates over multiple decades and the positive effect of the contact allergies against cancer was strongest for breast and skin cancer that weren't due to melanoma.

Far-fetched connection between allergies and cancer?

According to the researchers, a growing body of evidence suggests that our bodies may have natural defenses against cancer, attacking the first signs of tumors much the way we target invading viruses or bacteria.

Since allergic reactions are essentially heightened immune responses to often benign compounds, such as dust or nickel or other agents, people with allergies might already be primed for any foreign intruders, including tumors.

While the finding is worthy of further study, Engkilde says it's only the first step in better exposing how the immune system might be influencing the cancer process.

Source: Time Healthland.

Worried about chemical exposure?

There are many ways you can reduce exposure to dangerous chemicals, including source control and using an air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon.

AllerAir has designed portable and powerful air cleaners for the home and office, which use a multi-stage filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA or Super-HEPA.
Activated carbon can remove airborne
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Activated carbon is the most effective and affordable medium to filter out airborne chemicals, gases, vapors, fumes and irritating odors. It has been shown to be effective in the adsorption of toxins such as ozone, octane, formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, toluene and smog.

AllerAir guarantees that you won’t find an air purifier with more relevant filtration media and more customizable options for a more advantageous price.Don't waste your money. Get a serious air purifier so you can breathe cleaner air. Read testimonials submitted by AllerAir clients.

Contact one of AllerAir’s air quality experts for more information: 1-888-852-8247.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Students make an air pollution detector out of a vacuum cleaner

A robotic vacuum cleaner that can
also detect indoor air pollutants?
(Photo by Christopher)
Students of the Rhode Island School of Design have turned a robotic “Roomba” vacuum cleaner into a machine that can sense air pollution, news reports say.

They installed sensors and light systems on the vacuum cleaner, which can alert users to poor indoor air quality or sources of indoor air pollution in rooms.

“Roomba--the room cleaning vacuum--is programmed to travel all around a room once it is left to roam. Therefore, it is an ideal tool to assess the quality of air through out a room," the students said in an article posted on the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.

The robotic vacuum cleaners can detect an increase in the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, which triggers a light change to alert the user.

"In areas where there are more VOCs the light on 'Roomba' changes from green to blue. Looking at this image you can easily spot an area of indoor air-pollution," the students said.

The students said they planned to add a sensor for formaldehyde, a common indoor and harmful indoor air-pollutant.

An article on tech site CNET said the components involved include a sub-$20 air quality sensor, an LED, and a battery.

Source: TJD, GMA News

Remove indoor air pollutants quickly and efficiently

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Contact AllerAir for more options and expert solutions for your indoor environment.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Air quality during heat waves

Extreme heat can affect the air quality.
In many parts of North America, a heat wave is affecting the health and well-being of individuals.

Many are wondering why the air is so bad - or does it only feel that way because it is so hot?

Not so, according to experts. Air quality decreases during times of hot temperatures because the heat and sunlight "cook" the air along with all the chemical compounds in it.

This chemical soup combines with the naturally occurring nitrogen oxide in the air, creating a “smog” of ground-level ozone gas.

This makes breathing difficult for those who already have respiratory ailments or heart problems and can also make healthy people more susceptible to respiratory infections.

Many authorities suggest that people stay hydrated and stay indoors if they have air conditioning, or go to air-conditioned buildings such as the mall or the cinema for at least a few hours a day.

Improve indoor air quality with a serious air purifier

Keep a portable, energy-efficient air purifier running on the lowest setting around the clock to benefit from added protection from airborne chemicals, gases and particles with a deep bed of activated carbon and HEPA.

Contact one of AllerAir's air quality experts to find out more.

More info: Why do heat waves make air quality worse?

Harsh summer allergy season? Blame spring

An air purifier can bring relief to those
suffering from allergies.
If you are suffering from bad allergies this summer, it's probably because of a late, wet spring.

Allergists said grass and weeds can be the culprit for allergies during the summer months.

People allergic to said grass and weeds have said the past few months have been miserable. Many report waking up with runny noses and are constantly sneezing.

“We did have a really wet winter and late spring so it seems when the pollens are playing catchup, we seem to have a stronger season because they are more intense," said allergy specialist Steven Kernerman in a NWCN report in Spokane.

The spring rain grew grass tall, which fuels pollen sources. It also shortened the pollinating season.

That means plants are making up for a shorter time to pollinate and now doing so at a higher concentration - and summer allergies can be more pronounced.

Allergies and better indoor air quality

Poor indoor air quality can aggravate or cause allergy symptoms.

AllerAir has designed air purifiers for those affected by allergies and asthma. The AirMedic and AirMedic+ Series are uniquely engineered to provide exceptional chemical and odor filtration as well as superior particle and pollen control.

The air purifiers feature a 360-degree air intake system and sealed filters to maximize efficiency.

"I've been on allergy medication for years and nothing was working. My doctor recommended AllerAir, so I purchased two for my home and now wake up with a clear nose. My husband says that I don't snore as loudly either. AllerAir has improved our quality of life!"
Debra H.

Create a "safe zone" in the bedroom or in any space you frequent often to get some relief from allergens.  Contact AllerAir today for more information.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Do you live in one of the 'Toxic 20' states?

A study identified 20 states with the
worst air pollution levels.
Toxic air pollution was the subject of a recent study aiming to single out the 20 US states with the worst levels of air pollution.

The three "winners" were Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The study, entitled "Toxic Power: How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States" was jointly released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).

In a press release, the researchers listed the study’s key findings:

  • Nearly half of all the toxic air pollution reported from industrial sources in the United States comes from coal- and oil-fired power plants.
  • Power plants are the single largest industrial source of toxic air pollution in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

"Power plants are the biggest industrial toxic air polluters in our country, putting children and families at risk by dumping deadly and dangerous poisons into the air we breathe," said Dan Lashof, Climate Center Director at NRDC.

"Tougher standards are long overdue. Members of Congress who consider blocking toxic pollution safeguards should understand that this literally will cost American children and families their health and lives."

The states on the "Toxic 20'' list (from worst to best) are:
  1.  Ohio
  2.  Pennsylvania
  3.  Florida
  4.  Kentucky
  5.  Maryland
  6.  Indiana
  7.  Michigan
  8.  West Virginia
  9.  Georgia
  10.  North Carolina
  11.  South Carolina
  12.  Alabama
  13.  Texas
  14.  Virginia
  15.  Tennessee
  16.  Missouri
  17.  Illinois
  18.  Wisconsin
  19.  New Hampshire
  20.  Iowa
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the reductions of toxic pollution required by the pending "Mercury and Air Toxics" standard would save as many as 17,000 lives every year by 2015 and prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms.

The safeguards also would avoid more than 12,000 emergency room and hospital visits and prevent 850,000 lost work days every year. These standards are expected to be finalized in November and public comments are still welcomed. Read the full press release here.

Worried about air pollution?
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An indoor air purifier is the quickest and most cost-effective way to remove a wide range of chemicals, gases and particles from the air, along with source control.

AllerAir specializes in powerful and portable indoor air cleaners for odor and chemical control with deep activated carbon filters, custom carbon blends and a HEPA or Super-HEPA filter to remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size.

Contact an AllerAir representative to find the right air purifier for your needs: 1-888-852-8247.
Related articles in the AllerAir library:
Check AllerAir's air quality library for more related posts by searching for articles in the category "Air Pollution."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Avoid pollutants - and other tips to breathe easier

Breathing fresh air and other
tips to feel relief
Breathing should be easy, but for a variety of reasons millions of people suffer from respiratory diseases.

WebMD recently published a list of tips for people affected by COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but many of these tips apply to the general public and promote an overall healthy lifestyle, so here is an abbreviated version:

Stop smoking
Smoking and secondhand smoke has been linked to a myriad of health effects and can be especially dangerous for infants and young children. Ban smoking from your indoor space.

Stay at a healthy weight
Shedding extra pounds can improve breathing if you are already overweight.

Avoid pollutants
Many people are affected by environmental pollutants -- including fumes, strong perfumes, pollen, dust, secondhand smoke, air pollution and construction sites. These can cause or aggravate breathing problems. The experts cited in the article suggest avoiding bad air as much as possible. "Using air filters in the house or air conditioning when allergens are prevalent can be helpful," the article states.

Stay healthy
A healthy lifestyle can help you feel better and breathe easier. Avoid people who are sick and build up your immune system as much as possible.

Sleep well
Better sleep is associated with a wide range of benefits, but many people have problems getting a good night's rest. Ask your healthcare professional about sleep disorders and take steps to improve the indoor air quality in your bedroom. A portable air purifier can remove airborne particles, chemicals and other pollutants and add some soothing white noise to help you through the night.

Try breathing exercises and relaxation methods
The article suggests pursed-lip breathing and diaphragm breathing to regulate breathing. Keep stress to a minimum and try different relaxation exercises.

Stay active
Getting exercise, even if it is just walking for a few minutes, is important. Don't overdo it, but keep with it. Eventually, the body will get stronger.

Get more information
If you have a breathing disorder, you need to know what you can or cannot do and talk to your healthcare provider. Most of these tips are common sense, but they may not be suitable for everyone. 

Please note: The information contained herein is not meant to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure a disease or condition. It may be necessary to consult a physician.

Remove indoor air pollutants with AllerAir air purifiers

AllerAir's numerical series with deep
carbon filters and enhanced particle filters
AllerAir offers powerful and portable room air purifiers for the home and office, and specializes in complete air cleaning solutions with a multi-stage filtration system.

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Contact AllerAir today to find an air purifier suited for your specific needs and find out what other people think by reading some testimonials.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chemical safety at home

Many household chemicals and toxic
substances are stored in the garage or
workbench area.
Chemicals hide in many common household products, and prolonged exposure to these volatile organic compounds and other substances has been linked to short-term and long-term health effects.

In fact, the indoor air quality in many homes is bad enough to become a serious concern. Pollutants include particulate matter (dust, dander, particles), biological contaminants (bacteria, viruses, mold) and chemicals (volatile organic compounds etc).

While all of the pollutants can affect the health and well-being of residents, AllerAir’s industry experts are most concerned about chemicals, since many of the commonly available chemicals have not been tested yet, or have been liked with serious health effects like cancer, among others.

Possible sources of chemicals in the home:
  • Building materials
  • Paints
  • Glues, varnishes
  • Cleaning agents
  • Air fresheners
  • Aerosol sprays, hair styling products
  • Perfume and personal care products
  • And more

Many household chores involve chemicals that can cause health problems, if they are not handled carefully.

Most toxic household chemicals are likely to be stored in the garage, workshop or shed, making them the most toxic areas around the home and increasing the chance of exposure.

An article about the health of men and the many chemicals they are exposed to traditionally warned about the following sources:
  • Lawn fertilizer and pesticides
  • Automotive products such as oil, antifreeze, batteries
  • Furniture strippers, glues, paint removers
  • Drain cleaners
  • Pool chemicals
  • Metal cleaners

The article also offers guidelines and tips on preventing chemical exposure and to keep the entire family safe.

These tips include reading the label and choosing less toxic products, wearing protective equipment and keeping the number for the poison control center handy.

Air purifiers remove dangerous airborne chemicals (and other pollutants)

AllerAir has designed a wide range of air purifiers for the home and office that are equipped with many pounds of activated carbon for the removal of chemicals and odors as well as a HEPA filter to trap particles. These powerful air cleaners are cost-effective, portable and versatile.

Contact one of AllerAir’s IAQ experts to get the right unit, best options and most helpful features or check out the interactive guide on the AllerAir home page, 5 Steps to find the right air purifier.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bad news for allergic dog-lovers: Study finds "hypoallergenic" dogs no better for household allergen levels

Image: luigi diamanti /
"Based on these results it may be better to simply pick a dog you love and actively remove as much of the allergens as possible," says AllerAir Air Quality Expert Stephanie Bristow. 

It's a blow to allergic dog-lovers seems the concept of a so-called "hypoallergenic" dog is a myth.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital says their study revealed that  "hypoallergenic"dogs do not have lower household allergen levels than other dogs.

Hypoallergenic dogs are believed to produce less dander and saliva and shed less fur.

"We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen," says Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford's Department of Public Health Sciences and senior author of the study.

"Based on previous allergy studies conducted here at Henry Ford, exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development. But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study."

This is believed to be the first time researchers measured environmental allergen associated with hypoallergenic dogs. Previous studies analyzed hair samples from only a handful of dogs in a small number of breeds.

Henry Ford researchers analyzed dust samples collected from 173 homes one month after a newborn was brought home. The dust samples were collected from the carpet or floor in the baby's bedroom and analyzed for the dog allergen Can f 1. Only homes with one dog were involved in the study. Sixty dog breeds were involved in the study, 11 of which are considered hypoallergenic dogs.

While researchers acknowledged limitations in their study – the amount of time the dog spent in the baby's bedroom was not recorded and the size of its sample did not allow looking at specific breeds – they say parents should not rely on dog breeds classified as hypoallergenic.

"Based on these results it may be better to simply pick a dog you love and actively remove as much of the allergens as possible," says AllerAir Air Quality Expert Stephanie Bristow. "An ideal mix of preventive measures would be the use of a high efficiency air purifier for airborne allergens, and a good cleaning regime that involves washing bedding once a week in warm to hot water (whatever the fabric permits) and using a HEPA vacuum."

Interested in learning more about air purifiers for pet allergies and odors? Connect with us:

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
Follow us on twitter
E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Diesel fumes pose risk to heart as well as lungs, study shows

Image: EA /
Scientists have found that ultrafine particles produced when diesel burns are harmful to blood vessels and can increase the chances of blood clots forming in arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

The research by the University of Edinburgh measured the impact of diesel exhaust fumes on healthy volunteers at levels that would be found in heavily polluted cities.

Scientists compared how people reacted to the gases found in diesel fumes – such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide – with those caused by the ultrafine chemical particles from exhausts.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, showed that the tiny particles, and not the gases, impaired the function of blood vessels that control how blood is channelled to the body's organs.

The 'invisible' particles – less than a millionth of a metre wide – can be filtered out of exhaust emissions by fitting special particle traps to vehicles. Particle traps are already being fitted retrospectively to public transport vehicles in the US to minimise the potential effects of pollution.

The results are published in the European Heart Journal.

Dr Mark Miller, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: "While many people tend to think of the effects of air pollution in terms of damage to the lungs, there is strong evidence that it has an impact on the heart and blood vessels as well.

"Our research shows that while both gases and particles can affect our blood pressure, it is actually the miniscule chemical particles that are emitted by car exhausts that are really harmful.

"These particles produce highly reactive molecules called free radicals that can injure our blood vessels and lead to vascular disease

"We are now investigating which of the chemicals carried by these particles cause these harmful actions, so that in the future we can try and remove these chemicals, and prevent the health effects of vehicle emissions"

Researchers want environmental health measures that are designed to reduce emissions to be tested to determine whether they reduce the incidence of heart attacks.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "We've known for a long time that air pollution is a major heart health issue and that's why we're funding this team in Edinburgh to continue their vital research. Their findings suggest that lives could be saved by cutting these harmful nanoparticles out of exhaust - perhaps by taking them out of the fuel, or making manufacturers add gadgets to their vehicles that can trap particles before they escape. The best approach isn't clear yet.

"For now our advice remains the same - people with heart disease should avoid spending long periods outside in areas where traffic pollution is likely to be high, such as on or near busy roads."


Do you live near a large highway or in a heavily polluted area? Keep you indoor air clean with a high efficiency indoor air purifier with a medical-grade HEPA filter for small particle pollution and a deep-bed carbon filter for airborne chemicals, gases and odors. Contact an AllerAir Indoor Air Quality Expert for a personalized product recommendation or connect with us:

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
Follow us on twitter
E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Monday, July 11, 2011

New York Daily News: Indoor Air Filter Recommended for Asthma Prevention

This article was published in the New York Daily News

As director of pediatric emergency medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Adam Vella treats patients under the age of 22 for everything from cardiac emergencies to ear infections and broken arms. Every day, as many as 10 kids come through his ER as a as a result of severe asthma attacks.

Who's at risk
Summer can be a dangerous time for children with asthma, as humidity, temperatures, air pollution and pollen counts all rise. "Asthma is an allergy specific to the lungs, where the airways are hyper-reactive and respond to allergens by shutting down," says Vella. "Though millions of adults have asthma, too, it's even more common in kids, many of whom will grow out of it."

About one in 10 American children is living with asthma. "It's a genetic predisposition that responds to an environmental trigger," says Vella. "For these kids, an asthma attack can be triggered by a simple cold or an airborne allergen like pollen."

The long list of common triggers includes viral infections, dust, pollen, cockroaches, animals and house pets, pollution and changes in the weather.

Anyone can have an asthma attack, but kids with chronic asthma end up in the ER or doctor's office again and again.

"Generally it's kids with a genetic predisposition who end up with chronic asthma, also called reactive airway disease," says Vella. "In the past 10 years, asthma is just getting more and more common — and so far, we don't know why."

Certain groups are at higher risk of  developing asthma than others.

"Asthma is more common in kids who were preemies, kids with reflux and kids with heart conditions," says Vella. "But the biggest chunk of kids just have a genetic predisposition."

Children living in inner cities are at higher risk of severe asthma because their environment is full of triggers like pollution, cockroaches and fungus.

Signs and symptoms
Asthma is easy to identify once you know the signs. "The classic symptoms are shortness of breath with coughing, trouble catching breath, and fast breathing," says Vella. "As opposed to a cold, which causes nasal congestion and cough, asthma is lower down in the lungs, so we can hear wheezing in the cough or when they breathe out."

It's important to take any trouble with breathing seriously.

"For a mom or dad at home, if it seems like your child is having difficulty breathing, don't blow that off," says Vella. "Once they start breathing faster than normal or they have trouble breathing, you should get on the phone with the pediatrician."

A trip to the ER may be necessary.

Fever on its own can also cause fast breathing, so treat the fever first and breathing should go back to normal.

Traditional treatment
Preventing asthma attacks from happening is the first line of defense.

"Reducing your kid's exposure to allergens is a key first step," says Vella. "That can be as simple as not letting them play on the grass right after it's been mown or not staying with relatives who smoke or have a pet."

Other allergens — like pollution, pollen and dust — may be impossible to avoid, but you can minimize exposure by taking steps like getting an indoor air filter and cleaning the filter on your air conditioner.

While no one can avoid all allergens, the current generation of drugs offers many ways of managing the disease. "For most kids, medicine is taken when they feel the onset of an attack," says Vella.

"They start to feel shortness of breath and take two puffs on their inhaler."
The most common of these broncho-dilators is albuterol, which is often taken as two puffs every four hours.

"The sooner your child takes medication, the better."

As the attack goes on untreated, it gets harder to reverse," says Vella. "When kids come in with bad outcomes, it's usually because the parents delayed care."

Acute emergencies can lead to hospitalization and the insertion of a breathing tube. In the worst cases, asthma attacks can be fatal.

For kids at higher risk, low-dose steroids are an option as a controller medication and can cut down on the number of attacks.

"Not every kid with asthma needs an inhaled steroid, but a kid who is coming into the ER frequently should be on it," says Vella.

"There used to be some controversy about whether inhaled steroids stunt growth, but the studies have found these kids may grow slower for a few years, but then they catch up."

The good news for parents is that most kids will outgrow asthma.

"We can't tell which kids will outgrow it and which won't, but parents and doctors can work together to manage this disease," says Vella.

Research breakthroughs
Since millions of Americans are living with asthma — and cases are on the rise — there is booming research on providing better treatment. "There are a lot of new medications out there, including anti-inflammatories like Singulair," says Vella. "It's for kids who don't quite make the cut to go on an inhaled steroid, but could benefit from an alternative controller therapy."

Questions for your doctor

Parents need to take steps to learn how to take care of asthmatic children. Be sure to ask, "How can I recognize a significant asthma attack?" and "What's the first thing I should do when my child has an asthma attack?"

Medications are constantly changing, so ask "What medications are available for my child?" Even if you or your older children were treated for asthma with certain drugs, there probably is a better option for your child today.


Would you like to learn more about indoor air filters for environmental pollutants like dust, dander and chemicals? Connect with us: 

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
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E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Friday, July 08, 2011

AllerAir Q&A: You use lots of Activated Carbon in your air purifiers, does that have anything to do with the term Carbon Footprint?

The word “carbon” in the term Carbon Footprint refers to“carbon dioxide”. In terms of pollution, carbon dioxide is a waste gas produced by fossil fuel combustion and in this context can be considered an environmental pollutant. 

Ironically, “Activated Carbon” is actually a physical material that removes pollutants. It’s made from natural sources like wood and coconut shells and is highly efficient for filtering airborne and waterborne toxins, especially chemicals and odors. Its use has actually been traced back thousands of years.

To learn more about our activated carbon filters for chemicals and odors, connect with us:

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
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E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Phoenix, Arizona Dust Storm: Check all your home and vehicle air filters ASAP

AllerAir HEPA filter
 Now that the dust has settled in Arizona, it's very important to verify and potentially replace all of your home and vehicle air filters.

If you're lucky enough to have a high efficiency HEPA air purifier in your home, it may have trapped the dust the potentially dangerous soil spores that could lead to "valley fever".  The condition is caused by inhaling spores of a fungus which grows in the soil in the Southwest. The spores become airborne when stirred by wind and can cause a wide range of symptoms like fatigue, fever, coughs and muscle and joint aches. At AllerAir, we recommend that customers replace all pre-filters and HEPA filers in their units. Some dust may become airborne when removing heavily soiled filters, so we advise using a face mask. E-mail us to order your AllerAir replacement filters or contact your dealer. You may also order filters from the parts and accessories tab located with your specific model.

Air Conditioners and HVAC systems
Replacing these filters is not only essential, it will save you money. Even a slightly dirty filter may increase your AC bill by 5 to 10%. If you have a forced air system with ducting, you may also want to consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned.

Car Filters
The air filter in your car cleans the air before it comes into your engine. A filthy air filter will actually affect your vehicle's performance.

Vacuum HEPA filters
If you don't have a HEPA vacuum, now may be the time to buy one. A HEPA vacuum actually traps the dust you pick up, while other vacuums may leak dust particles back into the air. If you've already given your home a good vacuuming following the storm, replace your filter.


Want to be ready for the next dust storm? Connect with us for more on our high efficiency home air purifiers ideal for dust and other airborne pollutants.

Visit our website:
Start a live chat session with an indoor air quality expert
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E-mail or phone 1-888-852-8247