Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Asthma and allergy alert: Dusty and moldy holiday decorations

Many people look forward to the holiday season – not only because of the gifts, but also because of the food, the festive decorations and the stunning lights.




But storing the decorations and lights for almost a year can lead to a buildup of dust and mold, experts warn, so this time of year can be challenging for asthma and allergy sufferers.

In fact, storing decorations in the attic may even cause them to be contaminated by asbestos dust, a mesothelioma awareness group says.

Many homes were built with asbestos-containing materials in the 20th century and an estimated 33 million U.S. buildings contain vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos, the United States Environmental Protection Agency warns.

Asbestos was also a main ingredient in many holiday decorations themselves, including snowflakes. These are not being sold on the market anymore, but heirloom decorations may still be contaminated.

Storing decorations in the basement or garage often leads to dust and mold problems in the home as mold counts go up. Even bringing in a real Christmas tree can trigger allergies or asthma flare-ups.

Experts suggest wearing a mask when handling dusty or moldy decorations, using an artificial tree and storing holiday decorations in a way to minimize dust and mold infiltration.

Air purifiers for mold, dust and other contaminants

When the temperature gets below freezing outside and you turn up the heat and keep the windows tightly closed or even sealed, indoor air quality often deteriorates over time.

Running a portable, powerful air purifier on low 24/7 can help keep the air clean and healthy.

AllerAir’s specialized air purifiers for dust and particles (allergies and asthma), mold and chemical or odor concerns feature many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA and other filters such as UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Keep your family safe this holiday season with an AllerAir air purifier. 

Contact us for more information or recommendations.
  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Air purifier in the bedroom helps asthma sufferers: Study

Exposure to irritants in the bedroom can
lead to asthma episodes during the day.
It’s something many people with asthma could have told you from experience, but now there is a study confirming it: A nighttime air filter can help ease asthma symptoms during the day.

The study was published online in Thorax and measured the effect of a specific airflow device, which displaced warmer air containing irritants and allergens with a slightly cooler airflow in the participants’ sleeping area.

By protecting the asthma sufferer from irritants and allergens during sleep, the researchers aimed to prevent exposure to triggers that lead to systemic allergic reactions and cause a typical narrowing of the airway.

The study was conducted across six European countries with patients that suffered from poorly controlled asthma. The researchers observed a 14-15% increase in life quality from the participants that used the device, as opposed to the control group with a dummy device.

Earlier studies of filtering or purifying the airflow have not yielded successful results, but this research seems to suggest that a reduction in inhaled aeroallergen exposure may have profound positive effects.

Source: Medical News Today

Bedroom air purifiers can remove allergens and irritants

Allergic asthma can be worse when the indoor air quality is not what it should be. Irritants such as house dust mites, pet hair and airborne chemicals can be reduced by running a serious air purifier for allergies and asthma in the bedroom.

AllerAir’s AirMedic and AirMedic+ Series feature the most trusted and effective air filtration systems to help improve your indoor air quality.

The air purifiers boast a large activated carbon filter, a medical-grade HEPA and pre-filter to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Here’s a testimonial from an AllerAir customer:

“I am writing to let you know that the air purifier I purchased from you has helped my condition immensely. I have fewer problems with wheezing and rarely cough at night. As a chronic asthmatic this is definitely an improvement. It's nice to wake up not feeling tired and congested!“
Barbara Fenton - (Reg. Nurse)

Contact us for more information or recommendations based on your indoor air environment.
  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Non-toxic cleaning: How vinegar works

Cleaning with vinegar is a great way to reduce chemical exposure at home

Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent.
Many of our previous blog posts decry the use of harsh chemicals in common household cleaning products, which can add to poor indoor air quality in the home.

One of the things we always say is to replace chemical cleaning products with natural cleaning agents such as vinegar. But how does vinegar actually work?

In a Networx article “The Science of Vinegar” Julian Taub explains what makes vinegar so effective for everyday cleaning chores.

What is vinegar?

Vinegar usually consists of water with 4-5% of a chemical called acetic acid. Acetic Acid is a weak acid (although the concentrated form can be a skin irritant); it is antibacterial and antifungal, meaning it can neutralize bacteria and fungi and thus remove odors.

When it is dissolved in water, acetic acid breaks apart into two components, the hydrogen and the remainder of the molecule, called the acetate.

The hydrogen will try to bond to any molecule that it encounters, that is why they are great at cleaning stains made from alkali substances, like soap, urine, and limestone.

Unlike harsh chemicals, vinegar maintains a balance within water of about 1% separated acetic acid, making it safe to use on cleaning surfaces, but slightly less effective in fighting grease or carbon buildup on cooking utensils.
Cleaning with natural ingredients is
better for your health and well-being.

Cleaning with vinegar

You can use vinegar on most cleaning surfaces, especially in the bathroom and kitchen and the floors, but it shouldn’t be used everywhere (see below).

Most people will dilute vinegar with water to create an effective cleaning agent, and you could also add some fresh lemon juice. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell; it disappears once the vinegar evaporates.

Do not mix the vinegar with alkali-cleaning products such as soap, lye and bleach because they will both become ineffective and/or create poisonous fumes (with bleach).

However, the neutralization effect can be used effectively for unclogging drains. Mixing vinegar and baking soda will create a “volcano effect” – the reaction between the two creating water and carbon dioxide will increase the pressure in the drain pipe and dislodge some of the clogging material.

The author warns against using vinegar on clean upholstery, serious drain clogs or ovens. It should also not be used on metals, including iron, stainless steel, bronze or copper.

Want to know more about indoor air quality, airborne chemicals and air treatment solutions? Contact us at 1-888-852-8247 and follow us on Twitter.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Allergies at home keep rising

Allergies are on the rise, study shows.
The numbers of allergies in the home are staggering.

A recent UK study involving 1,600 participants asked about allergies and the associated symptoms people felt:

  • 58 percent said they had an allergy to dust mites
  • 45 percent had an allergy to household pets
  • 31 percent had an allergy to mold
  • 30 percent said they had an allergy to chemicals found in everyday cleaning products

Millions of people seek medical help to control their allergies and while the home used to be seen as a safe haven, now it has become a source for indoor air pollutants and allergens as well.

Symptoms of household allergies include sneezing, congestion, headaches and others similar to a cold.

Many people report the strongest symptoms when in the bedroom – mattresses and pillows house millions of dust mites, so this does not come as a surprise.

Source: The Co-operative Magazine

Cleaner air helps control allergen levels in the home

For people suffering form allergie sin the home, regular cleaning, source control and washing linens is a must to control the amount of allergens.
AllerAir's AirMedic Series and
AirMedic+ Series provide allergen,
particle and chemical control.

Another option is to use an air purifier in the bedroom to clean the air even further.

AllerAir has designed portable room air cleaners for allergies and asthma with activated carbon and HEPA filters.

The activated carbon removes odors, chemicals and gases, while the HEPA filter traps dust and particles.

Opt for additional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and mold as well.

Contact us for more information.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can’t smell the roses? Your nose can be re-trained

Loss of smell is associated with certain
diseases as well as aging.
A new study gives hope to people who are losing their sense of smell.

New York University researchers have identified possible ways to reverse the loss of smell due to aging or disease and say training may be the answer.

Our sense of smell is not easily explained or treated, the authors suggest. The olfactory bulb, a structure beneath the frontal cortex that receives nerve impulses from the nose, also has direct connections to the amygdala, which controls emotions and physiology, and to higher-order regions like the prefrontal cortex, involved in cognition and planning.

"Unlike information from your eyes and ears that has gone through many connections to reach the frontal cortex, the olfactory system is just two connections away," says Donald A. Wilson, PhD, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center and senior research scientist at the Emotional Brain Institute at Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, who led the study.

"The result is an immediate pathway from the environment through our nose to our memory."

Loss of smell linked to disease, aging

Many illnesses can bring about a loss of smell, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, and it is also often associated with normal aging.

While the exact cause remains unknown, the researchers discovered the part of the brain where loss of smell may happen, and they showed in the lab rat study that training can affect it for better or for worse.

“In some cases it may be a 'use it or lose it' phenomenon," says Dr. Wilson, adding that smell training therapies have the potential to restore smell function in some cases.

The study’s findings are published online in Nature Neuroscience.

Source: New York University

Good smells – YES; Bad smells - NO
Activated carbon removes odors by
trapping airborne chemicals and gases.

Whether you can smell them or not, bad odors tend to be a nuisance around the home or office.

In many cases, odors are linked to indoor air pollutants such as chemicals, gases and mold, for example, and they can be removed with source control, ventilation and air cleaning.

AllerAir offers specialized air purifiers with the safest and most trusted filtration systems to get rid of unwanted odors, chemicals and other pollutants.

The units feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter, which adsorbs gaseous pollutants, and a medical-grade, micro- or Super-HEPA to remove small particles, dust and pathogens.

Many air purifiers can also accommodate UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and mold.

For more information and recommendations, contact AllerAir.
  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Researchers discover link between radon and skin cancer

The indoor air quality in many North American homes
is affected by radon and other contaminants.
Radon, the naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up in people’s homes, has been identified as a leading cause of lung cancer before – and now a study shows it may also have other health effects.

A new study suggests that a link may exist between radon exposure and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health (part of the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry) have detected a connection following analysis of data on radon exposure and skin cancer cases from across southwest England.

The link was not evident in the development of malignant melanoma, the most common form of skin cancer, but it was found between areas where high radon concentrations are found and a particular type of non-melanoma skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

"We know that naturally occurring radon is a contributing factor to a small proportion of lung cancers, but there is limited evidence of other health implications,” says the study’s lead author Dr. Ben Wheeler.

“These findings suggest that the issue of radon and skin cancer deserves a much closer look and we're planning to develop a more detailed study capable of detecting a direct relationship, if one actually exists.”

Health effects of radon exposure
Radon exposure has been linked to
lung cancer and now skin cancer.

EPA estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related.  Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. 

According to EPA, two studies show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer.

“These findings effectively end any doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, Former Director of EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.  “We know that radon is a carcinogen.  This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”

EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.

Indoor air quality at home

Radon is just one of many contaminants that can lead to poor indoor air quality and health effects.

Most North American homes, especially those with airtight construction and poor ventilation, suffer from indoor air contaminants such as chemicals and gases (like VOCs from cleaning agents, fragrances and building materials), particles and dust, mold, bacteria and viruses.

Using low-VOC products, natural cleaning agents and increasing ventilation all help to improve indoor air quality, but another easy and effective solution is a powerful home or office air purifier with activated carbon + HEPA.
AllerAir air purifiers

AllerAir’s portable air purifiers can remove the widest range of pollutants with its multistage filtration system.

The deep-bed activated carbon filter removes many gases, odors, chemicals and fumes, while the medical-grade or micro-HEPA traps tiny particles and pathogens. Pre-filters take care of larger particles and dust and protect the other filters’ lifespan.

For general purpose air purifiers or specialized units like MCS, Allergy and Asthma, Odor and Chemical Control, Mold and Tobacco Smoke, visit our website or contact AllerAir directly: 888-852-8247.  
  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living close to an art studio? Protect yourself from fumes

Art materials can release chemical fumes and other toxins.
Many materials and processes used in the creation of artworks involve inhalation hazards.

These include VOCs and chemical fumes released by paints and adhesives, fine particles from pigments, pastel dust, plaster, rock and wood dust, and many other toxins.

When it comes to sculptures, artists often turn to welding, which can release harmful chemicals and fumes.

Artists are not immune to these pollutants. Reported short-term health effects include headaches, nausea, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and skin irritation, while long-term exposure has been linked to respiratory diseases and even cancer.

But people living close to a busy art studio may also be affected by the noise and fumes wafting into their indoor environment.

AllerAir has designed a variety of versatile air purifiers that are uniquely suited to the removal of indoor air pollutants associated with art materials.

The units clean the air with a powerful multistage filtration system that includes the deepest beds of activated carbon in the industry, the longest dwell times for pollutants, the most inert materials and high-efficiency HEPA filters.

  • Activated carbon is a highly adsorbent filter material that can remove a wide range of airborne chemicals, VOCs, gases, fumes, vapors and odors. 
  • HEPA is the gold standard for particle filtration and can trap up to 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size.

AllerAir recommends the following air purifiers for artists and art studios:

AllerAir's 5000 model
removes chemicals, odors
and particles from the air.
5000 Exec: A great all-purpose air cleaner for those concerned about chemicals, odors and particles, with an 18 lb. carbon filter + medical-grade HEPA

5000 Vocarb: This unit features a custom carbon blend in an 18 lb. carbon filter for superior chemical adsorption, plus a medical-grade HEPA for particles

AirMedic Series: A 360-degree air intake and medical-grade HEPA provide superior particle control, especially for fine particles, pigments and dust while also removing irritating odors and harmful chemicals with an 18 lb. carbon filter.

5000 D or DX models: These air purifiers feature even more activated carbon and longer dwell times for artists that are exposed to heavier concentrations of chemicals and VOCs emitted by paints, turpentine and adhesives.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Extreme weather caused by air pollution: Study

Weather extremes like drought and flooding can affect your indoor air quality, health and well-being

Cloud formation can be influenced by aerosols in the air,
researchers say, and lead to extreme weather conditions.
A new study shows that increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can influence the way clouds are formed and therefore reduce rainfalls in dry regions and seasons.

At the same time, the phenomenon may lead to more rain, snowfalls and severe storms in wet regions or seasons, the researchers found.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience and provides evidence how aerosols (soot, dust and other particulates) can affect weather and climate.

"Using a 10-year data set of atmospheric measurements, we have uncovered the long-term, net impact of aerosols on cloud height and thickness and the resulting changes in precipitation frequency and intensity," says Zhanqing Li, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland and lead author of a paper reporting the results.

The scientific community is trying to understand aerosols’ effects on cloud and precipitation development, human activities’ effects on climate change and other issues related to air pollution, disaster relief and water resource management, for example.

Aerosols are tiny solid particles or liquid particles suspended in air and can include soot, dust and sulfate particles (as in smog).

The researchers found that aerosols can impact the heating and phase changes (like condensing and freezing) of clouds, which can either inhibit or intensify clouds and precipitation.
Fires contribute to aerosol
levels in the air.

Aerosols come from the combustion of fossil fuels, industrial processes, agricultural activities and field and forest fires.

Source: National Science Foundation

Air pollution and extreme weather can lead to poor indoor air quality

Whether it’s air pollution from outside seeping in, airborne dust particles turning up everywhere or flooding in the home – extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on the air quality inside and your personal health and well-being.

When it comes to extreme weather, it’s often best to leave windows closed, reduce chemical use indoors, change the filters for the HVAC system and continuously run an air purifier with a multistage filtration system.

AllerAir specializes in air purifiers designed to remove odors, chemicals, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses, mold as well as many other pollutants.

Among the specialized units are air purifiers for mold (which often becomes an issue after floods), air purifiers for allergies and asthma (superior particle control and odor removal) and general purpose air purifiers.

To find out which one is best for your home or office, consult our model selection and sizing guides or contact us directly.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The link between chemicals, air pollution and cancer

Researchers are studying lifestyle factors
and chemical exposure as cancer risks.
Cancer incidence is on the rise – and cancer might even surpass heart disease as the world’s leading cause of death, the World Health Organization says.

According to HealthNewsDigest.com, cancer is the only major cause of death that has continued to rise since 1900.

Trying to explain the cause, researchers are increasingly turning to environmental factors as worthy study objects.

A 240-page report based on hundreds of other studies entitled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now” placed part of the blame to our exposure to chemicals, pollution and radiation.

According to the report, 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and 21 percent are likely to die from it.

Numerous studies have linked chemical exposure to a higher risk of cancer, but the medical community is nevertheless divided since it is so difficult to establish a clear link between exposure to certain chemicals and serious health effects later on.

Personal lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol intake and overexposure to sunlight (read sunburns) certainly play a role, but no one can deny that our reliance on chemicals and the effect on public health warrant a closer look.

Remove airborne chemicals and gases with activated carbon

Most commercial air purifiers only feature a HEPA filter for particle and pathogen control, but these filters are unable to remove chemicals, odors and gases.

The best filtration media for gaseous pollutants is activated carbon.

AllerAir specializes in air purifiers with many pounds of activated carbon (+HEPA) that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Contact us for more information.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How safe is your baby’s crib?

Sweet dreams? Crib mattresses can
contain toxic chemicals.
When it comes to babies, new parents often turn into serious health nuts in order to protect their loved ones from environmental exposure (as much as possible).

But what if they don’t have much of a choice?

Case in point: Crib mattresses in the United States.

A new report by Clean and Healthy New York entitled “The Mattress Matters: Protecting Babies from Toxic Chemicals While They Sleep,” found that while some crib mattress manufacturers have made products less toxic, most commercially available cribs still contained at least one chemical of concern.

According to an article by OMB Watch, The researchers found that most mattresses contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and additives called phthalates.

Phthalates are not chemically bound to the products and can easily be released into the ambient air.

Health authorities have expressed concern about phthalates because of their toxicity and because of high exposure levels in the public.

Phthalates are often used to soften PVC products and they can be found in adhesives and glues, electronics, building materials, personal-care products, medical devices, detergents and surfactants, packaging, children's toys, modelling clay, waxes, paints, printing inks and coatings, pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles.

Becoming more aware of the health risks is one of the first steps to promote change. As demand for safer baby’s toys and products such as cribs increases, more manufacturers will respond and use non-toxic products.

In the meantime, parents can make other changes to reduce their children’s exposure to environmental pollution, including buying organic foods whenever possible, using natural cleaning products, opting for low or zero-VOC paints and products and using a room air purifier to remove airborne pollutants.
Room air purifiers with many pounds
of activated carbon and HEPA.

AllerAir delivers powerful, portable air purifiers with activated carbon + HEPA filters to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including chemicals, odors, gases, particles, bacteria, viruses and mold.

With highly efficient general purpose air purifiers, air purifiers for baby’s room or nursery and other specialized air purifiers, AllerAir can solve virtually any IAQ concern.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Study eases concerns about flame retardants and health effects on newborns

Study examined the effects of fire
retardants on newborns' thyroids.
Study after study seems to find links between chemicals and potentially major health effects, but now there is some good news: A new study found no link between thyroid hormone levels and flame retardants in the blood of newborn babies, according to a Reuters report.

The study focused on PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that are used in common household items such as carpets and furniture and easily off-gas into the rooms.

Flame retardants can be detected in the blood of 97 percent of Americans, and previous studies have linked them with a wide range of complications, including disrupted thyroid function in pregnant women.

In this new study by California researchers, nearly 300 pregnant women were examined as well as their babies after birth.

The researchers found no link between the mothers’ chemical exposure and the newborns’ thyroid hormone levels.

Still, the experts warn that pregnant women in other parts of the country may be exposed to higher levels of flame retardants, and that these may affect their newborns.

Animal studies have suggested as much, and the researchers have warned that timing may alter the results. They examined the newborns’ blood one day after birth, but results may be different in older children, they say.

Health effects of flame retardants
Older children may be affected more,
study authors say.

Even though many flame retardants are being phased out, experts still worry about high levels of exposure, since many common household products are currently impregnated with the chemicals.

While most people today absorb the chemicals by ingesting household dust, once these products land in a landfill and start breaking down they can enter the environment and become part of the food chain.

See also our previous post, Growing Concerns Over Flame Retardants.

Exposure to environmental pollutants

Reducing exposure to indoor air pollutants is easy with an air purifier that contains the right filtration media: Activated carbon and HEPA.

AllerAir specializes in room air purifiers for odor and chemical control with superior particle removal as well.

The complete air filtration systems can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds), odors, gases, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact us for more information.
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Signs of poor indoor air quality

Poor indoor air quality can affect all
household members.
Now that winter is coming, we are getting ready to spend even more time indoors, so we should make sure that we are breathing the best possible air at home and at work.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a home has an indoor air quality problem, but there are few clues that you should consider:

Condensation on the windows

If windows need to be toweled dry often because they steam up and the water is running down them, it usually means that the house is sealed too tightly and that there is not enough ventilation.

Just as the humidity gets sealed indoors, so do the other indoor air pollutants such as VOCs (organic chemicals), particles, allergens, bacteria and viruses.

Experts recommend using exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen whenever possible, opening a window regularly and using a dehumidifier.

An air purification system with carbon and HEPA can also remove pollutants such as chemicals, particles, mold, bacteria and viruses and help move the air around as well.

'Cold' symptoms that won’t go away

If you have watery eyes, a dry and itchy throat, headaches and trouble breathing and your symptoms last longer than a typical cold, then your indoor air quality may be too blame.

Feeling stuffed up?
It may be the IAQ in your home.
Your body may be reacting to the chemicals and VOCs that are introduced into the indoor air environment by building materials, paints, harsh cleaning products, scented air “freshening” products, personal care products, electronic equipment, combustion appliances like gas cook stoves and more.

The best way to ensure better indoor air quality is source control. Avoid harsh cleaning agents or renovation materials that are high in VOCs, opt for natural alternatives whenever possible and simply be aware. Even small, simple steps make a difference.

Many of these concerns can also be mitigated by increasing the building’s ventilation and using an air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA.

A musty odor in the home

If you come home and are taken aback by a musty or foul smell, then you should try to find the cause. If it’s not the garbage that needs to be emptied, it may be mold.

Check your home’s humidity levels, plumbing and identify possible leaks and make sure that there is no mold in your home. If you find some, follow the right steps to remove it (if it is not too big) or hire a company for the remediation.

Prevent mold from growing by fixing any leaks or water damage right away, drying all the affected areas (mold can start growing after 24-48 hours of excessive humidity) and keeping the indoor humidity level low.

Want to find out more about indoor air filtration systems? Contact AllerAir directly or take advantage of our online model and sizing guides to find the right model for you.
  
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Vendor of the Week: GreenHome.com

It is rewarding to work with vendors that care about a healthy lifestyle, quality products and green choices.

AllerAir is fortunate to supply many such vendors and proudly presents the online eco-store GreenHome.com as Vendor of the Week.

Based in San Francisco, California, GreenHome.com offers
a wide range of environmentally friendly home and business products that help consumers reduce their environmental footprint and the toxicity in their home or office.

Apart from heavy duty air purifiers like AllerAir’s 5000 Exec (general purpose air cleaning) and 5000 DS (for tobacco smoke), GreenHome’s offerings include products that help consumers improve their indoor air quality:

  • Home safety tests: These include an indoor air quality test kit that focuses on particle concerns such as mold, pollen, dust, dander, bacteria and carcinogenic fibers, an EMF detector and water conservation kits. Sometimes it’s better to find out about an IAQ problem first, especially if you suspect them to affect your health and well-being. We hope they get a test kit for airborne chemicals soon, too!
  • Environmentally friendly heating and cooling products that can help keep the home warm and ventilated, including home energy conservation kits, exhaust fans and a solar-powered attic fan
  • Green and non-toxic home improvement products such as finishers and sealers, adhesives, flooring, paints and stains as well as polishes and waxes. Many dangerous fumes and VOCs come from these types of products, so it is great to see much safer alternatives here.
  • Non-toxic cleaning products: Indoor air pollution is also often tied to chemical-laden cleaning agents. Green Home has a variety of natural, enzyme-based cleaners that won’t add harmful contaminants to the indoor air.
  • Organic mattresses and futons: Department store mattresses contain chemicals and flame retardants that can off-gas into the room – the ones available on Green Home contain 100% organic fibers and natural materials.

This list could go on, of course.  GreenHome.com also offers weekly special offers, which you can find on their home page.


This week, Nov. 14-21, you get a free pack of pre-filters if you buy an AllerAir air purifier from GreenHome.com. The pack includes eight pre-filter replacements – a value of $60 - $100 (depending on the model you choose)!

AllerAir's 5000 and 6000 Series:
Air purifiers for the home & office

AllerAir’s activated carbon and HEPA filtration system plus UV (optional) makes it easy to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants – including VOCs, chemicals, particles, dust, allergens, pollen, bacteria, viruses, mold spores and mold mycotoxins as well as persistent odors.

Happy browsing!

Related blog posts:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Air pollution linked to joint disease

Smog may be associated with an increased
risk of rheumatoid arthritis, study shows.
Breathing in smog and polluted air on a regular basis is not only bad for your lungs and heart – it can also increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a new study suggests.

Sulfur dioxide, the main component of smog, was associated with modest increases in risk for the painful joint disease.

The study involved 2,092 rheumatoid arthritis patients and more than 93,000 people without the disease in the United States and Sweden.

The researchers determined their long-term exposure to common air pollutants, including gases like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particles like soot or dust, based on the participants’ home addresses.

Exposure to particulate air pollution like soot and dust did not show any higher risks for the disease, but exposure to sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen in the 10 and 20 years before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis showed an increased risk.

People with lower socioeconomic status were also at a higher risk because they tend to live in houses where more air pollution leaks in from the outside, the researchers said.

These preliminary findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal and should be regarded as preliminary.

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still unknown, but researchers blame a combination of genes, early life events and environmental factors, among others. About 1.3 million Americans suffer from RA.

Source: USA Today

Environmental risk factors in the air

Air pollution can become a problem outdoors as well as indoors. Since we spend most of our time indoors, breathing clean, healthy air has become a priority for many people.

AllerAir has developed powerful portable air purifiers for the home and office that feature the most effective filter combination to remove chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust and allergens: Activated carbon + HEPA + UV.

Contact us for more information.
 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Allergies continue in winter weather

Winter allergies are often caused by
poor indoor air quality.
Usually, people with allergies tend to take a breath of relief when the pollinating season is over or when the first frost brings relief from irritating mold spores.

But the colder weather also means people are spending more time indoors – and indoor allergies are on the rise, especially in combination with asthma.

Allergic symptoms or headaches can often be traced back to exposure to indoor air pollutants such as dust and dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals as well as gas fumes.

Even mold growing on indoor plants, Christmas trees or decorations may become a problem for those suffering from allergies.

The experts recommend
  • Keeping the indoor humidity level low (below 35 percent) to help prevent mold growth
  • Using the bathroom and kitchen fans when showering, taking a bath, cooking and boiling water to get rid of the humidity and odors
  • Cleaning regularly with a HEPA vacuum to decrease particles, dust mites and pet allergen levels
  • Replacing furnace filters every two to three months
  • Washing bed linens and night clothes in hot water to kill dust mites
  • Banning plants from the bedroom
  • Minimizing contact with pets like dogs and cats and keeping them out of the bedroom
  • Removing dust from holiday decorations and the tree

Source: Farm and Dairy

Remove allergens from the indoor air in your home
A multistage filtration system removes
the widest range of pollutants.

Tired of the stuffy feeling you get after being indoors for too long?

An air purifier does double duty – it cleans the ambient air and it moves the air around, so you can always breathe easier.

AllerAir’s air purifiers can be moved from room to room and they feature the most effective filter combination with activated carbon, HEPA and UV (optional), removing indoor air pollutants such as chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, mold spores and mold mycotoxins as well as bacteria and viruses.

AllerAir has developed a number of air purifiers specifically for allergies and asthma.

Not sure which one is for you? Check out our sizing and model selection guides or contact AllerAir directly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The things we love may cause allergy and asthma symptoms

Scented candles introduce
VOCs into the air.
We may love our furry pets, our “linen-fresh” scented rooms or the occasional glass of wine, but all of those things could be at fault for the rising allergy and asthma rates across the continent, experts say.

Up to 50 million American suffer from asthma or allergic diseases, allergists say, and the numbers keep rising.

Many reasons are suspected, among them
  • Exposure to air pollution
  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Genetics

But while these may be factors, people should be more aware of other allergic triggers, the allergists say.

Scented products and air fresheners

Air fresheners do much more than make that room smell a certain way. They also emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that have been linked to eye and respiratory irritation and other health problems.

Doctors have been seeing people complaining of sneezing, congestion, headaches, coughing, fatigue and asthma because of these chemical substances.

Air freshening products are also known to simply cover up a problem without solving it.

If odors, gases and chemicals are an issue, an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA is the best way to go, along with source control and adequate ventilation, of course.

Keep the bottles corked

Wine and alcohol-containing drinks can cause rare but severe reactions and asthma attacks, allergists say.

Allergens such as hops, barley, ethanol, grapes, preservatives and more are often to blame.

Blame your best friend

Dog and cat allergens are present in most homes. Animal dander is light and can stay airborne for a long time, and it is easily spread from one home to the next.
Pet dander is a cause of allergic reactions.

The love for their pets will prevent most people from finding another home for them, so allergists recommend allergy shots and regular cleaning routines to keep the count as low as possible.

Source: USA Today

Air purifiers for allergies and asthma

AllerAir’s portable and powerful air purifiers for asthma and allergies not only feature a medical-grade HEPA filter, the gold standard in particle and allergen removal, but also a deep bed of activated carbon to remove a wide range of chemicals, gases and VOCs that also affect your health and well-being.
AllerAir's AirMedic Series

The AirMedic Series is designed to clean the air quickly and efficiently, with a 360-degree air intake and a powerful filter combination.

For enhanced protection against biological contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and mold, you can also opt for UV germicidal filtration in the AirMedic+ Series.

Contact us to find out more.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Heart at risk from exposure to environmental pollution

LiveZilla Live Help

Environmental toxins build up in the body
over time, scientists say
Environmental pollutants like PCBs, dioxin and pesticides have been linked to cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and heart attack.

Now you can add the increased risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, to that list.

In the latest of several environmental studies, researchers in Sweden tested more than 1,000 study participants for 23 environmental toxins.

Many of these toxins have been banned for some time, but because they have such a long half life, they are still a major factor in people’s exposure.

The study concentrated on people age 70 or older, since the toxins are stored in the body at increasingly higher levels over time.

The researcher compared the levels of environmental exposure to the health of their arteries, determined by the amount of plaque build-up in the carotid artery.

The more plaque there is, the narrower the arteries get and will reduce blood flow to the heart; if an area of plaque ruptures, it blocks the blood flow completely and can cause a heart attack.

Even after controlling for other cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers found a strong link between seven environmental pollutants and increased plaque build-up in the carotid artery.

Heart attack and stroke are leading causes of death in industrialized countries, and they are both associated with atherosclerosis, so studying the effects of environmental pollutants may be beneficial for the public health, the researchers said.

Source: TIME Healthland

Remove environmental pollutants at home or at work

The danger of environmental pollution is that people often don’t know they are breathing in contaminants or how they can affect them.

Many homes and buildings could benefit from improved indoor air quality, but department store air purifiers often rely on HEPA to remove particles and allergens.
Activated carbon can adsorb harmful
chemicals, gases and VOCs.

For people who are also concerned about chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors and gases, an air purifier with deep bed activated carbon will remove a wide range of environmental pollutants.

AllerAir has designed portable and versatile air purifiers for the home and office that feature a powerful activated carbon + HEPA + UV (optional) filter combination.

Contact us to find out more.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Non-smokers’ risk of lung cancer tied to air pollution

Smoking is still the highest risk factor
for lung cancer, but air pollution may
be a factor.
If you never smoked, your risk of lung cancer should be much lower, right?

Well, it is, but another factor could be living in a highly polluted area, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health.

If you are exposed to air pollution, you have a 20% higher risk of dying from lung cancer, the study shows.

Smoking still remains the primary cause of lung cancer, but there are still 1 in 10 people who never smoked that develop lung cancer – and air pollution may have something to do with it.

Polluted air and smog expose people to fine particles, which can penetrate deep into the lungs, cause irritation and inflammation and may be a risk factor for lung cancer.

The study followed more than 180,000 non-smokers for 26 years in the United States and Puerto Rico. About 1,100 participants died from lung cancer during that time.

The researchers used their zip codes to determine the levels of pollution.

Air pollution is often seen in the form
of smog.
Overall air pollution levels dropped over the time of the study period, but it remained a major factor in a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

While the study didn’t prove a direct causation, evidence is there that exposure to fine particles raises cardiopulmonary mortality, the researchers told Reuters.

Other studies have also linked exposure to wood smoke indoors and vehicle exhaust outside to increased risk of lung cancer.

Source: Reuters

Protect yourself from chemicals and gases indoors

Outdoor air pollution is bad for you – but indoor air can be five times as polluted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

You can improve your indoor air quality by avoiding common source of pollution:
  • Don’t smoke indoors
  • Use natural cleaning agents
  • Avoid scented products and “air fresheners”
  • Use a portable air purifier in the room(s) you spend most time in

AllerAir has designed highly efficient air purifiers that do more than just remove dust, pollen and biological contaminants from the air.

That’s because their comprehensive filtration system not only contains HEPA for particles and pathogens, it also contains a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of chemicals, odors and gases and the option of UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and additional features and options.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The link between environmental chemicals and infertility

Millions of couples in the U.S. are infertile
or dealing with infertility, statistics show.
Researchers are trying to understand the many reasons why infertility rates are rising in North America and other developed nations.

Every year in the United States, approximately 6 million women deal with infertility and around 2 million married couples are infertile.

The causes include hormonal imbalances, defects of the uterus, misshapen sperm, low sperm count and low sperm motility, for example.

And new research has just added another potential cause to the list: endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment.

Studies have found higher blood levels of pollutants such as bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), which can interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant and reduce fertility.

Chemicals mimic hormones

More than 1,200 chemicals belong to the category of endocrine disruptors, meaning they can mimic or block hormones, including estrogen, the primary female sex hormone involved in pregnancy.

The researchers warn that even low levels of chemicals such as PCBs affect the success rates of assisted reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

PCBs and HCB are long-lived pollutants that take decades to break down. That is why even though they have been banned for 25 years or more, exposure in the general U.S. population is still widespread.

Most people are exposed through food, since the chemicals are often found in hard plastic beverage containers, food can linings and traces of pesticides.

To reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, experts advise to:
  • Avoid canned foods
  • Not use disposable water bottles
  • Buy BPA-free plastics
  • Avoid animal and fish fats that are high in PCBs
Source: Environmental Health News

Use an air purifier to remove airborne chemicals
Remove chemicals, odors
and other toxins with the
5000 Exec air purifier.

The ambient air in most indoor environments contains dust particles and allergens, but also chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins that are often off-gassing from construction materials, paints, electronic equipment, furniture, cleaning agents and scented products like air fresheners and candles.

An air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon and HEPA can remove the widest range of these contaminants and keep the air cleaner and healthier.

Check out AllerAir’s 5000 Exec for powerful, portable air filtration where you need it, or contact us to determine which unit is best suited for your needs.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

VIDEO: Pesticides and indoor air quality

Health effects of pesticide exposure

The "cide" in pesticides means to kill, but many people are still using potentially harmful pesticides in their home.

The chemical substances can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and long-term exposure can damage the kidneys and other organs.

Watch the video by IAQ TV for more facts and information.



Worried about airborne chemicals and odors in the home?

A portable air purifier with activated carbon + HEPA + UV (optional) offers the most enhanced protection from indoor air pollutants.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Doctors to expose babies to dust mites to stop rising allergies

Young babies have developing immune
systems and early exposure may help
prevent future allergies, doctors say.
Medical history has shown that sometimes bold steps are needed to bring about change. 

The doctors at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are planning a new radical investigation to try and stop the rising allergy epidemic that has swept the globe.

Their plan is to expose babies under the age of one to dust mites. 

Since the babies’ immune systems are still developing, the early exposure should help prevent them from developing an allergy in the future, according to their theory.

Dust mites are one of the most common allergens in people’s homes, living in mattresses, carpets, pillows and upholstered furniture.They are the most common trigger for allergies and can produce at least 15 different allergens each. 

Exposure to dust mites has also been linked to aggravated asthma symptoms in children. 

The study is carried out at the respiratory biomedical research unit at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Center at St Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight.

A total of 120 babies aged between five to nine months who have a family history of allergy will be participating.

Just like in other parts of the developed world, allergies have been on the rise in the UK and affect as many as one in four individuals at some point in their lives. 


Control the allergens in your home

AllerAir's AirMedic Series
provides quick and efficient
air filtration.
If you are already suffering from allergies or asthma, you might find some relief by controlling the level of allergens and particulates in your home.

AllerAir has developed highly efficient air purifiers forallergies and asthma that feature a multistage filtration system to offer the most enhanced protection possible.

You can remove up to 99.97% of particles and allergens at 0.3 microns with a medical-grade HEPA filter and literally trap airborne chemicals, odors and gases with a deep-bed activated carbon filter. 

If you opt for a UV lamp, you can neutralize even more biological contaminants such as viruses, molds and bacteria, and the units also feature a pre-filter and other filter options.

Contact AllerAir for more information and a personalized recommendation.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Secondhand smoke still affecting millions of California children

Despite low smoking rates, many children
are still exposed to secondhand smoke.
[Update: The initial study results were flawed and instead of 2.5 million children about 966,000 children are still affected by secondhand smoke, according to NBC LA. The university researchers issued an apology, citing a methodology error.]

California is the state with the second-lowest smoking rate in the U.S. – but experts estimate that 2.5 million children under the age of 12 are still at risk because of exposure to secondhand smoking.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has analyzed data from several cycles of the California Health Interview Survey to come up with the following findings:

  • About 561,000 children are directly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home
  • About 1.9 million children live in a home where a family member smokes. These children may be at risk because they are exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke, even if smoking is not allowed in the home itself
  • African American children are three times more likely to live with smokers
  • Children from lower-income level homes are more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Rural children are at greater risk than children in urban areas

The study can help policymakers identify targeted campaigns to reduce the number of households that allow smoking in the home.

Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a greater risk of developing asthma, respiratory infections and other ailments. They also have a higher risk of becoming smokers themselves.

Source: UCLA. Read the full press release.

Air purifiers for tobacco smoke, odors and toxins

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals and carcinogenic toxins as well as tiny particles that have been linked to serious health conditions like cancer.

Researchers have identified more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, including arsenic, benzene, cadmium, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde and toluene.

Of course, tobacco smoke also contains the addiction-causing substance nicotine and tar, a resinous and partially combusted particulate matter that is formed during smoking.
Air purifiers for smoke: See
AllerAir's 5000 DS and the
5000 DXS models.

In order to be effective for tobacco smoke, an air purifier need the largest possible activated carbon filter, which provides an extensive adsorbent surface area for the removal of chemicals, gases and odors.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for tobacco smoke also feature HEPA filters to trap 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns in size and special tar-trapping pre-filters that prolong the lifespan of the main air filters.

Contact AllerAir today to find out more about our line of air purifiers for tobacco smoke, or to get a personalized recommendation based on the size of the space, the amount of pollutants and other important factors.