Thursday, February 24, 2011

Already? Atlanta hit with "off-the-charts" pollen levels

Doctors in Atlanta are saying that pollen levels are off-the-charts for this time of year.

The cause? Mild temperatures that essentially "wake-up" pollen producing trees. With temperatures expected to stay mild for the next 10 days the pollen level - and the allergic misery that comes with it will  increase.

Don't suffer this allergy season! Consider a high quality air cleaner with a HEPA filter and activated carbon like the AllerAir AirMedic for allergies. The HEPA filter will trap pollen, dust and pet dander while the carbon filter removes air pollution, chemicals and odors.

Kilauea VOG: Sulfur Dioxide Emission Rates Elevated

The Kilauea volcano continued to erupt at two locations today and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that sulfur dioxide emission rates from the summit and east rift zone vents remain elevated.

If you’re looking for an air filter to remove dangerous VOG pollutants – you need more than a simple HEPA particle filter.

VOG is made up of dangerous chemicals, gases, odors and particles that penetrate deep into the lungs and mucus membranes of the eyes, nose and throat.

A HEPA air cleaner can only remove particles, leaving behind all other pollutants to linger in your air.

The AllerAir 5000 VOG and AirMedic VOG feature both a medical-grade HEPA filter and a customized activated carbon filter, designed specifically to adsorb the dangerous properties of VOG pollution.

Activated carbon is a proven, highly adsorbent material used by the military and industry to deal with the world’s most dangerous airborne toxins.

The 5000 VOG and AirMedic VOG feature the deepest carbon filter available in a home air cleaner to provide more effective air cleaning of VOG pollutants.

For more information on our VOG air cleaners contact an Indoor Air Quality Expert at 1-888-852-8247, start a live chat or post a question on Twitter.


Read more of our posts on VOG:

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

Hawaii’s Big Island and VOG Study: Respiratory illnesses rise when volcanic gases (VOG) increase


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plants may make indoor air more polluted?

Internet quote of the day:

"The EPA says that the only available study of the use of plants to control indoor air pollutants couldn't determine any benefit in the use of plants. Furthermore, the EPA warns that plants in certain situations can make air more polluted, as the damp soil required to grow them is a breeding ground for unhealthy micro-organisms."


So much for plants as indoor air purifiers? Our air purifiers don't need damp, micro-organism filled soil....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Living Near Busy Roadways Ups Chances of Allergic Asthma

An international team of lung experts has new evidence from a study in shantytowns near Lima, Peru, that teens living immediately next to a busy roadway have increased risk of allergies and asthma. The odds can go up by 30 percent for developing allergies to dust mites, pet hairs and mold, and can double for having actual asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and using medications to help them breathe.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is believed to be the first to link heightened rates of allergic disease and exposure to traffic-related pollution as a possible reason for increased rates of asthma along major transit routes. Previous studies in Europe and North America relied on self reports of asthma symptoms or produced conflicting results on possible tie-ins with high levels of airborne pollution. Until now, experts say no study has looked at how busy roadways affect the allergic origins of asthma, a respiratory disease that afflicts some 17 million Americans, including some 5 million children.

Experts at Johns Hopkins who participated in the study also found that the risk of allergic disease, or atopy, and of having asthma among 725 teenagers, ages 13 through 15, was worst for those living immediately next to the busy road, where a steady stream of traffic across multiple lanes flowed unimpeded all day long. Atopy rates went up by 7 percent for every city block (approximately 300 feet) closer they lived to the road. For those who lived next to the road, the odds of having asthma were twice that of those who lived a quarter-mile (about four city blocks) away.

“Our study clearly shows why we need to protect respiratory health and plan future major roadways here or abroad away from residential areas and schools,” says senior study investigator and pulmonologist William Checkley, M.D., Ph.D. “We can also now try preventive strategies aimed at reducing allergic exposure near roadways to see if this lowers rates of asthma,” adds Checkley, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Checkley and lead study investigator Lauren Baumann, M.H.S., chose a poor district of Lima, called Pampas de San Juan de Miraflores, for their study because Peru has the highest rates of asthma symptoms among children in Latin America, at 26 percent. In addition, large numbers of shantytowns like San Juan de Miraflores have sprung up around the nation’s largest city within the last few decades, many with a single, congested and slow-moving main thoroughfare.

Baumann, a former Johns Hopkins graduate student in public health, says only the most-at-risk children were included in the study, pointing out that people who do not outgrow their asthma by their early teens are twice as likely to remain asthmatic through adulthood. The year-long study, begun in 2008, included home visits to measure lung function and environmental air pollutants.

“Family physicians and public health workers now know they need to more closely monitor children who live near major roadways for allergies and for the earliest signs of asthma,” says Checkley, who notes that his team next plans further studies on the underlying genetic profile of those at greater risk of atopy and asthma. “Our ultimate goal is to identify other key environmental stimuli or traffic-related pollutants that help trigger allergic disease, and then use our knowledge of how they work biologically to stop them before asthma sets in,” he says.

For additional information:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's lingering in the air after you clean? SC Johnson challenged in court over "green" list

SC Johnson is being challenged on two fronts about its self-imposed labeling of products as being environmentally-friendly.

A two-year-old civil suit accused the household products giant of being deceptive in implying that its Windex glass cleaner and Shout stain remover were tested by a neutral party. Also, the federal government is considering new regulations on the subject. Both products carry the “Green-list” seal of approval. But a customer has to look on the inside label to see that Johnson actually holds the patent to “Green-list.” The legal cases are still pending in Wisconsin and California. Under the proposed federal regulations, it would be considered deceptive for a company to imply that a product has been certified by an outside party when it’s really not.

SC Johnson spokesman Christopher Beard denies that its “Green-list” label is misleading. He says the company’s program has eliminated 48-million pounds of volatile organic chemicals from its cleaning products in the past five years.


Green may never been green enough for optimal indoor air qualiy. Consider an air cleaner to remove airborne chemicals, osoe and particles.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Allergies May Protect Against Brain Cancer

There could be an upside to all that sneezing and wheezing: Allergies may protect against brain cancer, new research suggests.

The more allergies a person has, the lower his or her risk of developing a glioma, the most common type of brain tumor, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Gliomas account for more than half of the 22,000 new cases of brain and nervous system cancers diagnosed in the United States each year.

Researchers analyzed surveys from more than 10,000 people with and without gliomas; all were asked whether they had doctor-diagnosed allergies and if they took antihistamines. The approximately 400 participants with brain tumors were likeliest to report being allergy-free. The researchers did not, however, specify how much more likely someone without allergies was to develop brain cancer than someone with allergies, CNN reports. Though the reason for the association is unclear, the study authors speculate that an overactive immune system, which causes allergies, increases the chances of warding off cancer.


Check out the best air purifier for allergies.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pesticides inhibit proper childhood development

(NaturalNews) Mothers exposed to high levels of pesticides bear children with lower intelligence levels than children born to mothers not exposed, says a new study published online in the journal Pediatrics. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a common chemical used in thousands of household insecticides to boost the effectiveness of another chemical known as pyrethroid, delays childhood development and causes brain damage.

Megan Horton, a postdoctoral research fellow from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, and her team tracked 348 mothers from around New York City for their study. They took both air and blood samples of the women to track their exposure to PBO, and compared the intelligence levels of children from each exposure grouping. Based on this assessment, the team observed a significant connection between high levels of PBO exposure and delayed development in children.

"Kids who were in the highest quartile range of exposure to PBO were three times as likely to be in the delayed category, compared to kids with lower exposure," said Horton, noting that the research took into account other factors that may affect development, including exposure to tobacco.

Pyrethroid insecticides have largely taken the place of organophosphorus (OP) insecticides, which were used more widely in the past but are now known to cause serious nerve damage and other problems in birds and mammals. But based on the evidence, pyrethroids are not much better as they cause significant harm to both children and adults.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pyrethroids are used in over 3,500 registered insecticide products. Known side effects caused by exposure include breathing problems, chest pains, rashes, blisters, endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, learning disorders, chromosome damage, blood abnormalities, and thyroid problems.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Compare Air Purifiers: AllerAir

AllerAir AirMedic
AllerAir Air Purifiers are renowned for their ability to effectively clean airborne chemicals, odors and particles but how do they compare to the competition?

Filtration Media
Like most air cleaners in the $500-$1200 price range AllerAir uses a high quality HEPA filter to remove airborne particles. But cleaning the air is more than just removing dust – what about chemicals and odors? 
When comparing top brands, AllerAir units feature more activated carbon than the top competitors. In fact most competing brands actually consider chemical and odor filters as an option or require you to buy their premium, specialty units. All AllerAir models offer chemical and odor control as a standard feature.
AllerAir also has 40 blends of activated carbon to better address specific chemical and odor concerns. This is significant because some types of activated carbon are more effective for organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene, toluene and styrene and less effective on other less volatile pollutants.

HEPA filters generally last much longer than activated carbon filters. That’s why units that integrate these two filters are generally more costly to maintain as they force the user to change both filters even if only one is used up. AllerAir units have a separate pre-filter, HEPA filter and carbon filter. Each can be changed independently only when required.

Value for the Money
Air purifiers can vary widely from brand to brand, so it’s helpful to consider overall value. AllerAir units consistently provide more filtration, more features and more options than comparable models - giving you more for your filtration dollar.   
Overall Review:  AllerAir Advantages
  • Medical-grade HEPA filtration 
  • More chemical, gas and odor filtration media 
  • Special carbon blends; more effective on specific chemical/odor problems 
  • Separate filters; only change those that need to be change
  • Great value for the money; more filtration, options and features

For more information on AllerAir air purifiers visit or cal 1-888-852-8247