Monday, April 30, 2012

Could chemical exposure during pregnancy make daughters fat?

Chemical exposure during pregnancy may affect
women later in life, a study found.
Okay, this type of study can cause some family rifts down the road.

According to a prospective cohort study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, women who were exposed to low doses of water and stain resistant chemicals (found in fast food packaging and household products) could have more body weight.

Men were not affected, the study found.

The two-decade study showed that women were three times more likely to gain more weight and large waists as young adults than women less exposed during development.

The chemical in question is perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and gives some credibility to the widespread concern that environmental pollution (even low concentrations of chemical exposures) may play a role in the obesity epidemic the world is currently experiencing.

The link between environmental pollution and obesity

Obesity rates in children and adults have skyrocketed and are accompanied by health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, which taxes the public health system.
Non-stick cookware can expose people to PFOA.

Individual choices such as eating processed foods, getting less activity and being oblivious about exposure to environmental chemicals can contribute to the concern.

The chemical PFOA is also known as C8 and can be found in the coating of non-stick pans, water-resistant clothing, microwave popcorn bags, stain resistant treatments on carpets and furniture, carpet cleaning agents and some paints.

Almost everyone has traces of PFOA in the blood; the chemicals are contaminating many foods and homes and they break down very slowly, so even industry efforts to use less of the chemicals in products won’t make much of a difference for a while (but it’s a good step!).

Source: Environmental Health News

Air purifiers to help remove chemicals and other toxins from our air

Getting informed and making better choices, insisting on good ventilation and air cleaning can all help reduce individual exposure to chemicals and other toxins.

AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers feature the most effective and long-lasting air filters to provide complete overall protection from the most common pollutants.

The units in the 5000 Series, 6000 Series, AirMedic Series and other products contain deep-bed activated carbon filters for the removal of gases, chemicals, odors and VOCs, HEPA filters for trapping particles and dust as well as allergens and optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

The air purifiers are stand-alone units that can easily be moved from space to space as needed, and they are among the most versatile units on the market which can accommodate changing indoor air concerns as well.

For more information and individual recommendations, please contact AllerAir to speak to one of their IAQ experts: 888-852-8247.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The home checklist for mold

Homeowners should take steps to prevent or remove
mold from their homes to avoid health problems.
Mold spores are a natural part of the environment, but when mold is allowed to grow in the home, the inhalation of high levels of mold spores can lead to respiratory problems and other health effects.

Mold exposure has been linked to aggravated asthma, allergies, respiratory infections, skin rashes and more.
The home itself can also suffer from mold infestations, leading to wood rot and structural damage.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to mold:

Identify common areas of mold problems in the home.
Since mold needs water or high humidity to grow asses the home and make a list if the most probable areas where mold can be found:
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basement
  • Attic
A musty odor can be a sign for mold growth.

Fix water infiltration problems immediately. 
The window for mold growth is 24-48 hours, so acting quickly, taking care of the problem and drying or replacing all affected materials can prevent a mold infestation in the first place.

Test for mold if needed. 
Mold testing can be very expensive, but if you suspect mold and want to know before you take any action, call a reputable company.

Remove the mold safely and effectively. 
Small patches of mold can be removed by the homeowner (follow established guidelines by health authorities) – larger mold growth areas should be treated by mold remediation professionals.  It’s more important to spend the money on professional cleanup than on testing, experts say.

Prevent mold in the first place
Help prevent mold by ventilating the home properly, monitoring humidity, keeping clutter and storage spaces under control, fixing foundation cracks and small leaks right away and regularly cleaning the HVAC system.

Source: Angie’s List on ABC News

Controlling mold with air purifiers

A high quality air purifier with the right air filters can help with many aspects of mold:
  • A HEPA filter can trap mold spores (and other particles)
  • A UV lamp can neutralize mold spores
  • An activated carbon filter can remove musty odors and mycotoxins associated with some molds
The AirMedic+ Series features
360-degree air intake for
quick and efficient air cleaning.
AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for mold that contain these filtration technologies and along with the above-mentioned tips can help provide a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.

AllerAir’s AirMedic+ Exec is one of the most efficient air purifiers when it comes to particles and mold spores, featuring an 18 pound carbon filter (or more), a medical-grade HEPA filter to remove 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns, other pre-filters and the option of UV germicidal filtration.

For more information, contact AllerAir to speak to an IAQ expert.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

List of chemicals suspected to cause autism and learning disabilities

The rising incidence of autism and
neuodevelopmental disorders has
researchers looking for environmental causes.
Health experts have published a list of the top 10 toxic chemicals that could play a role in the development of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders in children and therefore warrant further research.

The editorial by Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, and Luca Lambertini, PhD, MPH, MSc, from Mount Sinai as well as Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute OF Environmental Health Sciences, was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives alongside other papers that suggested links between chemicals and autism.

Autism and autism-related disorders have been rising in incidence, but the exact environmental causes are still not understood.

A growing number of researchers believe that environmental pollution does have an impact on the development of autism (the hereditary component is also very strong) and that certain toxic chemicals may affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the U.S. each year.

There should be a priority on the research of these environmental pollutants because they are potentially controllable or preventable, the researchers say.

The top 10 chemicals are
  1. Lead
  2. Methylmercury
  3. PCBs
  4. Organophosphate pesticides
  5. Organochlorine pesticides
  6. Endocrine disruptors
  7. Automotive exhaust
  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  9. Brominated flame retardants
  10. Perfluorinated compounds
Incidentally, many of these chemicals can be found in the home. In older homes, for example, lead particles may be a concern because of lead paint that was used at some point in time.

Automotive exhaust can become a problem indoors as well if a home is located close to a busy road or highway.

Many products (especially children’s products) contain flame retardants that can get into the air and affect children, pets and everyone else.

Other chemicals on the list are persistent organic pollutants or pesticides that can build up in the environment, the food chain and people’s bodies and there may have a big impact as well.

Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center

Filter out indoor air pollutants and chemicals with suitable air purifiers

Every indoor environment can be polluted by airborne chemicals, gases, vapors, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and molds – and over time, poor indoor air quality has been linked to a variety of health issues.

With source control, ventilation and air cleaning, everyone can reduce the impact of poor indoor air quality.

A good air purifier needs to be equipped with the right air filters, however, to be effective for all of the pollutants mentioned above. Don't waste your money on inferior units.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office provide the most complete protection by drawing the air through a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of gases and chemicals, a HEPA filter for trapping particles and dust and ultraviolet rays for the neutralization of biological contaminants such as mold and bacteria.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized recommendations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soy-based eco-flooring the newest home décor trend

Non-toxic and hypoallergenic flooring choice can help improve indoor air quality
The right flooring and finishing
can mean cleaner, healthier air.

As more and more people become aware of the risks that environmental pollution and household toxins can mean to family members (especially children and seniors), the greater the popularity of “healthy home” choices.

The demand for low VOC paints, stains and materials is growing, as is the market for natural wood cabinets, furniture and flooring – since compressed wood furniture can release VOCs such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

One of the latest innovations in eco-flooring choices is a factory-finished floor using 100 percent pure soybean oil that will emit zero VOCs and is hypoallergenic. This particular type of flooring is offered by Mercier Wood Flooring and comes with a 35-year warranty, but many other companies are offering healthier flooring choices.

The soy-based flooring was deemed eco-friendly and healthy, and it picked up the “Children and Schools Certification” by the standards organization Greenguard.

The new product can be applied to all species, colors and finishes and make wood flooring even healthier.
A floor like that may be ideal for kids’ rooms, living rooms or playrooms, daycare settings and schools.

Other healthy flooring choices include natural cork, bamboo flooring and natural grass mats.

Filter out harmful VOCs and chemicals with air purifiers

The volatile organic compounds and chemicals in households, offices and children’s environments can come from a variety of sources, including other building materials, cleaning products, air freshening products, treated textiles and more.
Activated carbon can remove airborne
chemicals and VOCs.

With diligent source control and good ventilation, air quality can be improved, but a high-quality air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA will be even more efficient at removing those indoor air pollutants.

AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers come in a variety of colors and sizes and can help clean the air around the clock with low energy consumption.

A complete air filtration system with deep-bed activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV is key to removing airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Healthy Schools Day - An Important Reminder About Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can affect children and staff.
Do you remember your school days and how stuffy those classrooms often got?

Bad air is more than a nuisance - it can actually be harmful to human health, aggravate respiratory conditions and stunt a child's productivity and learning capability.

As many schools in the United States celebrate Healthy Schools Day today, it is important to remind ourselves about what a difference a healthy environment can make in a child’s life.

Children are among the most vulnerable groups when it comes to indoor air pollution and environmental toxins, and with them spending so much time in school, administrators, parents and communities need to do their part to protect the young learners.

The average child spends about 1,300 hours in a school building each year; teachers and other employees spend even longer periods.

Common indoor air pollutants

Unfortunately, many schools are old or in poor condition, and children may be exposed in varying degrees to common indoor air pollutants such as
  • Mold
  • Chemicals (VOCs)
  • Particles and allergens
  • Biological contaminants
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Outdoor air pollutants from industrial emissions, vehicle emissions etc.
Exposure to indoor air pollution has been linked to respiratory problems, aggravated conditions, increased absenteeism, lower productivity and learning ability and other health effects.

With their Healthy Schools program, the EPA is trying to help schools provide a healthier learning environment and reduce indoor air pollution as much as possible.

It starts with people getting on the same page and making a Healthy School a priority, getting informed, making a plan and implementing changes.

How to improve air quality in schools

Some of the easy and effective changes could include:
  • Opening the windows regularly, or the transom over the door to encourage natural air flow
  • Keeping classrooms tidy and free of clutter
  • Banning pets and foods in class to avoid pests (and blocking pest entry points)
  • Using low-odor and non-toxic supplies such as water-based, unscented markers
  • Banning plug-in air fresheners and room deodorizers
  • Reducing the use of scented personal care products (perfume, cologne, scented hair sanitizers, etc.)
  • Minimizing the use of disinfectants and using certified green cleaning products – or simply hot water and soap
  • Reporting water leaks (however tiny) right away to avoid mold growth
Source: Electrocorp, NHSD Classroom Tips

Worried about airborne chemicals, asthma and allergy triggers and more?

AllerAir's 5000 Series, 6000 Series
and AirMedic Series for homes
and classrooms.
Whether it's at home or at school, we need to be mindful of the quality of air we are breathing.

A general-purpose room air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including irritating chemicals and VOCs, odors, allergens, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

HEPA filters alone only take care of particles and dust, a complete air filtration system needs a deep-bed activated carbon filter to adsorb chemicals, odors and gases.

AllerAir's portable and powerful room air purifiers can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants with their carbon + HEPA filtration system and other features.

For more information and recommendations, contact AllerAir.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It’s time we do something about traffic air pollution

Vehicle exhaust is deadlier than
road accidents, scientists claim.
If your daily grind to get to work involves a lot of traffic, you could put your health at a much higher risk than previously thought.

The risk doesn’t come from road rage or collisions – it’s the fumes that are twice as deadly accidents, British experts say.

According to new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more than 5,000 people die prematurely from conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease due to emissions.

Airplane exhaust fumes cause another 2,000 annual deaths, while industrial emissions causing polluted air can be blamed for about 19,000 deaths per year in Britain.

Road accidents, on the other hand, claimed the lives of “only” 1,850 people in 2010.

Of course, road deaths are usually immediate, while air pollution deaths may occur much later in life.

Another study from the Harvard School of Public Health says that long-term exposure to air pollution increases the risk of various health problems in our later years, including diabetes (see yesterday’s blog post as well), pneumonia, heart disease or stroke.

The concerns from traffic emissions and air pollution include fine particulate matter (2.5M) and fumes.

Source: The Telegraph

Keep indoor air clean with air purifiers

Keeping windows closed in busy traffic and changing the filters in the car regularly will go a long way to reduce exposure.

But the problem with traffic fumes and outdoor air pollution is that it can make its way into our homes and build up to dangerous levels.

That’s why AllerAir has developed serious air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA air filters to reduce those dangerous pollutants in the ambient air.

They work efficiently around the clock, removing airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and even mold.
AllerAir's 5000 Series:
Serious air purifiers

Recommended units:

5000 Exec: AllerAir’s most popular base model provides all-around protection with an 18 lb. carbon filter for gaseous pollutants and a medical-grade HEPA for the removal of 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns.

5000 D Exec: Recommended for areas with high levels of pollution, this air purifier features even more carbon in a 24 lb. carbon filter and a micro-HEPA wrap rated at 99% efficient for particles at 0.1 microns.

AirMedic Exec: AllerAir’s most efficient unit when it comes to particles, this air purifier contains an 18 lb. carbon filter and a medical-grade HEPA as well as a 360-degree air intake for maximum air cleaning power.
For more information, contact AllerAir.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Healthy lifestyle? You’re still exposed to toxins

Even with the best intentions, our living space
may expose us to harmful toxins.
When it comes to our exposure to chemicals and toxins, we can make certain choices to be healthier – but even with the best intentions it is pretty much impossible to live a toxic-free life.

Great starting points are
  • Eating organic foods
  • Avoiding compressed wood furniture in the home that off-gas formaldehyde
  • Opting for natural materials like stone, ceramic tile and granite instead of plastic laminates and vinyl
  • Using natural cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh store-bought cleaners
  • Banning smoking and pesticides
  • Curbing the use of perfumes and chemical-laden personal care products
  • Picking eco-friendly and low-VOC paints and materials when renovating
  • Drinking filtered water
  • Etc.

But unless you have unlimited funds and a never-ending thirst for more information and the willingness to make changes in your life, chances are you will still be exposed to some chemicals and volatile organic compounds.

Only a small number of people can build their own home according to their non-toxic requirements, the majority lives in homes that were built with materials that can off-gas VOCs and chemicals, including oil and latex paints, varnishes, caulking and so on.

Your electronic equipment and printers with toners and ink cartridges may be culprits, and certain products in the garage or shed: bike chain cleaner, car maintenance products, …

Even if you can’t smell anything inside the home, a blood, urine and/or hair test will likely reveal some surprises in toxin levels.

Source: NOW

So, what’s a toxin-conscious human being to do?

Keep using the most natural and green products and materials whenever you can, make sure the home is well ventilated, humidity levels under control and the air is kept clean no matter what.
Air purifiers with carbon and HEPA
can remove chemicals and particles.

A portable and powerful air purifier from AllerAir can help clean the air 24/7, by drawing it through the most effective air filters on the market: A deep-bed activated carbon filter and a medical-grade HEPA filter as well as optional UV germicidal filtration.

AllerAir’s popular base model 5000 Exec and the AirMedic Series can rid the air of chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, particles, dust, mold, viruses and bacteria.

Contact AllerAir for more information and a personalized recommendation.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chemical exposure ups risk of diabetes for seniors

Researchers linked diabetes with the presence of
phthalates (found in household products and cosmetics)
Swedish researchers have found a link between serum levels of phthalate metabolites and type 2 diabetes in the elderly.

It is difficult for seniors to avoid phthalates completely, since they are found in a wide range of household items, including medical devices, intravenous tubing, food packaging, furniture and toys.

They are also commonly used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.

In the Swedish cohort study, the risk for diabetes was high with the presence of monoethyl phthalate (MEP) as well as monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP).

The scientists examined more than 1,000 elderly participants and adjusted for sex, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, body mass index, smoking, exercise and education as other risk factors for diabetes, but the link between phthalates and the disease remained significant.

Diabetes was identified in 119 individuals.

Three of the most common phthalates detected in the seniors are used in personal care products, while one of them is generally used to increase the flexibility of plastic.

The study findings were published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

Source: MedPage Today

Reduce chemical exposure in the home

Seniors and children belong to the most vulnerable groups when it comes to airborne contaminants.

Unfortunately, many homes are 2-5 times as polluted as outdoor air, and the indoor air pollution could affect the health and well-being of residents.

Healthy lifestyle choices, source control, ventilation and air cleaning can help reduce the risks.

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

With long-lasting activated carbon and HEPA filters, AllerAir’s air purifiers help provide cleaner air as well as peace of mind.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Renovating? Use low-VOC paint for better indoor air quality

Low-VOC paint helps reduce indoor
air pollution and chemical concerns.
When it comes to home renovations and updates, we all like to spend as little as possible but still get great results.

And just finding that perfect shade of paint for the room can be exhausting in itself, so it’s no wonder many people don’t spend much time thinking about the kind of paint they will be putting on their walls.

But the fresh paint smell many people simply take for granted can be quite a health hazard, especially for people with asthma and allergies as well as other sensitivities.

The smell comes from high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are emitted from the liquid and drying paint (and even a long time afterwards, though less noticeable).

Thankfully, there is a much bigger selection of low-VOC as well as zero-VOC paints available, which can make a great difference in the air quality of a newly renovated home.

The EPA regulates the amount of VOCs that are allowed in latex paints to 250 grams per liter. Low VOC paints are not regulated but generally carry a rating of 50 grams per liter or less.

Adding color pigment to paints can increase the VOC count since many tints contain the volatile organic compounds.

A growing public awareness about the dangers of airborne chemicals and VOCs and a strong green movement have brought down the cost of low- and zero-VOC paints, while their quality has improved.

Now the healthier paints are just as durable, just as washable and the cost is comparable to traditional paints as well.

Source: Indy Star

Improve indoor air quality all the time with high quality air purifiers

During and after renovations it is especially important to keep indoor air quality in mind, but even in between projects, residents can be exposed to a wide range of indoor air contaminants coming from household products and furnishings, building materials, personal care products and many more items in the home.
AllerAir's room air purifiers can remove VOCs,
odors, allergens, particles, mold and more.

Running an energy-efficient, portable air purifier with the right air filters will help improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to potentially harmful contaminants.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office contain deep-bed activated carbon filters for the removal of airborne chemicals, VOCs, gases, odors and fumes, HEPA filters for particles, dust and allergens and optional UV lamps for the neutralization of biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

For more information and options, please contact AllerAir today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do you live in an allergy-prone city?

Sniffling and sneezing are common spring allergy
health effects affecting millions of Americans.
Airborne irritants are the reason why 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year.

This overreaction of the immune system is characterized by health symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, nasal or sinus congestion and sometimes even difficulty breathing.

Where you live may have a direct impact on the severity of your allergies, according to researchers.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) helps people determine the worst cities for allergies by nation, after researchers examine the 100 largest urban areas in the United States according to three factors: Pollen levels in the city, sales of prescription and over the counter allergy medicines as well as the number of certified allergists and immunologists per patient.

The data was provided by three different sources:, IMS Health and the American Board of Medical Specialties.

According to researchers, some of the worst cities for allergies include:

  1. Knoxville, TN
  2. McAllen, TX
  3. Louisville, KY
  4. Jackson, MS
  5. Wichita, KS

While many southern cities were named some of the worst spots, a majority of the "allergy capitals" are located in the Eastern United States, including northeast and southeast states.

Typically, spring allergies last from March to May, when trees like oak, mountain cedar, elm and maple begin to pollinate, but this year’s season may last longer since high temperatures made pollen counts spike much earlier.

Experts suggest that those suffering from hay fever get tested, use antihistamines, eye drops and a saline wash for the sinuses, avoid outdoor activities between 10 am and 2 pm when pollen production is highest and take quick showers at night to wash off pollen.

Keeping a home clean and uncluttered also helps reduce the allergen count indoors.

Source: Forbes

Indoor air can make a difference for allergies

Indoor air pollution can aggravate or even cause allergic reactions, so experts suggest keeping a home tidy and clean, vacuuming regularly and using a HEPA air filter to help trap allergens.

However, allergens and particles are not the only irritants that can aggravate people’s symptoms. Airborne chemicals and odors also contribute to the indoor air pollution.
A HEPA filter is an invaluable
tool for people with allergies,
but a complete system requires
additional filters like carbon & UV.

AllerAir has developed portable and highly efficient air purifiers for allergies and asthma that not only feature a medical-grade HEPA filter and a 360-degree air intake for maximum protection from allergens, but also a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of chemicals, odors and gases.

Some of AllerAir’s most popular allergy air purifiers include the AirMedic Exec, the AirMedic+ Exec (with optional UV lamp for the neutralization of mold spores, bacteria and viruses) and the 5000 Exec.

For more information, contact AllerAir to speak to an IAQ expert.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The health hazards of household mold

It's not a good idea to ignore mold, it needs to be
removed safely and the problem needs to be fixed.
Mold spores are everywhere and we are breathing them in all the time – but it’s the concentration that can lead to health concerns, experts say. A mold-infested home can lead to serious repercussions for its residents.

According to the EPA, exposure to mold can cause a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms.

A 2007 US study found a link between damp, moldy homes and depression, while Harvard University researchers found babies growing up in damp homes where mold and mildew are present develop more respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, croup and bronchitis.

Mold thrives in damp and humid conditions and in places that lack ventilation.

Once mold takes over a home, it can quickly spread across floors and materials, unless it is being mitigated.

Mold is a growing problem in the United States; some industry experts call it the “asbestos of the new generation.”

Homeowners can do the following to prevent or mitigate mold:
  • Monitor the home’s level of humidity and not let it get over 50%
  • Ensure good ventilation in all parts of the home
  • Inspect the home regularly and keep it well maintained.
  • Fix water infiltration problems promptly.
  • Dry and/or replace all affected materials
  • Enlist the help of professionals in severe cases of mold

Source: Body and Soul

Mold air purifiers can help reduce exposure

While prevention and mitigation are most important when it comes to mold, the right air filtration system can also help prevent problems and provide cleaner air.

AllerAir has developed portable air purifiers for mold that feature deep-bed activated carbon and HEPA filters plus optional UV germicidal filtration to help keep mold under control.

The UV lamp helps neutralize mold spores so that they won’t grow new mold colonies. The HEPA filter  traps mold spores (as well as other particles) and the activated carbon filter removes mold odors and mycotoxins that are released by some molds.

For more information and products, contact AllerAir today: 1-888-852-8247.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Opt for masks to reduce personal exposure to air pollution

Masks can filter out fine particles,
but not gases or chemicals.
According to a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, face masks can help protect people with coronary heart disease (CHD) from the risks of air pollution.

The study was conducted in Beijing, China, and found that heart disease symptoms and blood pressure were reduced when older men and women with CHD wore masks while walking around the city.

The masks help protect people by filtering out harmful fine and ultra-fine particles coming from urban traffic pollution.

The findings show that individual actions, such as wearing a face mask, can lessen some of the symptoms of those susceptible to urban air pollution.

Urban traffic, industry and other sources release both gases and particles into the air.

This mix of outdoor air pollutants has been linked to cardiovascular disease and a higher risk of death, and continued exposure can also raise people’s blood pressure.

The study involved almost 100 participants who were monitored over two 24-hour periods. On one of the days they wore a face mask.

Source: Environmental Health News

Breathe better air at home with air purifiers

While wearing a mask outside may help alleviate some of the risks associated with air pollution, harmful gases and particles as well as other contaminants may still affect people in their own homes.

In fact, these pollutants can build up to dangerously high levels indoors that cannot be mitigated with general ventilation systems.

AllerAir has developed highly effective air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including airborne chemicals and gases, odors, fine particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

The AllerAir air purifiers feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter for gaseous pollutants, a HEPA filter for particles and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants.

From the most popular basic models, the 5000 Exec and the 6000 Exec, to more specialized units for chemical and odor control, allergies and asthma, MCS and more, AllerAir’s comprehensive product lineup is sure to have the right model for anyone.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Simple steps to a healthier home and less indoor air pollution

A healthy home environment can keep health
problems at bay.
Taking care of your home inside and out is more than just about homeowner’s pride – it could mean the difference between a healthy and unhealthy living space.

A majority of people surveyed in 2009 by the National Center for Healthy Housing said they realized that the condition of their home was important to prevent serious health problems like asthma, allergies, lead poisoning, cancer and injuries.

Still, just how they can make sure that their home is properly maintained remains a mystery to many homeowners.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, it is not that difficult to take care of a home.

They have formulated seven principles for a healthy home:

1. Keep the home dry and free from mold
  • Clean and repair gutters and downspouts to avoid water running towards the home’s foundation
  • At regular intervals, check plumbing fixtures and appliances for leaks and fix as needed
  • Repair water damage in walls and ceilings and replace affected materials to control mold
  • Check floor drains

2. Keep the home clean
  • Use mats inside and outside every door that leads outside
  • Use non-toxic cleaning agents like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice
  • Dust regularly with a wet cloth
  • Clean the dryer vent, range hood screen, refrigerator drip pan and exhaust fans
  • Make sure the furnace, hot water heater, oven and air conditioning coils are cleaned and tuned

3. Banish pests from the home
  • Check for signs of rodents, bats, mice and cockroaches, which can cause asthma episodes and carry diseases
  • Fill cracks and crevices with copper mesh, expanding foam, cement or caulk
  • Be wary of pesticides; remove pests by enlisting the help of professionals practicing integrated pest management (IPM)

4. Create a safe home environment
  • Use nightlights to help prevent falls
  • Place non-slip pads under carpets
  • Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home
  • Set the water heater to 120 degrees
  • Install grab bars near baths and showers
  • Repair/replace damaged electrical cords and outlets

5. Improve indoor air quality
  • Keep the home as contaminant-free as possible
  • Ban smoking in the home
  • Avoid particle board (and off-gassing VOCs) by installing wire shelving
  • Test the home for radon
  • Inspect the home for peeling paint, which could be a lead hazard

6. Improve ventilation

  • Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms and over the range to vent moisture and contaminants outside
  • Open windows regularly, if possible

7. Keep the home well maintained
  • Repair cracks and holes in the foundation promptly to avoid dampness and pests
  • Replace furnace filters every 3-4 months
  • Repair broken and cracked windows
  • Make sure the roof is in good condition
  • Pump out the septic tank every 3-5 years

Source: Helena Independent Record

Improve indoor air quality with air purifiers
Portable air purifiers can remove
a wide range of pollutants.

Many home building materials, furnishings and products contribute to indoor air pollution, which can affect the residents’ health and well-being.

The steps above will help improve IAQ, but many homeowners are turning to portable air purifiers to help keep their indoor air clean and healthy.

AllerAir’s air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA filters can remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, VOCs, particles, dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and molds.

They are designed to work around the clock without using much energy (on the lowest setting) and they can easily be moved around the home according to need.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Experts warn of higher risk of wildfires this spring

Wildfires can quickly get out of hand.
Forest regions all across North America may be at a higher risk of fires as the climate warms, experts say.

Early spring is a particularly dangerous time in many areas, even in those that typically have a pretty low risk (including Vermont and nearby forest regions), since the snow and ice have melted, but new greenery has not yet come in to provide a dampening effect on the ground.

The exposed dried grasses and other vegetation can easily ignite and get out of hand, especially if the conditions have been atypically dry and if there are winds.

Some farmers are used to controlled burns to prepare fields etc, but these can also quickly spread. April used to be the worst month for wildfires, but with rising temperatures March has become the new time to be extra vigilant.

In our age of connectivity, at least many wildfires are reported early, so they cannot spread without anyone noticing.

Experts are asking people in these areas to follow these tips for reducing the risks:

  • Don’t burn trash
  • Never start fires without a burn permit (if applicable)
  • For burning of yard trimmings, brush and organic material, surround burn pile with dirt or gravel and do not place them near structures, vehicles, power lines or heavy equipment.
  • Keep water nearby
  • Stay with the fire until it is out
  • Keep grass around houses and buildings mowed to help reduce risk of brush fires
Source: Burlington Free Press

Protect your indoor air from wildfire pollution

Whether it’s in your area or somewhere else, wildfire season can become an indoor air hazard for many homes, since fire particles and other toxins tend to travel long distances.

Outdoor pollutants often find a way indoors, where they can build up over time and affect people’s health and well-being.

A high-quality air purifier with the right air filters can help reduce those particles and toxins and keep the air clean and healthy.

AllerAir has designed air purifiers for smoke, which contain a deep-bed activated carbon filter for smoke odors and chemicals, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and a tar-trapping pre-filter to prolong the other filters’ lifespan.

Recommended air purifiers:

  • AllerAir’s AirMedic Exec with an 18 lb. carbon filter and a medical-grade HEPA as well as superior particle protection with a 360-degree air intake
  • AllerAir’s 5000 DS, one of the most proficient air purifiers with a 24 lb. carbon filter and a medical-grade HEPA as well as a tar-trapping pre-filter

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, April 09, 2012

All about fragrance: Are unscented products safer?

Many household and personal care
products contain harmful chemicals.
“Fragrance” is a common ingredient in household and personal care products, and manufacturers use the term to describe any combination of natural and synthetic chemicals that they may use.

They don’t have to reveal the exact chemical make-up of these fragrances because the information is regarded as a highly guarded trade secret.

But many commonly used chemicals have been linked to human health effects, so not knowing what is in a product leaves customers unaware about the chemicals and possible toxins they may be exposed to.

Tests have shown that the average fragrance product contains 14 secret chemicals that did not have to be listed on the label. Some components of fragrances, including phthalates and DEP are known hormone disruptors; others can cause reactions in sensitized people.

People suffering from asthma seem to be especially sensitive to fragrance-containing products.

The first reaction may be to opt for fragrance-free products – but are those really safer? The jury is still out. In many cases, fragrance-free does not mean safer because of a number of factors:

  • There is no legal definition for fragrance-free
  • Some chemicals in the products may be used to mask scents
  • Many of these products still contain chemicals that pose health risks

Still, checking for product safety on websites such as the Skin Deep database and generally checking the product’s ingredient list will help make better and more informed decisions.

Using less fragrance-containing products will also help reduce exposure.

Source: Healthy Child Organization

Filter out unwanted odors and scents with air purifiers

No matter how smart we shop, chances are we still are exposed to some airborne chemicals and odors in our home due to personal care and cleaning products, furniture and building materials and other reasons.

But better indoor air quality is achievable with source control, ventilation and air cleaning.

The right air purifier will draw the air through a deep-bed activated carbon filter, a HEPA filter, an optional UV lamp and pre-filters to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

AllerAir offers air purifiers with the deepest carbon beds and the most relevant filtration media for general purpose air cleaning as well as specific IAQ concerns such as allergy and asthma, mold, tobacco smoke and MCS.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Children, asthma and indoor air pollution

A growing number of children suffer from asthma.
They don’t call it an asthma epidemic for nothing – a growing number of children suffer from the chronic diseases characterized by inflammation of the airways and breathing problems.

Asthma accounts for one-third of all hospital stays and more than a half-million ER visits a year for kids younger than 15.

Children may be severely affected by asthma: Coughing may keep them up at night and they may be less active because they fear coughing fits from running.

According to health experts, African-American children and children of Puerto Rican descent are much more likely to develop asthma than white children.

Often, asthma can get worse or aggravated if the indoor air in the children’s homes is polluted.

Improving the indoor air quality is a major step in helping everyone breathe easier and in lowering the risk for asthma attacks in children.

According to Gary Emmett, M.D., there are easy and often surprising ways people can improve their indoor air quality:

  • Never allow smoking in the home. Tobacco smoke is one of the worst offenders when it comes to indoor air pollution and it is one of the main substances that aggravate asthma in children.
  • Reduce exposure to thirdhand smoke. This means that smokers should change clothes before they come indoors, as the smoke particles tend to cling to textiles, hair and even the skin of a smoker, which can make asthma worse.
  • Use plastic covers on the mattress and pillow in the child’s bedroom.
  • Clean the child’s bedroom daily with a wet cloth or wipes to control particles in the room.
  • Avoid clutter in the child’s room. Clear surfaces are easier to keep clean. Objects that cannot be washed frequently should be stored in the closet (including stuffed animals and throw pillows).
  • Ban pets from the child’s bedroom, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, ferrets and mice. Pet dander has been shown to be a potent asthma trigger.
  • Avoid using perfumes and other scented products, including fragrant personal care products and harsh cleaning agents, since they can also aggravate asthma symptoms.

Source: Philadelphia Media Network

Reduce airborne contaminants with air purifiers
AllerAir's AirMedic air
purifiers are great for particle
and chemical control.

In addition to keeping things clean and banning certain products in the home, an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA can help keep the air clean and easy to breathe.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for allergies and asthma, including the AirMedic Series, the AirMedic+ Series and the 5000 Series general purpose air purifiers.

The units feature the most relevant filtration media to remove a wide range of airborne pollutants, including particles and dust, strong odors, chemicals and biological contaminants.

Air purifiers for asthma and allergies need a medical-grade HEPA to remove 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns in size as well as a deep-bed activated carbon filter with at least 15 pounds of carbon (the more, the better) to remove odors, chemicals, gases and VOCs.

For more information, contact AllerAir today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Smog increases risk for women’s strokes – how to protect yourself

Smog and fine particle air pollution can be
a risk to people's health and well-being.
Two recent studies have found that living in areas with high air pollution levels increases the risk of suffering a stroke for older women.

One California Department of Public Health study examined more than 100,000 women over a period of six years and found that older women residing in areas with higher levels of fine particle pollution were at a significantly higher risk of first-time strokes.

A Brown University study came to the same conclusion and calculated the risk increase at 34 percent.

A stroke can be deadly, since it happens when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked or ruptured, which can deprive the brain of oxygen. A stroke can also leave people paralyzed or unable to speak/understand.

Health experts have some tips for women of a certain age how they may protect themselves – but these bits of advice also apply to all other generations and sexes:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Stay active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Exercise or stay indoors when smog warnings are in place
  • Get politically involved to promote urban development that encourages walking and biking

Some regions have implemented programs tailored to reducing the risks of strokes and heart attacks for women ages 40-64.

To get a similar program or other types of help, people are urged to write to their elected officials and get involved in community organizations.

Source: The Press-Enterprise

Keep outdoor pollution out with air purifiers

Living in a polluted area can expose people to fine particles and chemicals even inside their own home, since outdoor air pollutants often find a way to enter a building through windows and doors, cracks and openings.
AllerAir's air purifiers with activated
carbon and HEPA air filters.

Once inside, air pollutants can build up to dangerous levels.

AllerAir’s Air Purifiers for the Home and Office can help keep indoor air clean and healthy.

The air purifiers can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants with a multi-stage filtration system that contains a deep-bed activated carbon filter for chemicals, gases and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and dust, easy-clean pre-filters for larger particles and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Energy-efficient and long-lasting, AllerAir’s air purifiers provide the most comprehensive protection from airborne pollutants, and they can be adjusted to tackle changing IAQ needs.

Check out AllerAir’s most popular models – the 5000 Exec, the 5000 Vocarb and the AirMedic series - or contact AllerAir for more information!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Home renovations a good time for greener choices

Greener remodeling choices can help the
environment and a home's indoor air quality.
As soon as the days are getting longer and people get into spring and summer mode, homeowners are looking for ways to update and fix their homes.

Sustainable remodeling is a great way to save money and resources because upgrading is much more environmentally friendly than building new.

The right sustainable remodeling choices can improve a home’s energy efficiency, resource conservation and the indoor air quality.

An energy audit can help homeowners identify where the house is leaking too much air.

Adding insulation, sealing drafts, installing new windows and upgrading old appliances may all help reducing a home’s energy bills.

Improve indoor air quality when remodeling

Indoor air pollution has been linked to a wide range of health effects, including chronic respiratory problems as well as short-term and long-term effects.

A lot of poor indoor air quality comes from chemicals and other toxic compounds:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Combustion fumes
  • Formaldehyde
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter
  • Pesticides
  • Radon
  • Pollen and other allergens

Synthetic carpeting, harsh chemical cleaning products and building and renovation materials that are high in VOCs and other synthetic chemicals are often to blame.

Better flooring choices are natural-fiber carpets, hardwoods, natural linoleum, cork, ceramic tile, marble and stone.

Building and remodeling materials like paint, sealer, stain, caulk, grout, adhesive and paint thinners often come in low-VOC versions, which will help reduce indoor air pollution.

Other green options during remodeling include water conservation measures like low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency water heaters, toilets and dishwashers as well as natural and non-toxic materials from sustainable or recycled sources.

Source: Coloradoan

Improve your indoor air with powerful air purifiers

Even with the best intentions and a variety of choices, many homeowners will complain of chemical pollutants and too much dust or other toxins.
AllerAir's air purifiers for the home and office:
5000 Series, 6000 Series, AirMedic Series,
AirMedic+ Series and AirTube Series

Lingering odors and off-gassing materials can delay the satisfaction of using a remodeled space without concerns.

Running a powerful air purifier with the right air filters on the lowest setting on a continuous basis will help remove harmful odors and toxins and keep the air clean and healthier.

AllerAir offers air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA filters that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, odors, VOCs, particles, dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses and molds.

The units are energy efficient and last a long time between filter changes.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Just being in a room boosts bacteria count

The bacteria count spikes when
a person is in the room: Study
New research by Yale University engineers shows that a person’s presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour.

The bacteria come from material largely left behind by others and stirred up from the floor.

People’s own microorganisms are a major ingredient in the microbial soup in most indoor environments and floor dust is a major source of exposure, the researchers say.

Other studies have examined the variety of germs present in everyday spaces, but this study is the first to look at how much an individual presence affects the levels of bacteria in the air.

The researchers analyzed biological particles in a single, ground-floor university classroom over a period of eight days.

During four of those days the room was periodically occupied, and four days the room was continuously vacant.

The windows and doors stayed closed during the time of examination, but the HVAC system operated at normal levels.

Large biological particles spike with human presence

When the room was occupied, the researchers found that airborne concentrations of bacteria and fungi substantially increased, especially in larger-sized particles.

The size of the particles was noted because size affects the degree to which they are likely to be filtered from the air or remain in the space.

They found that about 18 percent of all bacterial emissions in the room came from humans (as opposed to plants and other sources). One of the most abundant is commonly found on human skin.

Carpeted rooms appeared to retain higher amounts of microorganisms, the researchers say, but less than 0.1 percent of them are infectious.

Still, this new understanding can help people take the right steps toward better indoor air quality when necessary, they say, since most infectious diseases are spread indoors.

The study was published online in the journal Indoor Air.

Source: Yale University

Remove bacteria and other pollutants from your indoor air
AllerAir's AirMedic
air purifiers

Poor indoor air quality is one of the top 5 risks to public health, the EPA says, so creating a healthy indoor environment can go a long way in keeping people healthy and well.

Along with source control and ventilation, air cleaning is one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality.

AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers for general purpose air cleaning that feature the safest and most effective air filters to remove dangerous pollutants.

The air purifiers actually remove contaminants with a deep-bed activated carbon filter, a HEPA filter and optional UV germicidal filtration that helps neutralize microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

AllerAir's AirMedic Exec as well as the AirMedic+ Series provide the most protection from particles and dust as well as biological particles.

Contact AllerAir for more information.