Friday, April 29, 2011

Pediatricians say that the U.S. is failing to protect children from hazardous chemicals

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for an overhaul of the nation’s chemical management policy because the current system fails to protect children and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposures.

Over the past few decades, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been introduced into the environment, often in extremely large quantities. But the primary federal law that governs chemical management in the U.S. – the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – has not undergone any meaningful revision since it was first passed in 1976, and since then, the TSCA has been used to regulate only five chemicals or chemical classes.

In a new policy statement, “Chemical-Management Policy: Prioritizing Children’s Health,” published in the May 2011 issue of Pediatrics, the AAP recommends that the chemical-management policy be “substantially revised.”

The AAP recommends any chemicals policy should consider the consequences on children and their families. Among the other recommendations:

The regulation of chemicals must be based on evidence, but decisions to ban chemicals should be based on reasonable levels of concern rather than demonstrated harm.

Any testing of chemicals should include the impact on women and children, including potential effects on reproduction and development.

Chemicals should meet safety standards similar to those met by pharmaceuticals or pesticide residues on food.

There should be post-marketing surveillance of chemicals, and the EPA must have the authority to remove a chemical if needed.

Federal funding should be provided for research to prevent, identify and evaluate the effects of chemicals on children’s health.
Other groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association have all independently recommended changes to the TSCA.

For more information on removing airborne chemicals from indoor air chat with an air quality expert , follow us on twitter or visit our website.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Video: Worldwide Dangers of Indoor Air Pollution to Children

"Children today have become the first victims of degraded environments everywhere."

This video (posted by EarthReport) discusses the dangers to children in non-industrialized societies, however interesting points are raised as to the vulnerability of children's lungs in general.

In North America, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air with airborne chemicals, gases and particles. To learn more about indoor air pollution and improving your air quality follow us on twitter, chat with an air quality expert, or visit our website.

Funds to improve asthma care in schools: Ten $2,500 Bonds, $5,000 Grants to be Awarded

New Program Launches to Provide Asthma Care in Schools and Educational Opportunities for Children with Asthma

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is launching the Everyone Breathe™ Asthma Education Grants program, aimed at improving the quality of asthma care in schools and providing educational savings bonds for children with asthma.

Parents or guardians of children with asthma are invited to nominate their child and child's school to receive an Everyone Breathe Asthma Education savings bond and grant. School administrators are also encouraged to notify parents about this opportunity and work closely with them to apply.

• Ten applications will be selected as grand prize winners.
• The nominated children with asthma in the winning applications will be awarded $2,500 savings bonds.
• Schools nominated in the winning applications will receive $5,000 grants to improve the quality of asthma care and asthma education in the school.
• Fifty additional applications will be selected as second-place winners and those nominated schools will receive asthma nebulizer kits.

Applications will be accepted until July 29, 2011, so visit to apply for an Everyone Breathe Asthma Education Grant today!
For more information on how to improve indoor air quality visit or follow us on twitter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Household dust likely the primary source of exposure to flame retardant chemicals

Study Finds Flame-Retardant Chemical Risks for Children

A group of 264 Mexican-American children living in California had higher levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in their blood serum than 283 counterparts living in Mexico, according to research published online April 15 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

The California children’s levels of PBDEs were seven times higher, on average, than levels in the Mexican children. Moreover, the California children had PBDE levels higher than those reported for almost all other groups of children ever studied.

“These products tend to have long lifespans, and the flame retardants are not chemically bound to the materials they’re used with," explains study co-author Asa Bradman of CERCH. "As polyurethane foam and other materials containing the flame retardants age and degrade, they can release PBDEs into people’s homes in the form of dust."

Read more on this study:
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Is BPA-Free Really Safer?

Image: Sura Nualpradid
One of my colleagues (follow her on twitter @electrocorp_air)  forwarded me this great article that asks a question I've been thinking about for years: What are these BPA-free materials, and who's making sure they're safe?

As a longtime AllerAir employee who spends hours reading up on chemicals, I was the first parent in our circle of friends who used stainless steel sippy cups, glass baby bottles and had a carbon and HEPA airpurifier in my children’s bedrooms. People thought I was paranoid, an “over-protective” parent, until the news hit about BPA. Now I’m everyone’s go-to gal on kid products and air purifiers for airborne chemicals, allergies and asthma. Yet, this quick switch to "BPA-free" plastics has me worried - do we really know what's in them?

Most consumers don't realize that under the current U.S.Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a company can launch a new material into high-volume production without revealing its precise chemical make-up or any information about its toxicity. Just as surprising, is that neither the FDA nor the EPA conducts safety testing of these new materials. So it's not unreasonable to assume that in 10 - 15 years time we may be discussing another potential health threat from these “new and improved” plastics. 

What’s the moral of this story? When it comes to our own health we need to be proactive.  We can’t sit around waiting for the health authorities to tell us what’s safe – as they don’t have the legislation, manpower and money they need to scrutinize these products and companies.  Do your research, ask questions, write to your politicians and do the best you can to control what goes into your air, water and food. 

At least the air we can help with! If you'd like to learn more about cleaning the air you breathe, connect with us:

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Q & A: Activated Carbon Filtration for Nuclear Radiation

Photo by Anosmia on Flickr
Q: I live on the West Coast and I'm concerned about nuclear radiation. Is activated carbon used for radioactive gas?

A: Granular activated carbon has long been used by nuclear power plants across the world for the containment of radioactive gas.

At, AllerAir we have access to over 40 blends of high-grade, granular activated carbon available for use in our AllerAir residential line of air cleaners and our Electrocorp line of industrial air scrubbers.* These high-grade carbons are used for a wide variety of complex airborne gases, chemicals and odors including radioactive gas. A medical-grade HEPA filter may also be combined  to remove radiated dust and particles.

While, a number of U.S. states and Canadian provinces have reported detecting radioisotopes in the air, water or in both, health and environmental authorities say that the "levels we are seeing are far below any levels of concern.

However, as we are a company that specializes in customized air cleaners and air purifiers, our units can always be configured to address specific airborne chemicals, gases and odors as requested by our customers.  

It is important to remember that the air pollution we breathe everyday is far more likely to lead to chronic, even fatal disease and illness and does not receive the attention and concern it deserves.

      More Resources for Information on Nuclear Radiation in North America:
AllerAir's compact air purifiers
with carbon + HEPA filtration.

Contact one of our air quality experts today to find out more about our indoor air quality solutions. Call 1-888-852-8247.

* Please contact AllerAir directly for information on specific carbon blends, availability and pricing.

Note: The information contained in this blog is general in nature and is not intended to prevent, treat or cure any disease or ailment. Please consult your health professional for specific information on your concerns or condition. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Basement reno projects and chemical off-gassing

So thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of sweat equity later,
we finally refinished our basement...only to learn that our beautiful new family space was virtually unusable!

The vast amounts of chemical off-gassing leaching from the new drywall, flooring and paint wasn't completely evident at first. It just had a "new" sort of smell - like that new car smell. Surprisingly, that distinctive odor actually means the air is filled with VOC's and other chemicals from the resins, glues and bonding agents in the building materials.

Soon our whole family was experiencing headaches and a variety of other symptoms - our amazing new space was making us sick. For security reasons, we didn't feel comfortable leaving the basement windows open for extended periods of time, but it was clear the air quality needed attention.

When I asked one of our air quality experts how long I'd be living with this off-gassing, I was stunned to hear that it could be YEARS before the materials fully out-gassed...leaving my family exposed to airborne chemicals on a daily basis. 

Armed with that warning, I reluctantly took the AllerAir Air Medic air purifier from my bedroom and moved it to the basement where it remains turned on 24/7. AllerAir is one of the only air purifier manufacturers that uses a significant amount of activated carbon that works like a gas mask to soak up chemicals, gases and odors for at least 2 years in typical home environment. My unit also has a medical-grade HEPA filter for dust and other particles.

After 24 hours we noticed a big difference in the basement, but now I have another problem...I'm sneezing again in my bedroom!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Researchers discover how polluted air leads to disease

It’s no secret that air pollution is bad for the body, but a research group lead by Ohio State University scientists may have discovered how pollution actually triggers disease in the body.

They found that chronic inhalation of polluted air in mice appears to activate a protein that triggers the release of white blood cells, setting off events that lead to widespread inflammation.

This finding narrows the gap in researchers’ understanding of how prolonged exposure to pollution can increase the risk for cardiovascular problems and other diseases.

The cellular activity they observed resembles an immune response that has spiraled out of control. A normal immune response to a pathogen or other foreign body requires some inflammation, but when inflammation is excessive and has no protective or healing role, the condition can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, as well as other disorders.

AirMedic for particle and chemical control
Though many questions about the beginning of this process remain unanswered, the scientists predict that the damage may originate in fluid that lines the lung. Tiny molecules in this fluid change structure after being exposed to polluted air, and that change appears to set off this cascade of damaging white blood cell behavior by activating a receptor called “toll-like receptor 4.”

“Our main hypothesis is that particulate matter stimulates inflammation in the lung, and products of that inflammation spill over into the body’s circulation, traveling to fat tissue to promote inflammation and causing vascular dysfunction,” said Sanjay Rajagopalan, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State and senior author of the study. “We haven’t identified the entire mechanism, but we have evidence now that activation of TLR4 influences this response.”

The research is published in a recent issue of the journal Circulation Research.

Editor’s note: This story was adapted from PR materials produced by Emily Caldwell and Ohio State University

Thursday, April 14, 2011

VIDEO: What a toxicologist says about formaldehyde in your kitchen

I found this interesting video clip today from Toxicologist Gary Ginsberg who discusses formaldehyde in your kitchen! Unfortunately, this industrial chemical is also found throughout the home in flooring products, furniture and shelving.

To remove airborne chemicals in the home including formaldehyde we recommend an AllerAir 5000 Vocarb. This is a great multi-purpose air cleaner with an exclusive deep-bed activated carbon chemical filter and a medical grade HEPA filter for dust and other particles. 

(Editor's note: Video plays after a short 15 second commercial which was embedded with the clip)

If you'd like to learn more about removing airborne chemicals, connect with an air quality expert:
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Friday, April 08, 2011

Selling Your Home and Odor Control

One of the top turn-offs for home buyers is smoke odor and pet odor. Unfortunately, those are often the most difficult odors to remove. From AllerAir, the odor control experts, here’s an action plan to tackle odors for your open house:

1. Forget the air fresheners.
Surprised? Cat, dog and smoke odors can’t be effectively masked with air freshening plug-ins, gels and oils. The only thing you’ll do is draw attention to the fact that you’re desperately trying to cover-up an odor problem. These fragrances are also laced with chemicals which are unhealthy to breathe and may trigger allergies in your prospective home-buyers.

2. Bring in a friend for a sniff test
Ask a friend to come in and smell your home – and don’t be offended by their feedback. It’s a neat trick of biology that we quickly become accustom to strong odors in our own environment – so chances are you can’t even smell the full extent of your odor problem.

3. Tackle the odor issue head on
If you smoke – stop smoking in your home and make sure you’ve emptied and removed your ashtrays. If you have pets, change cage linings and litter boxes frequently and consider isolating pets to one room in the house. It’s easier to tackle one stinky room than an entire stinky home.  

3. Increasing air circulation is only a start
Leaving windows open for a few hours prior to your showing can remove that stale lived-in smell, but is not enough to remove pet odors and long-term smoke-smell. Start by doing a top to bottom clean – wash down walls, bedding, curtains, pet toys and blankets and consider hiring a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning carpets and upholstery. In the case of smoke, you may also want to consider re-painting as the smoke will have penetrated deep into your dry-wall.

4. Buy an air purifier (or several) with the deepest-bed activated carbon filter you can afford
Most air purifiers only have a HEPA filter for particles or a tiny carbon filter which is completely ineffective on tough pet odors and smoke odors. A deep-bed activated carbon filter will actually absorb odors and smoke. It’s important to keep these units running 24/7 as it may take time to remove odors that are embedded in furniture, draperies, carpeting, clothing and anything else soft and porous in your home that can hold on to odor. Try a 5000 D or a smoke unit like the 5000 DS with an extra tar-trapping filter. 

5. Bake
Once you’ve taken steps to properly control your odor problem – concentrate on creating an inviting atmosphere. It may sound crazy, but people respond to the smell of freshly baked cookies or bread. If you don’t have time to bake, boil some orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves on the stove top. Real estate agents swear by it.  

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Freeway air bad for the brain

Study finds brain damage typical of aging and memory loss after short-term exposure to vehicle pollution

A new study reveals that after short-term exposure to vehicle pollution, mice showed significant brain damage — including signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.

The mind-numbing pollution is not an exhaust gas, but a mix of tiny particles from burning of fossil fuel and weathering of car parts and pavement, according to the study to be published today in the leading journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Many studies have drawn a link between vehicle pollution and health problems. This is the first to explore the physical effect of freeway pollution on brain cells.

The authors found a way to recreate air laden with freeway particulate matter inside the laboratory. Whether in a test tube or in live mice, brain cells showed similar responses:
  • Neurons involved in learning and memory showed significant damage,
  • The brain showed signs of inflammation associated with premature aging and Alzheimer's disease,
  • Neurons from developing mice did not grow as well.
Exposure lasted a total of 150 hours, spread over 10 weeks, in three sessions per week lasting five hours each.

AllerAir recommends to anyone living in close proximity to highways to consider using an air purifier like an Air Medic, with a medical-grade HEPA filter for fine particles and a deep-bed activated carbon filter for chemicals and odors.

For more information on AllerAir air cleaners, connect with us:

Friday, April 01, 2011

Improving Indoor Air Quality in your Home: How an Air Purifier Can Help

An interesting report was released this week about Canadians' attitudes on air quality, green products and sustainability. It revealed that while an overwhelming majority of homeowners (98%) view indoor air quality as important, only half are aware of products to improve their indoor air quality.

So in light of those surprising results, we wanted to discuss how a quality air cleaner can  improve your indoor air quality:

1. Remove airborne chemicals

Environmental chemicals are among the most hotly debated air pollutants. Some studies have linked chemicals in air pollution to asthma, allergies, heart problems and even cancer. A top quality air purifier with deep-bed activated carbon, like the AllerAir 5000 removes a wide range of chemicals - far more pollutants than an air cleaner with only a HEPA filter. For tobacco chemicals and odors try the AllerAir 5000 DS for tobacco smoke.

2. Remove airborne dust, dander, pollen and larger airborne viruses

For those concerned about particles, AllerAir air purifiers are also equipped with medical-grade HEPA or micro-HEPA particle filters that remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns in size.

3. Remove odors

Many consumers are surprised to learn that most air purifiers can't remove odors. That's because most air cleaners only focus on airborne particles. AllerAir incorporates deep-bed activated carbon filters into their air cleaners. Activated carbon is a well-established and widely used filtration media renowned for its ability to attract and "soak-up" (adsorb) some of the world's toughest chemicals and odors. AllerAir provides homeowners with more activated carbon than other room air cleaners for effective chemical and odor removal. An ideal choice for indoor air quality problems relating to pet odors, smoking, smells from industrial pollution and neighboring dwellings.

For more great reasons why you need an air purifier visit our website!