Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Indoor air pollution in the nursery includes chemicals, fumes

The average "new" nursery can expose babies to 300
different chemicals and gases.
It’s often the invisible threats that are the scariest.

When the popular TV show “Good Morning America” with the help of Greenguard Environmental Institute (part of Underwriters Laboratories) started investigating what kind of air pollutants people are exposed to in the average home, no one thought the results would be this shocking.

They set up a room with a new crib, changing table, rocker and decorations and then they tested the indoor air quality for seven days.

The results: The indoor air in the new nursery contained 300 different chemicals. A test of the air just outside the home revealed only two chemicals.

The fact that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air is not that shocking, especially for regular readers of this blog. But 300 different chemicals? Ouch.

It is concerning because young children are most at risk from environmental pollution, since they breathe more and ingest more in proportion to their body size.

A big pollution culprit was the new crib mattress, which emitted more than 100 different chemicals.

The new furniture shared formaldehyde fumes and the new paint (I guess they didn’t go for the low-VOC version) contained chemical gases five times the recommended limit.

Source: ABC News

Bring home baby to a healthy nursery

It is rather disconcerting to know that these products are so easily and legally available and that too many people just don’t know about the importance of good indoor air quality in the home.

Especially expecting parents need to be vigilant about the types of products they use. The key to the best indoor air quality lies in a 3-pronged approach:
  1. Source control – Avoid adding contaminants into the ambient air. Be careful about new furniture and pressed wood products, fragrances and scents as well as high-VOC products.
  2. Ventilation – Open windows regularly to let fresh air in and inspect and maintain the ventilation system. Schedule renovations and paint jobs for fall and spring when windows can stay open for a longer period of time.
  3. Air filtration – A newborn’s immune system is still developing, but it doesn’t mean a baby should be bombarded with hundreds of chemicals. Use a multistage filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA in the room (the activated carbon removes chemicals and gases, HEPA filters out particles)
Air purifiers with activated carbon & HEPA
AllerAir specializes in superior air purifiers for the home and office that offer the most activated carbon in their respective price classes and the safest and most trusted filters and materials.

For small nurseries, try the AirTube Supreme with a 10 lb. carbon filter and medical-grade HEPA.

Other popular air purifiers for nurseries include the 4000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Orleans swamp fires may fester for months

Swamp fire smoke makes its way into
nearby homes and affects residents.
Residents downwind of an underground marsh fire in eastern New Orleans have been feeling the effects of smoke exposure, as clouds of smoke periodically waft their way.

They reported wheezing and bouts of nausea due to the exposure, and said that the smell of smoke was everywhere in their homes.

The fires were at their height at the end of August 2011, when much of New Orleans was blanketed with heavy smoke.

Even with the National Guard and natural rainfalls dumping water on the area, the swamp fire continued to smolder and spread.

Now, five months later, smaller amounts of smoke still find their way into residents’ homes.

Wildfire smoke has been identified as a serious health risk as 80 to 90% of wildfire smoke is within the fine particle range.

These fine particles, which are generally less than 2.5 microns in diameter and can penetrate deep into the lungs. 

An increase in this type of airborne particulate matter has been linked to numerous health problems including headaches, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, strokes and heart attacks.

Source: Nola

Keep smoke out from your home

While wildfires and underground swamp fires are not easy to control, homeowners can help protect their health and well-being by making sure their indoor air quality is as high as possible.

Since smoke particles and chemicals can make their way indoors through open windows, doors, cracks and other entry points, it’s important to ensure good ventilation and to use a powerful air cleaner that canhandle smoke toxins.

AllerAir has designed some of the most efficient air purifiers for smoke, with many pounds of activated carbon and HEPA to remove chemicals, particles, gases, odors and other irritants from the ambient air.
The AirMedic Series combines
powerful particle with chemical

Here are some recommended air purifiers for smoke:

Air Medic + Vocarb
Our most efficient medical-grade HEPA unit for particles ( traps 99.97% of fine particles at 0.3 microns) coupled with a deep-bed, activated carbon filter for the treatment of  chemicals, gases and odors. Ideal for those living within close range of a wildfire zone.

5000 DS
AllerAir's "DS" models are air purifiers tailored specifically for smoke and odor relief. These exceptional air purifiers remove lingering smoke odors and harmful chemicals. They feature a deep-bed carbon filter, tar-trapping pre-filters and micro-HEPA filter for particles.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Household chemicals impair children’s immunity: Study

Exposure to chemicals in early childhood
may affect a kid's response to vaccinations.
A new study records a poorer response to vaccines in children with higher levels of PFCs in their blood.

PFCs is short for perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a group of synthetic chemicals commonly used in nonstick cookware, carpets, upholstery, food packaging and more. Previous studies have shown that the chemicals are present in most people’s bloodstreams.

In the first study of its kind on humans, researchers from the United States and Denmark found that high levels of exposure to these chemicals in early childhood may be associated with a reduced response to two routine immunizations.

They followed 587 children in the Faroe Islands (between Iceland and Norway) between 1999 and 2001, where a high intake of seafood is linked with increased exposure to PFCs.

The two vaccines in question are the tetanus and diphtheria immunizations that are given at 3, 5 and 12 months of age and a booster shot at age 5.

The study shows that all five PFCs in the study appeared to be linked to lower antibody levels. The children’s response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines at age 7 was only half of what it should have been if they showed high levels of PFCs in their blood.

The next questions the researchers need to answer are:
  • Does this link point to a general immune system dysfunction and 
  • Could this also affect their risk of infections, allergies or cancer?

The findings appear in the Jan. 25 issue of the Journal of the Medical Association.

Source: HealthDay

Reduce your chemical exposure at home

Experts suggest avoiding products made with PFCs as much as possible, including nonstick cookware and microwave popcorn.
The 5000 Exec is a powerful
general purpose air purifier.

Homeowners should also vacuum their rugs and upholstery often to reduce household dust levels.

A portable air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA air filters can also help in cleaning the air and controlling the levels of chemicals, gases, odors and dust.

AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter that can remove the widest range of gaseous pollutants. They also feature high efficiency particle filters for dust and other particulate matter, pre-filters and optional UV germicidal filtration for extra protection against biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Every household is different and every indoor air environment may require a slightly different solution, which is why AllerAir offers one of the most extensive product lines and customizable options on the market.

You can even remove odors and chemicals from small, enclosed spaces like drawers, cabinets, closets, refrigerators, litter boxes and more with AllerAir's Air Purifiers for Small Spaces.

Contact AllerAir for more information and assistance in picking the right unit for your unique circumstances.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Allergies hurt productivity at work: Study

Allergies can be more than a simple nuisance, experts warn.
A Middle Eastern survey on allergies warned that ignoring persistent allergy symptoms can lead to longer term conditions and affect work productivity and academic performance.

Nasal allergies caused by dust and other environmental pollution are on the rise and have a detrimental impact on people’s lives and the economy, according to the Allergies in the Middle East survey, which covered five countries: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Iran.

The pharmaceutical company Takeda carried out the study, which included 7,411 households, out of which 501 agreed to participate in a more in-depth survey.

The researchers hoped to raise awareness about indoor air quality issues that could make things worse, among them closed environments in big buildings that are improperly ventilated, high levels of dust, environmental pollution from industries and humidity.

The survey participants complained about nasal congestion, headaches, watery eyes and sleep disruption.
During bad times, their work rate fell between 25 to 40 percent, they indicated.

Source: The National

Keep your home and office allergen-free

Allergies can not only hurt work productivity, they can also affect your quality of life and lead to fatigue and depression, especially if sleep is disrupted.

AirMedic air purifiers: Superior design for particle,
allergen, chemical and odor control.
That’s why it is a good idea for those with asthma and allergies to keep a powerful, portable air purifier with HEPA and activated carbon in their home and/or office.

Most people prefer having an air purifier in the bedroom where it removes a wide range of indoor air contaminants, including dust and tiny particles, mold spores, chemicals and odors that may irritate nasal passages and interrupt sleep.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for allergy and asthma feature the safest and most effective air filters to help keep your air allergen-free.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mold in your home – causes, risks, removal tips

Mold can grow in any home or building if there is
enough moisture and a surface to grow on.
Mold problems are some of the most common air quality concerns in homes.

Mold spores are a natural part of the environment, and all they need is enough humidity or water and a surface to grow on. Experts say mold will grow on wet material in 24-48 hours.

Many homes feature damp basements in the summer, when the ground water level rises, or high humidity in the winter due to condensation. Other problem areas in the home include utility rooms, water heaters, sinks, washing machines and bathtubs – pretty much any area where water might drain.

Homeowners should make sure that downspouts are angled away from the home, and that the home’s humidity readings stay at a healthy level.

Other causes for mold:
  • Flooding
  • Sump pump failure
  • Condensation on windows
  • Soap scum in showers
  • Firewood stored indoors
  • Line drying clothes indoors
  • Leaky or poorly ventilated attic
  • Damp closets

Health effects of mold

Some people might not know that they have a mold problem until they start not feeling well. That’s because mold often grows in areas that are hidden – behind drywall or underneath the carpet, for example.

While some people may experience symptoms related to mold, others may not be feeling any effects whatsoever.

However, the number of people sensitive to mold is growing steadily.
Sneezing is one of the possible health
effects of mold.

Health effects can include
  • Allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, cough, itchy eyes, nose and throat, watery eyes
  • Aggravated asthma
  • Infections such as skin infections or pneumonia
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms, trouble breathing, nervousness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, extreme fatigue

Mold removal tips

When there is a lot of mold in the home, professional remediation services may be needed.

If the mold growth is small, homeowners can remove it themselves by scrubbing with a soap or detergent. Bleach and water may not be enough to kill the mold.

Porous surfaces like paper, insulation, sheetrock and carpet padding that are moldy should be thrown out because you won’t be able to remove the mold completely.

Always wear protective equipment when working around mold.

Source: InForum

Musty odors? Improve indoor air quality with powerful air purifiers

While prevention and source control is very important when it comes to the avoidance of mold, an air purifier with a carbon and HEPA filter can also help remove mold spores and mold mycotoxins – the disease-causing toxins some molds can spread.
Air purifier can help keep the air
clean and healthy.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for mold can also get rid of unwanted musty odors and stale air. Opt for UV germicidal filtration for extra protection.

Recommended units:

5000 Exec - Efficient general purpose air purifier with 18 lb. carbon filter, medical-grade HEPA, optional UV filtration

AirMedic+ Exec - Superior particle and allergen control with 18 lb. carbon filter, medical-grade HEPA and optional UV filtration.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poor indoor air quality is an ‘invisible epidemic’

Indoor air pollution can cause headaches, fatigue, depression and more symptoms

Headaches and other symptoms may be
related to poor indoor air quality.
No matter where we are and what we do, we need to breathe. But the indoor air quality in many homes and workplaces can be full of chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, allergens, mold spores, bacteria, viruses and more.

The number of people that react to these indoor air pollutants is growing steadily.

While headaches, respiratory issues, fatigue and depression belong to the most immediate symptoms, research has shown that long-term effects from exposure to toxins include heart disease, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders, sterility and cancer.

The four most common sources of indoor air pollution are
  1. Pressed wood products (formaldehyde fumes)
  2. Carpets (volatile organic compounds from glues and dyes)
  3. Paints (VOCs like formaldehyde and benzene)
  4. Furnishings with flame-retardants, like mattresses, upholstery, drapes, curtains;

For better indoor air quality, experts recommend source control (choosing the least toxic and healthiest options and products), ventilation and air cleaning.

According to Dr. Mercola in an article for Food Consumer, an air purifier is the most effective way to improve your indoor air quality, after fixing the problems that may contribute to poor IAQ.

However, his list of air filtration technologies was missing activated carbon, one of the most important filters when it comes to harmful indoor air pollutants.

Activated carbon is a safe, affordable and highly effective filter media for the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gases and odors. Make sure you get an air purifier with many pounds of granular activated carbon, since thin spray-on or mesh carbon filters won’t do the job.

With activated carbon, you need a large internal surface area where gaseous pollutant will get trapped – that is why more carbon is better and will last longer.

AllerAir air purifiers combine activated carbon plus HEPA filter technology to remove both chemical pollutants as well as particulate matter (up to 99.97% of all particles at 0.3 microns, in fact), and many air purifiers can also accommodate a UV lamp for extra protection against bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Protect children from toxic house dust

Young children can be affected by toxic house dust.
It’s not only airborne chemicals and gases in the home that pose a risk to children’s health.

Dust, a common occurrence in indoor environments, can also carry exposure risks.

That’s because a lot of pollutants can attach themselves to tiny dust particles, and when the dust is disturbed and becomes airborne, it too becomes a respiratory hazard.

Studies show that house dust can contain chemical pollutants such as flame retardants, metals like lead, mercury and poisons like pesticides. Even bacteria and viruses can attach themselves to dust particles and pose exposure risks.

People can track chemicals and dust in from the outside, but they can also be generated by activities that are going on inside, or from the wear-and-tear of common household products.

Children are most at risk because their bodies are still developing and they eat more, drink more and breathe more in proportion to their body size. Young children are also closer to the floor and tend to crawl, touch, chew and explore things by putting them into their mouths.

For these reasons, house dust should not be allowed to accumulate in a home with children or pets, and some experts say it should be treated as an environmental health risk.

Here are some pointers to minimize exposure:
  1. Clean regularly. You don’t have to overdo it, but setting up a regular cleaning schedule and keeping to it will help avoid the accumulation of dust and particles in the home. Adjust the cleaning schedule for the number of people living under the roof, pets, weather conditions and other factors.
  2. Clean with moisture. The best way to avoid disturbing existing dust is to vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and use a wet cloth and mop. You don’t need harsh chemicals in the water, a bit of white vinegar or a few drops of soap will be enough.
  3. Store toys in closed containers and avoid a lot of knickknacks and clutter in the house.
  4. Take your shoes off at the door and clean the door mats frequently – separately from your other laundry.

More information: www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca

Filter out airborne dust and particles

AllerAir's AirMedic Series: Powerful
particle and dust controllers.
AllerAir has developed portable air purifiers for superior particle control, while also featuring a deep-bed carbon filter for the removal of chemicals, gases and odors.

The AirMedic Series and AirMedic+ Series filter out particles with a 360-degree air intake, the best in HEPA filtration (to remove 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns) as well as ProDense pre-filters that tackle larger particles and dust.

These air purifiers also feature many pounds of activated carbon to adsorb a wide range of odors, gases, chemicals, VOCs and more.

Use the Air Quality Sizing Guide as well as the Model Selection Guide to figure out the best unit for your home, or contact AllerAir for more information.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Toxic substances in the home: Formaldehyde

The indoor air in most homes features toxic substances.
Most people’s homes feature a variety of airborne chemicals and gases that are emitted by building materials, furniture, textiles, household products and more.

One chemical that can be found in pretty much every home is formaldehyde – a toxic substance that is linked to cancer.

But exposure to formaldehyde can also lead to immediate health effects. According to the EPA, formaldehyde exposure can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma.

There is evidence that some people can develop a sensitivity to formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is released in tobacco smoke, word burning stoves and gas stoves, and the colorless, flammable and strong-smelling gas can escape from many commonly used household products, including the ones mentioned above.

Particleboard, plywood, fiberboard, glues, adhesives, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, insulation materials and personal care products often contain formaldehyde.

The EPA says that the highest exposure is often linked to pressed-wood products with formaldehyde-containing adhesives.

What to do to reduce exposure to formaldehyde
  • When buying new products, read the labels and opt for formaldehyde-free products
  • Use “exterior-grade” pressed wood products
  • Increase ventilation in the home. This can be done by opening windows or leaving the HVAC fan running.
  • Maintain a healthy level of humidity in the home.
  • Improve the indoor air quality with an air purifier. Powerful air purifiers with large activated carbon filters that contain a specially impregnated carbon for the adsorption of formaldehyde as well as other filters can help remove formaldehyde and other chemicals, odors and gases from the indoor air.

Sources: EPA; Sherwood Park News

Find out more about AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers and specialized air purifiers for chemical and odor control as well as tobacco smoke air cleaners. Contact us today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chemicals that make us fat

Even a healthy lifestyle may not be enough
keep the waistline from expanding.
It started as a question by health professionals, researchers and those in the know – are chemicals making us fat?

Is our daily exposure to chemicals playing a role in the obesity epidemic that is rolling over North America?

Now the question has changed from “Are chemicals making us fat?” to “Which chemicals are making us fat?”

In a recent article in the Ecologist, former Ecologist editor Pat Thomas listed a full range of industrial and everyday chemicals that contribute to our midrange expansion. Thomas talks about them in more detail in her book “The 21st Century is Making You Fat”.

Here is a selection of chemicals you need to watch out for:

Bisphenol-A (BPA):  This hormone-mimicking chemicals is found in clear, hard and reusable plastic products and it is also used in dyes, polyester resins, flame retardants and rubber chemicals, among others.

Phthalates: These hormone-disrupting chemicals can be found anywhere in our environment – they are hiding in plastic and consumer products such as hair spray, water bottles and T-Shirts.

Solvents: People can get exposed to solvents  in adhesives, glues, cleaning fluids, felt-tip pens, perfumes, paints, varnishes, pesticides, petrol, household cleaners and waxes. The neurotoxic chemicals in solvents include xylene, dichlorobenzene, ethylphenol, styrene, toluene, acetone and trichloroethane.

Polybrominated flame retardants: It sounded like a good idea to reduce fire risk and add these chemicals to a wide range of household products (think mattresses, computers, TVs, textiles, car seats and more), but they are oestrogen mimics  and can affect the thyroid as well.

Organochlorines: This group contains pesticides (DDT, chlordane, dieldrin and more), industrial lubricants (PCBs) as well as dioxins and chlorophenols. High level exposures can alter a person’s metabolism and stop the fat-losing process.

Other chemicals that can help make us fat include
  • Organophosphates
  • Carbamates
  • Organotins
  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Cadmium
  • Lead

Source: The Ecologist

Reduce exposure to airborne chemicals at home and in the office
Portable and powerful room air
purifiers from AllerAir.

Since most people cannot control all of the products they live with or work with, they may be exposed to higher levels of chemicals and gases.

A high-quality air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon can help keep the air clean by adsorbing many of the chemicals, gases, fumes and odors.

AllerAir’s air purifiers feature the most relevant filtration media for the best price, and the complete filtration system also includes HEPA filtration for particles and dust as well as optional UV lamps for the neutralization of bacteria, viruses and mold.

For the best and healthiest air in your home, check out AllerAir general purpose air purifiers, chemical and odor control as well as air purifiers for tobacco smoke.

Contact AllerAir for a personalized consultation and more options.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clean air a must for vulnerable groups

Air pollution can be detrimental for
children and people with asthma.
In a recent Boston Globe article, Dr. Megan Sandel was interviewed about asthma and air pollution.

The associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center says that air pollution outdoors is something individuals may not be able to influence at all and are at the mercy of regulations and standards imposed by the state – even though air pollution is one of the main factors in respiratory health and cardiovascular health.

Air pollution is especially important when it comes to vulnerable groups like children, people with asthma and the elderly.

Outdoor air needs to be regulated by laws like the Clean Air Act, Dr. Sandel says, and indoor air pollution can also be irritating for these vulnerable groups.

Main irritants include volatile organic compounds, which are organic chemicals emitted paints, carpets or pressed wallboard, especially when these products are new.

Breathe the best air indoors

While outdoor air pollution is often out of our control, many people can make significant improvements to their indoor air quality – without having to break the bank.

It starts with simple steps:
  • Avoid introducing new pollutants as much as possible. This includes cleaning with natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals, ditching scented products and air fresheners, banning smoking indoors, etc.
  • Ventilate the home. Maintain the HVAC system and change the filters regularly. If possible, open the windows regularly and use fans to move the air around.
  • Watch the humidity level. Use the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to reduce humidity levels and run a dehumidifier if needed. Better ventilation will also help.
  • Use a portable air cleaner. Only a complete air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration will be able to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants. Carbon adsorbs airborne chemicals, gases and odors; HEPA traps up to 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns in size and UV helps neutralize bacteria, viruses and mold. Find the right air purifier for your specific indoor air concerns by speaking to IAQ experts before making a decision.
There are many other actions you can take to improve the indoor air quality in your home or office. For more information, contact AllerAir at 888-852-8247.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Need better IAQ? Get organized!

A well-kept and decluttered home can be
soothing and better for your health.
Indoor air pollution poses a serious public health risk, according to agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Airtight construction, plug-in air fresheners, scented products and candles, high humidity and other indoor air concerns can pollute the indoor air in normal households.

One of the best ways to get the indoor air quality at home under control is to get organized.

Clutter is a bad idea – it can harbor dust, mold and pests and make it difficult to clean and air out the space.

Having a lot of stuff takes up space, makes it hard to find things and can be demoralizing.

A rule of thumb is – if you haven’t touched it in years, then it should probably go.

According to one professional organizer, a lot of stuff can have the following effects:
  • Increase particle and chemical emissions into the air
  • Become a breeding ground for mold
  • Become a nest for rodents
  • Affect a person’s health and well-being

By contrast, an organized home is easier to keep clean, reduces stress about finding things and gives people the ability to focus on more important things like family, career etc.

Source: CDA Press

Clean your space – and your air!

A well-kept home should be free of bad smells and pollutants. AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers for general purpose air cleaning as well as specific IAQ concerns, including mold, tobacco smoke, allergy and asthma.

The air purifiers consistently feature more relevant filtration media than other units on the market, especially when it comes to activated carbon, the most important filter media for chemicals, gases, odors, fumes and mold mycotoxins.

AllerAir air purifiers can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants with their multistage filtration system containing deep-bed activated carbon filters, HEPA filters, UV germicidal filtration and pre-filters.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boost your well-being by detoxing your life

All the news about air pollution, toxic chemicals and poor indoor air quality is enough to make you hide under your covers for the rest of the winter season (wouldn’t that be nice?).
Household cleaners can pollute indoor air with
harsh chemicals - it's better to opt for natural products.

But homeowners and parents don’t need to despair – there are simple and easy ways to live a greener, healthier, less toxic life that can be implemented right away:

Ditch toxic household cleaners
Many commercially sold household cleaning products are made with harsh chemicals that can add to indoor air pollution and affect people and pets in the home. Experts recommend using green cleaners instead, to read the labels, or to use natural cleaning agents such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

Avoid formaldehyde and other VOCs
Volatile organic compounds can be emitted by a wide range of building materials, furniture, wrinkle-free bedding, dry-cleaned clothes and personal care products. Sensitive people can experience health symptoms after exposure, and many VOCs (including formaldehyde, benzene and toluene) have been linked to cancer and respiratory ailments. It’s better to go with natural fibers, look for formaldehyde-free furnishings, low-VOC paints etc. A little research before a purchase can go a long way for a less toxic household.

Opt for organic foods and products
Check out the organic foods section at the supermarket, go to the local farmer’s market or visit the specialized health food stores. The more demand there is, the better the prices will be. If you can’t afford to go all-organic all the time, become familiar with the foods that are most chemical-laden and buy those organic. Check out the Dirty Dozen from the Environmental Working Group.

Pass on plastics
If you can, ditch the plastic food containers and cans and use fresh foods stored in glass. Many plastic containers (especially those marked No. 7) contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to developmental problems, cancers, heart disease and infertility. It is also used in food packaging and can linings.

Some other easy ways to improve indoor air quality at home:
  • Ban smoking indoors
  • Avoid the use of pesticides in or around the house
  • Make sure the house is well ventilated
  • Use a portable room air purifier with carbon and HEPA

Source: Spokesman-Review

AllerAir's 5000 Exec:
Powerful air purifier

The best air purifiers for the home and office
AllerAir offers powerful air purifiers with the most activated carbon and the deepest carbon beds at the best price, guaranteed. Activated carbon filters can remove a wide range of airborne chemicals, gases, VOCs, fumes and odors, while HEPA traps particles and dust. For complete air filtration systems for the home and office as well as specialized air purification units (such as allergy and asthma, smoke, mold, multiple chemical sensitivity, and more), visit our website or contact us directly: 888-852-8247.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Study links plasticizer to an increased risk of miscarriage

Chemical exposure around conception may lead to a
higher risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy, study shows.
Scientists in Denmark measured exposure to phthalates (chemicals associated with plastics) in couples trying to conceive and found that those with higher levels of exposure were more likely to go through an early pregnancy loss.

The phthalate in question is commonly used in plastics to make it softer and more flexible.

High levels of monoethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) in the study participants’ urine around the time of conception were more likely to be followed by a pregnancy loss compared to lower levels.

The researchers found the link only in exposures around conception (not in the month prior).

The results appear in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Phthalates have also been linked to reproductive problems in animals that were exposed to very high levels of the chemical.

Humans are primarily exposed through diet, but phthalates are used in food packaging, medical tubing, children’s toys, personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes and cosmetics, and more.

That is why most people are exposed on a continuous level.

Early miscarriages are very common – experts estimate that one third of all pregnancies end before term, many in the first few weeks when many women are not even aware of the pregnancy yet.

More research is needed to confirm the link between phthalate exposure and pregnancy losses, experts say.

Source: Environmental Health News

Reduce chemical exposure at home and at work
Activated carbon can adsorb many
chemicals, gases and odors.

With thousands of chemicals on the market and testing lagging behind, it’s no wonder many people decide to take action and reduce their exposure to chemicals as much as possible.

It starts with a healthy lifestyle and pure, natural ingredients or materials, and it includes constant air purification as an additional measure of protection.

AllerAir’s air purifiers have been designed with the deepest activated carbon beds to remove a wide range of airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

Activated carbon is the safest and most affordable air filtration media for gaseous pollutants and AllerAir’s proprietary blends can tackle specific pollutants, if needed.

The air purifiers also contain medical-grade, micro- or Super-HEPA filters to remove up to 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns, and many models accommodate UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

Browse AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers, their air purifiers for chemicals and odors, or talk to an IAQ expert to find out which model is best for your unique circumstances: 888-852-8247. 
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

How safe are your kids in school?

Many schools have poor indoor air quality that can affect
students as well as teachers and other staff members.
Mold spores drive away elementary school children, deemed a health risk

This is a guest post from Electrocorp Air Filtration Systems

Mold is a serious indoor air quality issue – so much so that an elementary school in Montreal had to send more than 400 students home.

Officials don’t know when the school might reopen, since the mold remediation process may take up to two years.

The elementary school was infested with mold spores that were blamed for an increase in respiratory ailments, runny noses, coughing and other symptoms, according to an article in today’s Montreal Gazette.

These health effects surfaced after months of exposure to mold spores, experts say.

The school board involved the public health department when it received multiple complaints of minor health problems from adults and children.

Air samples from 29 rooms in the school revealed an unhealthy level of mold spores in each one.

As is so often the case when it comes to mold, a burst water pipe incident in November 2010 may be to blame for the high mold count.

Mold spores are ubiquitous in the environment and can start to settle down and actively grow mold if there is enough water or moisture.

The mold can be hidden or visible and for this school, the spores probably became airborne after the school had some masonry work done.

The students moved to an empty school building in Montreal but have to find different accommodations soon.

Source: Montreal Gazette

Keep indoor air healthy in schools
The 5000 and 6000 Series is a popular
choice for individual classrooms.

Mold is one of the most common indoor air quality issues in schools, but students and staff are also affected by particles and dust, allergens, chemicals and odors – especially in older schools where the ventilation system is simply not enough to provide the required fresh air exchanges.

Electrocorp has designed powerful stand-alone air cleaners for schools and universities that can help keep the air clean and healthy.

AllerAir's 5000 Series and 6000 Series are powerful, portable room air purifiers that can be used in individual classrooms and moved around easily, according to need.

The air cleaners can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals and gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and allergens. They feature a multistage air filtration system with activated carbon, HEPA and UV (optional).

The easy-to-use air cleaners are designed for around-the-clock operation at minimal cost, with a long filter lifespan and easy maneuverability.

For more information and options, please contact an Electrocorp air quality expert.

Related posts:

Electrocorp is a division of AllerAir.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Half of US homes suffer from mold: Doctor (Video)

Mold and other indoor air quality issues are very common, doctor says, and may contribute to the rising asthma rates across the country.

Source: WTKR-TV

Concerned about the indoor air quality in your home?

A safe and effective air purifier with a proven multistage filtration system containing activated carbon, HEPA and UV filters can help reduce indoor air pollution, including mold spores. 

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

VOG a challenge for ERs in Hawaii

Volcanic smog, or VOG, contains harmful chemicals and
particles that may affect people's health and well-being.
The volcanic gas emissions from the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano have been affecting residents in Honolulu, medical officials say.

The volcanic emissions, often known as volcanic smog or VOG, have caused crowded emergency rooms in Oahu.

People were complaining of respiratory issues, headaches and watery eyes due to thick VOG, officials say.

The ERs were more crowded than usual because two local hospitals have been closed recently due to bankruptcy.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Keep VOG out of your home with powerful air purifiers

An air filter for the removal of dangerous VOG pollutants needs to feature more than a simple HEPA particle filter.

A HEPA air cleaner can only remove particles, leaving behind VOG chemicals and toxins 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.

For more information on our VOG air cleaners contact an Indoor Air Quality Expert at 1-888-852-8247.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Is your vacuum cleaner polluting the air?

Some vacuum cleaners release fine dust and bacteria into
the air, a new study shows. Photo credit: Heather
Vacuum cleaners have become an invaluable tool for home cleaning – but they may not be as good as you think.

A new study shows that some vacuum cleaners actually contribute to poor indoor air quality by releasing bacteria and dust back into the air. These could spread infections and trigger allergies, the researchers say.

The scientists tested 21 vacuum cleaners from 11 manufacturers, which are marketed for household and commercial use. The vacuum cleaners were between 6 months and 22 years old and cost between $100 to almost $800.

The researchers found that all of the vacuum cleaners released some fine dust and bacteria into the air.

Even the vacuums with HEPA filters released only slightly lower levels of dust and bacteria.

Older and less expensive models contributed more to the indoor air pollution than newer and more expensive vacuum cleaners.

The study appeared in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Source: American Chemical Society press release

Improve indoor air quality around the clock

Along with regular cleaning, source control and ventilation, a powerful air purifier can help keep the air clean and healthy.

AllerAir specializes in personalized air purifiers with a multistage filter system for optimum performance:
  1. A large activated carbon filter to remove many chemicals, gases and odors
  2. A HEPA filter to trap particles and dust
  3. UV germicidal filtration

The portable air purifiers can easily be moved from room to room, and they are designed for around-the-clock operation.

Choose between general purpose air purifiers, air cleaners for asthma and allergies (with optimal design and filtration for particle concerns) and more specializations, or contact an AllerAir IAQ expert for even more personalized service and options.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Asthma awareness: Over-the-counter inhalers disappear from shelves

No more over-the-counter asthma inhalers
Pharmacies in the United States have to rearrange at least one of their shelves, after a popular over-the-counter asthma inhaler has been taken off the market.

The inhaler contains a propellant that is damaging the ozone layer. It is called chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, which is added to get the medicine from the aerosol canister into users' lungs.

The propellant has been banned by the United States Food and Drug Administration because it is responsible for 1/10th of a percent of global CFC emissions.

Those inhalers that are available with a prescription are using hfa propellants, which have replaced CFCs.

Experts say the new propellant is better for the environment, but also for the user, since the dosage is more accurate and less severe to inhale.

The measure may cause people to self-treat asthma and get a real diagnosis of their problems, officials say, but they may have to deal with a hefty price increase.

Source: NBC-2

Indoor air quality important for asthma control
The AirMedic Series from AllerAir
provides great particle and chemical
control for those with asthma and allergies.

Asthma is a serious condition that should be treated by a health professional. If you suspect asthma, please consult a physician.

However, the air quality at home is an important part of dealing with asthma, since both airborne chemicals and particles aggravate, and in some cases, may even trigger allergies and asthma.

It is therefore vital that an air cleaner for respiratory conditions provides both a deep-bed activated carbon filter and a medical-grade HEPA filter.

AllerAir offers portable air purifiers for allergy and asthma that feature both carbon and HEPA air filters to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Keep your indoor air clean this winter

Keep an eye on the state of your home for best IAQ.
Poor indoor air quality can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms – it has been linked to headaches, itchy eyes, nose and throat, respiratory issues and disease, heart disease and even cancer, to name a few complications.

But there are many simple things homeowners can do to avoid a heavy buildup of indoor air pollutants, which can be two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Keep your floors clean
Take off your shoes in the garage or right after entering the home, but first wipe them on mats outside. If you can, remove carpets from the home (they are difficult to keep clean) and instead rely on hardwood or ceramic floors, which can be cleaned easily. Use natural cleaning products, and wet mop regularly.

Keep dust on furniture and windows to a minimum
When cleaning a home, these areas are often forgotten, but they harbor dust and particles just as much as other surfaces. Wipe leather or vinyl furniture as well as blinds regularly and vacuum upholstered furniture – or better yet, use slip covers and wash them regularly along with curtains.

Clean the air with air purifiers
Indoor air pollution can arise from many factors, including dust and tiny particles, chemicals and gaseous pollutants (odors), mold, bacteria and viruses and more. A good air purifier should be able to tackle these main categories of pollutants, but they need different filters for that. Most department store air purifiers rely heavily on HEPA filters to remove dust and particles, allergens and other small particles. Insist on an air purifier with HEPA, PLUS a deep bed of activated carbon for the removal of gaseous pollutants and odors and possibly UV germicidal filtration, which can neutralize contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

Use the best technology
This is a no-brainer. For vacuuming, use a unit with a HEPA filter (and other filters, if possible, my new one also has thin activated carbon filter, which won’t do much but can’t hurt when vacuuming). For air cleaning, invest in a high-quality, personalized air purifier that will actually help reduce indoor air pollution, not add dangerous toxins.

Check your HVAC system
The existing heating and ventilation system is an important tool in maintaining healthy indoor air. Regular check-ups, filter changes and other measures may be in order to make sure it functions properly.

Air out the home (even for short periods)
In many parts of the world, it gets really cold in winter, causing people to seal up their homes and keep all the air inside. While airtight homes do conserve energy, indoor air pollutants can also build up with no way to escape. Short bursts of fresh air by opening windows or doors can help move the air around and ventilate the home.

AllerAir Industries is committed to raise awareness about indoor air pollutants and helping people achieve a cleaner, healthier home with customized, multistage air purifiers that feature activated carbon + HEPA + optional UV air filters. Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

VIDEO: Toxic chemicals in scented products

Commonly used household products that contain fragrance can emit dangerous chemicals, a study found.

The products in question include cleaning products, laundry detergents, soaps and dishwashing liquids, personal care products and more.

How to reduce exposure to chemicals

Since so many commercially available household products contain these chemicals, experts advise to

  • Read labels and avoid products that say "fragrance"
  • Opt for natural products and cleaning agents (such as lemon, baking soda, vinegar)
  • Make sure your home is well ventilated
  • Use a portable air purifier -- a good system needs many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA air filters

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

January is National Radon Action Month – Get your home tested

The invisible, odorless killer: Radon contributes to 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year

Any home can have readings of high radon levels, officials say.
Health officials everywhere want to get the message out - radon can kill you, so make sure you test your home and take action if necessary.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is produced by the decay of uranium in soil and water, and it can enter houses through cracks and fissures in the home’s foundation or exterior.

It often gets trapped indoors and can build up to potentially dangerous levels.

Exposure to high levels of radon is especially harmful for people who smoke because it increases their already high risk of developing lung cancer.

The only way to know whether a home is safe is to test, experts say.

The test is not expensive and requires a small detector being placed in the basement or the ground floor of a home for about three months. It will give you an accurate idea of the level of radon in the home (a period of three months is suggested because the levels can go up and down).
  • Radon levels outdoors: About 0.4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L)
  • Average U.S. home: 1.3 pCi/L of radon
  • Unsafe radon levels according to EPA: readings above 4 pCi/L

Homeowners can install pipes in the basement to vent air outside, or do other types of repairs to prevent radon from entering the home.

Some areas may have a higher chance of radon, but the readings can vary from home to home and from region to region.

Source: Delaware Online

Improve indoor air quality with air purifiers

More manufacturers are incorporating an activated carbon filter in addition to the standard HEPA filter.

This extra level of filtration is proving to be a vital component for maintaining good air quality.

According to an extensive study of the air in nearly 50,000 American homes, 70% were found to have high levels of airborne chemical pollutants and gases.

An activated carbon filter is one of the only safe and proven filtration methods for removing airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

To be effective, an activated carbon filter should be several inches thick and use granular activated carbon.

The AllerAir 5000 Exec for general air filtration features 18 lbs. of granular activated carbon in a 2.5” filter, in addition to medical-grade HEPA filter for particles.

For more information, contact AllerAir.