|Dust storms pose a risk to people with chronic lung disease.|
While dust storms are often seen as affecting motorists the most by causing unsafe driving conditions, researchers warn that they may also affect people with chronic lung conditions.
A study published in the journal Respirology shows that emergency hospital admissions rise in the aftermath of dust storms for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The study, focusing on dust storms in East Asia and Southern China, found that dust storms caused by wind-blown dust from Northern China can carry high concentrations of coarse particles with a diameter from 2.5 to 10 micrometers.
The researchers looked at data collected between 1998 and 2002 and found that two days after dust storms, there was a significant increase in emergency hospital admission due to COPD. The increase in risk was 5%.
The findings show that people with chronic lung diseases need timely warnings in order to avoid exposure to air pollution during dust storms, the researchers say.
Source: Wiley-Blackwell press release
Dust outside? Keep indoor air clean
Once dust and tiny particles are airborne, they can stay in the air for a long time and find their way indoors through windows, doors, cracks etc.
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After a dust storm, experts recommend changing HVAC and car air filters to make sure they can cope with the higher pollutant count, and an indoor air purifier with HEPA can help keep the indoor air clean.
However, it’s not only dust people need to worry about. Indoor air pollution also comes from chemicals and gases from common household products and building materials, mold, bacteria and viruses.
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For more information, contact AllerAir and speak to one of our air quality experts.