Friday, March 30, 2012

Flame retardants cause toxic fumes in house fires

Toxic fumes in fires are deadlier
than burns, experts say.
Now here is a rather ironic twist to a chemical that was supposed to make materials safer in case of fire: Some of the flame retardants added to common household products increase the danger of toxic gases that are main cause of death in fires.

The flame retardants that contain the chemical element bromine  were added to household products such as carpets, furniture upholstery, plastics, crib mattresses, car and airline seats and more to suppress the visible flames in fires.

Some scientists call these flame retardants “halogen-based” flame retardants because bromine is in a group of elements called halogens.

The dangers of flame retardants

But a new study highlights the dangers this group of flame retardants may actually bring to a fire.

While halogen-based flame retardants are effective in reducing the ignitability of materials, they also increase the amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide that are released during combustion.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s the inhalation of toxic gases and not burns that causes the most deaths and most of the serious injuries sustained in fires.

Almost 10,000 deaths from fires occur in industrialized countries around the world each year, and about 3,500 in the United States.

How do flame retardants work?

The main categories of flame retardants are brominated flame retardants, mineral-based flame retardants and intumescent agents (that swell when heated so that flames cannot penetrate the barrier).

They suppress visible flames or slow down the combustion process or form a barrier between materials.
Many common household products and children's
products contain flame retardants.

The researchers found that mineral-based flame retardants had little effect on fire toxicity, while most intumescent fire retardants actually reduced the amount of toxic gases released in a fire.

Source: American Chemical Society

Reduce your exposure to fire retardants and other toxins

Many studies have linked flame retardants with negative health effects.

In order to reduce exposure, the Department of Health in Washington state suggests cleaning and dusting the home regularly since dust is a main source of exposure, replacing old foam products (from before 2005), buying electronics without Deca-BDEs in them and disposing of old household items properly.

Using an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA will also help keep your indoor air cleaner and healthier by removing irritating and potentially harmful chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and molds.

AllerAir offers powerful air purifiers for the home and office and also specialized air purifiers for common concerns such as allergy and asthma, tobacco smoke, MCS and chemical and odor control.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Experts probe possible link between asthma inhalers and birth defects

An inquiry will look at prescription
drug usage during pregnancy.
A Europe-wide study will be following thousands of pregnant women taking prescription drugs for asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and depression to see if there is an increased risk of birth defects and health problems in babies.

The study will examine nearly four million births and concentrate in asthma inhalers, man-made insulin, new anti-epileptics and Prozac-style anti-depressants called SSRIs, which many pregnant women with chronic conditions need to take even during pregnancy.

The researchers urged pregnant women to keep taking their medications and to talk to their health care providers if they are worried.

Traditionally, women have been cautioned to be careful with drugs during pregnancy because it is very difficult to establish safety in pregnancy.

Some prescription drugs have already been linked to birth defects or health problems, including preventive asthma inhalers, which can increase the risk of hormonal and metabolic disorders in infants.

Doctors say that risks need to be weighed with the benefits of taking medications and that more research is needed to determine the risks.

Source: The Daily Mail

Find relief with better indoor air quality

Women and others suffering from asthma and respiratory diseases can benefit from breathing cleaner and fresher air.
AllerAir air purifiers clean the air with activated
carbon and HEPA air filters.

The best ways to improve indoor air quality are source control (avoid adding pollutants to the indoor environment as much as possible), ventilation (open windows, maintain ventilation system) and air cleaning (a high-quality air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA can remove the widest range of pollutants).

Many indoor air contaminants are known to cause or aggravate asthma symptoms as well as other health effects.

AllerAir offers the most efficient and long-lasting air purifiers for asthma and allergies with a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter and optional UV germicidal filtration.

The AirMedic Series includes AllerAir’s best air purifiers for particle concerns, while the 5000 Exec also provides superior protection.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pet allergies can be a pain

Dogs may suffer from allergies to pollen, fleas
and more.
Allergy season does not only affect people – pets can also suffer from allergies, and their symptoms may not be as easy to recognize and treat.

Veterinarians say there are four main types of allergies that most dogs and cats can get:

  • Airborne (tree, grass and weed pollen; mold, mildew and dust mites)
  • Fleas
  • Foods
  • Contact (carpeting, detergent or other substances)

The most common reaction is scratching, vets say. Other symptoms may include discoloration of hair between toes, rashes, open sores, watery eyes, ear infections, runny noses, vomiting and diarrhea.
Cats are often allergic to certain foods.

Pinpointing what causes an allergic reaction in pets can take time and money and often has to be done by exclusion.

Most pet owners will try to figure out what the allergy is, vets say.

Source: Myrtle Beach Online

Keep indoor air clear of allergens

Having the best possible indoor air can help allergic pets and their owners find relief.

AllerAir offers a variety of air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including pollen, dust, chemicals, odors, gases, particles, mold and more.

From AllerAir’s powerful base model, the 5000 Exec, to advanced units for those dealing with allergies and asthma (AllerAir’s AirMedic Series and AirMedic+ Series), it’s easy to find the right unit for every household.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Respiratory diseases to worsen with climate change: Lung doctors

Climate change will bring more lung disease: Doctors
Lung doctors are predicting worldwide increases in the incidences of asthma, allergies, infectious and cardiovascular diseases because of climate change, according to a position paper released earlier this month.

As the planet heats up, not only will average temperatures rise, but ozone levels in urban areas are increasing, more desert-like areas will appear and there will be more ranges of communicable diseases, the respiratory and airway physicians state.

The American Thoracic Society published the position paper to help its members know how to respond to these changes and to say that international cooperation may be needed to deal with these anticipated health effects of global warming.

The society is based in the United States, but has members around the world.

The researchers are particularly concerned about the effects of deteriorating air quality on the respiratory system, especially when it comes to smoke and particulate matter from more wildfires, airborne particles from dust storms and other air pollution issues.

Other air concerns include mold spores. Some mold spores that previously were only seen in Central America can now be traced to as far north as Vancouver, BC, which can lead to more allergies and asthma problems.

Also, some infectious diseases common in the Mediterranean region have been traveling as far north as Scandinavia as the climate is warming up.

Some individuals will be more susceptible to health impacts from climate change, the doctors say, including vulnerable populations such as infants and young children or the elderly.

The paper was published online and in print in the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society.

Source: University of California – Davis Health System

Keep your indoor air clean with air purifiers

Air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA can help remove a wide range of air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as HEPA and other filtration, if desired.

Some of AllerAir’s specialized units can tackle indoor air concerns caused by wildfires and tobacco smoke, mold spores and mold mycotoxins, allergy and asthma relief as well as multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) relief.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A greener and healthier way to do spring cleaning

Spring cleaning does not have to involve
harsh chemicals and cleaning products.
We seem to have survived this winter – soon, windows can be opened longer, snow boots can go back into storage and we’ll have to start worrying about mosquitoes and bugs.

For many people, this time of year means a thorough cleaning of the home is in order to start fresh into the spring and summer season.

But with indoor air pollution a major public health concern and regular cleaning products adding harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other chemicals to the indoor air, maybe it’s time to change some habits to make spring cleaning a greener and healthier affair.

According to the EPA, indoor air can be 10 times as polluted as outdoor air, and many of those pollutants come from buildings materials, paints, household products such as hairspray, rugs, oven cleaners, scented candles or air fresheners and other products.

Those VOCs and other pollutants can cause health symptoms such as respiratory irritation, nausea, headaches and more, depending on a person’s sensitivity and exposure.

Fortunately, many greener and alternative cleaning agents are available.

Non-toxic cleaning agents from the pantry include:
  • Vinegar
  • Hot water and soap
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

If people do not feel like making their own cleaning products, they can stock up on eco-friendly alternatives from the shelves (but watch out, a recent study showed that even supposedly greener products often contain potentially harmful chemicals that weren’t listed on the ingredients label).

Try to stay away from fragrances and scented products as much as possible – those scents are usually derived from synthetic chemicals and VOCs that add to indoor air pollution.

Source: Medill Reports

Cleaner indoor air with carbon air purifiers

As much as we try to keep our indoor air clean, some sources of exposure are difficult to control or avoid, including building materials, electronic equipment, outdoor air pollution and more.

That is when an air purifier from AllerAir will prove to be an invaluable tool to keep the air cleaner and healthier.
AllerAir air purifiers

AllerAir’s air purifiers feature a proven multistage filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA filters that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Not only does AllerAir offer the most powerful general purpose air purifiers, the company also specializes in indoor air concerns such as smoke, mold, allergy and asthma, MCS and more.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Living close to a fracking site may harm your health: Study

Air pollution from hydraulic fracturing deemed a major health risk

Researchers named a
long list of health risks
linked to fracking.
As our colleagues from Electrocorp are reporting today, a new study has found a link between the air pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing and acute and chronic health problems for people living near the drilling sites.

Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health concluded a three-year study that raises concerns about the levels of toxic chemicals in the air around natural gas drilling sites.

The chemicals in question are benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene, which are either known carcinogens or otherwise linked to serious health effects.

The study should ring an alarm bell for people living with a half mile from a natural gas drilling site, since it increases the risk of health effects (in Colorado, companies can drill for natural gas within 150 feet of homes or residential dwellings).

The air pollution caused by fracking may contribute to a number of health effects, including eye irritation, headaches, asthma symptoms and cancer.

The study report will be published in Science of the Total Environment, an article in the Los Angeles Times says.

Cleaner indoor air in homes

Activated carbon air purifiers can help remove harmful chemicals and gases like benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene.

AllerAir offers the most powerful air purifiers for the home and office, featuring deep-bed activated carbon filters for effective removal of gaseous pollutants.

Contact AllerAir for more information.
See also:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Asthma epidemic may be linked to common antibiotic: Study

Antibiotics in childhood may cause severe asthma,
a new study on mice shows.
A study conducted on mice may provide some insight into why there has been a dramatic increase in the development and severity of asthma in North America.

The study, published in the journal EMBO, shows that antibiotics taken in childhood may be to blame, since they may damage bacteria living in the gut.

The researchers at the University of British Columbia’s department of microbiology tested the effects of the antibiotics streptomycin and vancomycin on newborn and adult mice.

In the case of vancomycin, the young mice showed altered intestinal flora, and they developed severe cases of asthma.

The older mice did not seem to be affected in the same way.

The study authors suggest that childhood is an important period where the immune system is being developed.

If the process is disturbed, the immune system may not work as efficiently and may be more susceptible to diseases like asthma, they say.

In North America and other developed countries, children are given a lot more antibiotics than in underdeveloped countries, and the rates of asthma have been rising as well, the researchers say.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that can cause wheezing and breathing problems.

Source: CBC News

Keep asthma in check with powerful air purifiers

Polluted indoor air has been shown to aggravate asthma. The culprits are certain chemicals, particles and other toxins.

AllerAir offers high-quality air purifiers for allergy and asthma sufferers.

The AirMedic Series and the AirMedic+ Series offer a 360-degree air intake for maximum particle filtration and a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove irritating odors, chemicals and gases.

For more information, call AllerAir at 888-852-8247 or contact one of AllerAir’s IAQ experts today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Air pollution to become the biggest global killer

Smog and air pollution will kill more than 6 million
people each year by the year 2050, experts project.
People know about the dangers of malaria and dirty drinking water, but air pollution has been rather low on the public radar of possible threats.

This is bound to change with a newly released report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), entitled Environmental Outlook to 2050.

According to the report, scientists are expecting the number of deaths caused by air pollution to skyrocket and to kill more than 6 million people per year by mid-century.

Indoor air pollution is also still a concern, though maybe a bit less than it is now, the report says. However, ground-level ozone concerns will be on the rise, while malaria and unsafe drinking water deaths will be decreasing.

Air pollution can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion. It has also been linked with aggravated bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

Wealthy and developed countries won’t be immune to this trend, especially as the general population gets older, since the elderly are more susceptible to air pollution.

Source: Washington Post

Clean your indoor air with air purifiers
One of the problems of outdoor air pollution is that the pollutants will find a way indoors, where they can build up to harmful levels.
AllerAir 5000 Series:
Reliable air purifiers

While we may not have a lot of individual control over outdoor air pollution, we can improve our indoor air quality with three easy steps: Source control, ventilation and air cleaning.

AllerAir offers portable room air purifiers with many pounds of activated carbon and HEPA as well as other filters to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants possible.

AllerAir’s basic model, the 5000 Exec, provides reliable and long-lasting protection against airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and molds.

No matter what the indoor air concern is, AllerAir provides the most adaptable models and the most effective air filters in their air purifiers.

For more information and personalized recommendations, contact an AllerAir IAQ expert today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chemical exposure: Why your leftover lotions can be considered hazardous waste

Some personal care products may not belong into
the garbage disposal, experts say.
The next time your body lotion dispenser feels like it’s getting low, think twice before throwing it into the garbage.

Depending on where you live, personal care products with cosmetic content can be considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly.

Most people know that personal care products like nail polish, nail polish remover, hairspray and hair dye belong to this category because of the volatile organic compounds they contain and emit.

Among the VOCs that can be hazardous to human health are acetone, toluene, formaldehyde and ammonia.

But even seemingly harmless body lotion leftovers, sunscreen, hair conditioner, cleansers, scrubs and other products may fall into that category and may have to be taken waste depots or recycling centers – along with those collections of old batteries, paint cans, solvents, medications, pesticides and other materials).

The reasoning given is that many of these personal care products are classified as liquid that does not belong into the solid waste garbage disposal destined for landfills, since it could seep into the groundwater.

Empty containers can and should be recycled, of course.

For the best ways to dispose of leftover cosmetics in your region, please call the local authorities.


Take care of your indoor air

Personal care products are one source of indoor air pollution, as many of them contain harsh chemicals and VOCs that have been linked to human health conditions.

Using more natural products, safe storage and disposal, ventilation and ambient air cleaning can help reduce exposure to chemicals and harmful substances and provide cleaner and healthier air.

AllerAir offers portable room air purifiers with many pounds of activated carbon, the most effective filter media for the removal of airborne gases, chemicals and odors, a HEPA filter for particle filtration and other filters for dust and larger particles as well as bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized recommendations.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cigarette smoke exposure increases children’s risk of developing COPD

Exposure to cigarette smoke during childhood can
double the risk of COPD in adulthood, a study shows.
Children who are exposed to passive tobacco smoke have almost double the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood compared with non-exposed children, according to a new study published in the journal Respirology.

Researchers in Norway analyzed information from patients with COPD (433) as well as a control group (325) and assessed risk factors for COPD by gender.

Passive smoke emerged as one of the biggest risks, doubling the participants' risk for COPD and respiratory symptoms in adulthood.

The results were most pronounced for women, who had a 1.9-fold greater risk of COPD if they were exposed to passive smoke during childhood than those who were not.

Men had a 1.5 to 1.7-fold greater risk of COPD if they were exposed to tobacco smoke during childhood.

The research shows that early-life development of lung function has important long-term consequences and that the burden of COPD could be reduced if children were not exposed to cigarette smoke, the study authors say.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Air purifiers for tobacco smoke and odors

Getting rid of stale tobacco smoke and the associated toxins is not easy, since the pollutants can persist on textiles, walls and other surfaces.

To help provide a healthier indoor air environment, an air purifier needs to have the right air filters that can handle tobacco smoke.

AllerAir specializes in air purifiers for tobacco smoke and has outfitted its air purifiers with the deepest beds of activated carbon, a special tar-trapping pre-filter that prevents clogging, a HEPA filter and more.

These air purifiers for smoke can effectively remove the chemicals, particles and toxins associated with tobacco smoke, along with other indoor air pollutants.

Contact AllerAir to find out more about the 5000 DS or 6000 DS air purifiers for smoke.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Social status may influence your exposure to chemicals

Rich or poor? Social status may
indicate chemical exposure.
A large U.S. survey shows that socioeconomic status was linked to the type of chemical exposure in people.

Poor people (especially children in need of food assistance) had higher levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine, while wealthier people had higher levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

The high BPA levels could be explained by the widespread use of canned food in food assistance programs.

Researchers warn that alternatives to canned foods may have to found, or companies may have to adjust their can liners.

Some companies may have gotten the message earlier. Campbell’s Soup recently announced it was moving away from using BPA in their can linings.

The study by Boston University researchers did not address potential health risks associated with these chemical compounds.

However, previous studies have linked BPA with behavioral impacts, development changes, decreased sperm count, higher risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as heart disease.

PFCs have been linked to developmental delays, cancer and suppressed immune responses, among other possible health effects. The chemicals are used to make materials stain and stick resistant.

Source: Environmental Health News

Air purifiers for the home and office

Experts recommend reducing exposure to chemicals whenever possible – whether they come from food or packaging, products or through the air.

AllerAir offers portable and very effective air purifiers with a multistage filtration system to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants and help people breathe cleaner, healthier air.

The air purifiers feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove airborne chemicals, gases and VOCs, a HEPA filter to trap particles, dust and allergens as well as optional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and mold.

Check out AllerAir’s recommendations for general purpose air cleaning, chemical and odor control or other specific indoor air quality concerns.

For more information, contact AllerAir today.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to ease morning allergy symptoms

Dust mites can cause morning stuffiness and more.
Thousands of people are waking up in the morning with a stuffy nose or scratchy throat, which means they could be suffering from an allergy.

Most morning allergy symptoms can be blamed on dust mites, the tiny creatures living in the mattress, pillows and textiles in your bedroom.

Dust mites feast on dead skin cells, and they prefer dark, warm and humid environments (hence the bed).

When people react to dust mites, it’s usually the microscopic waste and bodies of decaying mites that cause symptoms, which are released into the air when you move in the bed.

Dust can make anybody sneeze, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an allergy.

Here are some tips to reduce the effects of the dust mites in the bedroom:
  1. Remove as many allergen traps as possible from the bedroom. This includes upholstered furniture, curtains, carpets and the like. Hardwood or ceramic floors are best because they can be cleaned easily. Instead of curtains, you can install blinds, which can also be dusted easily.
  2. Think about enclosing your mattress, box spring and pillows in an allergy barrier, which traps dust mites and their waste. Make sure the barriers are made of a material that won’t expose you to harmful chemicals or other substances.
  3. Invest in a high-quality air purifier. Having an air purifier in the bedroom helps trap dust mites and related particles, pollen and other allergens as well as other indoor air pollutants like airborne chemicals and gases, odors and mold spores to help keep the air clean and nasal passages free.
 Source: Hive Health Media

Air purifiers for allergy and asthma

AllerAir offers high-quality air purifiers with activated carbon, medical-grade HEPA and other filtration media for those suffering from allergies and/or asthma.

The AirMedic and AirMedic+ Series have been designed specifically for particle concerns, providing effective and long-lasting relief from airborne dust particles, mold spores, allergens and more.

They also feature a deep bed activated carbon filter to remove a wide range of chemicals, gases and odors, which can also cause or aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.

Check out AllerAir’s recommendations for allergy air purifiers or contact AllerAir for more information and suggestions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Toxic mold lawsuits may be on the rise

Mold exposure has been linked to respiratory problems.
Exposure to mold can affect many people’s health and well-being – but before now it was difficult if not impossible to hold landlords or building owners responsible.

A recent decision by a New York appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling and to allow a toxic mold lawsuit to go forward could change all that.

The new precedent could open the door for thousands of similar lawsuits.

Before now, courts ruled against these types of lawsuits based on the assumption that scientific evidence linking respiratory problems to mold exposure was questionable.

However, a growing number of scientific studies confirm that mold can cause ill-health effects, and in the case of this plaintiff, who lived above a mold-infested basement for six years and had mold growing underneath her floorboards, the evidence was sufficient to allow for the trial to go forward.

Source: Reuters

Mold – a serious indoor air quality concern

AirMedic+ Series:
Air purifiers for mold
and particle concerns
If you are suspecting mold in your home, it’s best to do something about it sooner rather than later, before any ill-health effects show up.

Mold can be controlled if you fix water leaks and water infiltration promptly, if you control the humidity in the home and if you dry out or replace affected materials. Good ventilation and air cleaning can help as well.

AllerAir offers portable high-quality air purifiers for mold that feature the right air filters: Activated carbon, HEPA and (optional) UV germicidal filtration.

The activated carbon can remove musty odors and mycotoxins associated with mold, the HEPA filter traps mold spores and the UV lamp can also help neutralize mold spores.

Check out AllerAir’s AirMedic+ Series, or contact AllerAir today for more information and more options.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Commuting to work? Diesel emissions increase cancer risk

This is a guest post from Electrocorp.

Diesel exhaust emissions can affect your
health and well-being, experts say.
Exposure to diesel fumes could be causing cancer at a greater rate than previously known, researchers say.

A new long-term study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that miners exposed to diesel engine exhaust are three times more likely to contract fatal lung cancer, and that commuters on busy highways in smoggy, urban areas might face a similar risk.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

While diesel exhaust is currently classified as a “probable carcinogen”, health authorities will review this classification in the months to come.

A change in classifications could mean tighter regulations as well.

The study looked at 20 years of data on miners exposed to diesel exhaust and showed significant increases in the risk of lung cancer deaths with higher level of exposures, especially in miners working more than 5 years.

The study authors warn of the risks to Americans living in urban areas as well, although the risk is lower for lower doses of diesel exhaust.

Drivers getting stuck on long highway commutes may be exposed more than people standing on the sidewalk because of wind tunnel effect, experts say.

Commuters can help protect themselves by
  • Leaving car windows closed on busy highways and streets
  • Setting the air on “recirculate” to keep pollutants out
  • Having a HEPA filter installed in the car

Newer diesel cars are much cleaner than older models, experts say, but many older models are still being used on the streets.

Source: The Sun

Want to know more about indoor air pollution and portable air purifiers that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants? Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized suggestions.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Household products filled with hormone-disrupting chemicals: Study

Many household products contain chemicals
that have been linked to health effects.
Researchers have tested more than 200 common household products and found that they contain chemicals linked to asthma and hormone disruption.

The household products included soaps, lotions, detergents, cleaners, sunscreens, air fresheners, cat litter, shaving cream, shower curtains, pillow protectors, personal care products and perfumes.

The study identified 55 chemicals that could affect human health. These included phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) and parabens, which can all negatively affect fetuses and young children.

Part of the problem is that these chemicals are not listed on the product labels, meaning that consumers may not even be aware of the exposure, the researchers say, adding that this applies to major brand names as well as alternative products often believed to be much safer.

According to the researchers, companies should be required to provide more complete labeling, so that consumers can protect themselves.

The study, titled Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products, is published in the March 8 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Industry representatives are warning that the mere presence of chemicals does not mean they are unsafe and that the research on health effects is inconclusive.

In order to protect themselves as much as possible, experts are advising consumers to
  • Choose natural (plant-based) products
  • Use natural cleaning agents such as water, baking soda and vinegar
  • Use less sunscreen and cover up with hats and other materials
  • Avoid fragrances and scented products when possible
  • Get rid of vinyl pillow and mattress protectors
  • Avoid parabens in personal care products
  • Use “normal” soap instead of antimicrobial products

Source: Health Day

Reduce airborne chemicals with AllerAir air purifiers

The points above are great starting points for a healthier and more natural living environment. However, many people will still be exposed to airborne chemicals and gases from building materials, furniture, paints, outdoor air pollution and other sources.

AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers with activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration to remove chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, molds and other contaminants from the ambient air.

With many customizable options and different air filters, AllerAir air purifiers can handle virtually any indoor air concern, including

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Smog, air pollution, wildfire smoke – how to protect yourself

Smog and air pollution can be harmful to human health.
Smog warnings and a thick haze lying over cities in the morning have become a familiar sight for many commuters.

But even though the smog “disappears” as the day warms up, the air pollutants stay behind.

Smog air pollution contains a wide range of contaminants that can affect human health, including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulates.

Vehicle emissions reacting with sunlight generate ozone, which has been linked with eye irritation, decreased lung function and poor visibility.

Health consequences linked to air pollution can vary significantly, from discomfort to premature death.

Health effects also depend on an individual’s age, sensitivities, state of health, exposure, weather and daily habits.

What you can do
  • Keep children and sensitive people indoors during high smog episodes
  • Keep windows and doors closed during pollution events to avoid harmful build-up of pollutants indoors, but open them for increased ventilation and fresh air as soon as it’s safe.
  • Invest in a charcoal air filter for the air conditioning system or a portable activated carbon room air purifier (with carbon, HEPA and possibly UV filters)

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

Room air purifiers help reduce indoor air pollution

Air pollution outdoors becomes even more dangerous when it gets inside.

AllerAir's AirMedic Series:
Powerful room air purifiers.
Today’s airtight buildings and poor ventilation systems often lead to a buildup of harmful toxins inside, where they can be breathed in by some of the most susceptible groups of the population – infants, young children and the elderly.

A room air purifier with the right type of filters can help remove contaminants such as chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and molds and help keep the air clean.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants with their deep-bed activated carbon filters, HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Monsanto and West Virginia residents reach settlement in lawsuit

Residents fearing chemical exposure
can be monitored at the hospital.
A huge class-action lawsuit was settled out of court after chemical company Monsanto and residents agreed to settlement conditions.

Residents in Nitro, West Virginia, have sued Monsanto, claiming that the chemical company unsafely burned dioxin wastes and polluted homes with unsafe levels of the chemical.

The Monsanto plant has produced herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals for more than 50 years.

Their production of Agent Orange created dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct, the lawsuit alleges.

Dioxins are regarded as persistent organic pollutants.

They have been considered highly toxic and able to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. The chemical builds up in tissue over time, so even small exposures can accumulate to dangerous levels.

Worried about exposure to contaminated soot and dust in their homes, the Nitro residents filed the lawsuit in 2004, seeking medical monitoring for at least 5,000 (and maybe up to 80,000) current and former Nitro residents.

According to an article by Associated Press, the settlement creates an initial $21 million fund, plus up to $63 million more for Nitro residents to have their health monitored over 30 years at a local hospital.

It also provides $9 million to pay for professional cleaning of thousands of homes. Monsanto also has agreed to pay the residents’ legal fees.

The agreement allows thousands of current and former Nitro residents to apply for benefits.

Sources: Charleston Gazette, Washington Post

Use an air purifier to reduce airborne chemicals in your home

Whether it’s from outdoor pollution or from materials used inside, the air in many homes is considerably more polluted than outdoor air.
5000 Vocarb
air purifier

Since we spend up to 90 percent of our time inside, this can quickly become a health hazard.

AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, mold, bacteria and viruses.

The air purifiers feature a large activated carbon filter for gaseous pollutants, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of biological contaminants.

See what difference an air purifier makes – contact AllerAir today for more information and options.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tiny particles in air pollution more dangerous than thought: Scientists

Air pollution models may underestimate the amount
of tiny aerosol particles, scientists warn.
For more than 20 years, scientists have warned that tiny particles (smaller than one thirtieth of  the diameter of a human hair) are most dangerous to human health.

The particles have been linked to heart and lung disease and contribute to the death of 50,000 Americans each year.

But scientists have recently learned that there is more to tiny particles than they previously thought.

Recent studies have shown that secondary organic aerosols (a subset of these particles) have a greater total mass and could therefore be much more harmful than previously thought.

Researchers in California have realized that older scientific models may downplay the dangers of these particles, which are much more persistent, and that measures to control pollution only addressed part of the problem.

Secondary organic aerosol particles are formed when pollutants and natural chemical compounds interact.
Scientists previously thought that these gaseous byproducts would incorporate into tiny airborne drops, which would soon evaporate.

However, the new study shows that instead they attach themselves to airborne organic particles and create tiny tar balls that persist much longer than previously thought.

That is why the scientists warn that older scientific models could seriously underestimate the amount of fine particles in the air.

Source: New York Times

Do something against air pollution from outside coming in

Air purifiers for the home and office from
Polluted outdoor air and smog is a reality in many urban communities, and the pollutants may enter homes through windows and doors, cracks and other openings.

Luckily, homeowners can help keep indoor air pollution to a minimum by running a high-quality air purifier with activated carbon, HEPA and other filters.

AllerAir has designed powerful air purifiers for the home and office that remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants – including chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

With an extensive product line and numerous options, AllerAir can provide the right air filtration solution for virtually any indoor air quality problem.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized suggestions.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Cleaning experts tout natural alternatives

Cleaning products found on store shelves often
contain harmful chemicals and toxins.
It’s March, and that means spring cleaning is just around the corner!

But if your arsenal of cleaning products includes a variety of store-bought products, you could be putting your health at risk.

Many household cleaners on store shelves today contain toxic ingredients and volatile organic compounds that have been linked to health problems in humans.

According to the EPA, chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution. Most people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors and cleaning is a regular part of household duties.

Thankfully, there are many available alternatives, which are not only safer but also often much less expensive.

However, beware of traditional products jumping onto the green bandwagon and making claims that are suspect or downright false.

Third-party certifications or a look at the manufacturers; data sheets will provide some reliable answers – or homeowners can make their own cleaning solutions.

Homemade cleaners do not have preservatives, so it’s better to make small batches and use them up quickly.

Use sponges or washable rags when cleaning – it’s much more environmentally friendly than paper towels and single-use cleaning pads.

Here are some cleaning agents that are non-toxic, effective and easily available:
  • Baking soda: Fights odors and can be used as a scrubbing paste
  • Vinegar: Natural cleaner and disinfectant; the smell disappears after a few minutes
  • Castile soap: Foaming cleaner
  • Olive oil: Great for polishing wood furniture and picking up dust
  • Lemon juice: Grease fighter, disinfectant, fresh smell

Source: The Journal Sentinel

Reduce airborne chemicals with air purifiers

Toxic cleaning products are not the only sources of potentially harmful chemicals in the home.

Other household items can
contribute to indoor air pollution.
Common building materials, paints, furniture, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothes and other products can emit chemicals and volatile organic compounds.

A high-quality air purifier with activated carbon and other filters can help keep the air clean and healthy. Activated carbon is the safest and most effective filtration media for the removal of airborne chemicals and VOCs, odors and fumes.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office contain not only the largest activated carbon filters but also HEPA filters, pre-filters and optional UV germicidal filtration to trap and neutralize particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold as well.

Contact AllerAir for more information and more options.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Study links infertility in men to chemicals

Many couples are struggling with infertility.
New research shows that high levels of organochlorine chemicals PCBs and a DDT breakdown product can lead to an extra sex chromosome for men and contribute to fertility problems.

Although the chemicals have long been banned due to health concerns, they still persist in the environment and in people. DDT’s breakdown form p,p’-DDE is very stable and can be found in most people, since it accumulates in fatty tissue.

According to the study involving men in Massachusetts, the male participants with higher levels of the chemicals in their blood were also up to 60 percent more likely to have sperm with too many sex chromosomes.

The chemicals may also be to blame for decreased quality of sperm.

An embryo or fetus with an abnormal number of chromosomes is one of the leading causes of miscarriages and birth defects.

Both the mother and the father donate a chromosome in the egg – an X from the mother and an X or Y from the father (when the chromosomes come together at fertilization, it will be XX for the girl and XY for a boy).

The study shows that the abnormal number of sex chromosomes overwhelmingly comes from the fathers and while several reasons may be to blame, researchers have identified environmental exposure as one possible cause.

Besides the chemicals mentioned above, researchers have identified benzene and some pesticides as having similar effects on sperm.

The study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Source: Environmental Health News

Reduce exposure to airborne chemicals with high-quality air purifiers

AllerAir offers portable air purifiers with many pounds of activated carbon and other air filters to help keep the ambient air clean.

The air purifiers can help remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold as well as other irritants.

Contact AllerAir today for more information and personalized suggestions.

Friday, March 02, 2012

New report on chemicals law gives pointers to U.S.

Many new chemicals are flooding the market each year.
The United States Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is almost 40 years old and most people agree that it needs to be updated.

However, industry officials, lawmakers and environmental groups have different opinions as to what the new legislation should look like.

A new report from Indiana University examines the European Union’s new law, which went into effect in 2006.

Their new chemicals law is called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), and the Indiana researchers say the United States can learn a lot from the European experience with REACH.

The EU law makes the industry responsible for proving the safety of the chemical, not government.

The key principle in the registration process is “no data, no market”, meaning manufacturers, producers and importers need to provide a minimum safety-related data set for many existing chemicals.

A clear definition of safety is important in any chemicals law reform, the researchers say.

The US should focus on reducing risks to human health and the environment and make it easier for industry to comply by allowing cross-Atlantic recognition of registration dossiers.

Source: Indiana University

Chemicals remain a concern

With the burden of proof of safety (or danger) resting on government, most US residents continue to be exposed to a wide variety of chemicals that may or may not be harmful to human health.

In some cases, for example bisphenol A, phthalates, formaldehyde, tetrachloroethylene and more, the danger has been identified, yet the chemicals continue to be around.

AllerAir offers powerful and portable air purifiers with the right air filters to remove a wide range of airborne chemicals, gases, fumes and odors while also trapping particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and pollen.

Many pounds of granular activated carbon are the best defense against potentially harmful chemicals, along with source control and ventilation.

For more information and air purifier options, contact AllerAir today.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

More adults developing allergies, doctors warn

Doctors say more adults suddenly suffer from allergies.
It’s a growing trend that doctors have been witnessing: Adults who have never been allergic to anything suddenly develop serious allergies.

Sometimes it can lead to anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

The first signs may be a tingling, swelling and a rash. When people experience a serious sudden allergic reaction, their blood pressure can fall, they can faint and have to be rushed to the hospital.

Even if people eat certain foods all of their life, they may develop a sudden allergy to it, doctors say, depending on the concentration and timing of it.

Sometimes, the immune system will simply be overwhelmed.

Doctors say there is a lack of studies about adult-onset allergies and the fact that many childhood allergies may be outgrown over the years.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh

Air purifiers for allergies and asthma
AllerAir's AirMedic+ Series:
For allergy and asthma sufferers

Children and adults suffering from allergies to airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen and other contaminants can often find relief by using an air purifier in the bedroom or the rooms they frequent the most.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for allergies and asthma are equipped with medical-grade HEPA filters as well as a deep-bed activated carbon filter and pre-filters to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants and irritants.

HEPA is the gold standard when it comes to allergens, pollen, particles and dust, while activated carbon can remove many chemicals, gases and odors that can aggravate or cause allergies and asthmatic conditions.

Optional UV germicidal filtration adds extra protection from biological pollutants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.