Thursday, May 31, 2012

Children exposed to mothball chemicals at risk of cancer

Chromosomal damage shown after exposure to common pollutant naphthalene
Children may be exposed to naphthalene through traffic
exhaust, mothball fumes, smoke, paint and more.

Naphthalene is a common air pollutant that may have damaging effects in children.

Exposure to high levels of naphthalene is linked to a higher risk for chromosomal aberrations (CAs), which in turn have been associated with cancer, according to researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) and other scientists.

One of the primary sources of naphthalene is from household mothball fumes, but children may also be exposed through automotive exhaust and tobacco smoke. Even paint fumes, cooking and heating have been identified as sources.

Naphthalene belongs to a class of air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and has been classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Cancer Research.

The researchers followed 113 five-year-old children that are participating in a larger cohort study in New York City and assessed their exposure to naphthalene from urine samples.

They also measured chromosomal aberrations and translocations in the children. The researchers will keep following the children to get a better sense of the long-term consequences of naphthalene exposure.

However, the study already shows how vulnerable children are to carcinogenic air pollutants, the senior author says.

The study’s findings are published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Source: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Air purifiers for cleaner, healthier indoor air
AllerAir's activated carbon + HEPA
air purifiers.

When it comes to young children and other vulnerable groups, a clean indoor environment will go a long way in reducing exposure to harmful pollutants and carcinogens.

We all spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, yet many indoor environments are still marred by indoor air pollution.

Choosing healthier and more natural products and materials, making sure that the home is well ventilated and the right type of air purification will help provide cleaner and healthier air.

AllerAir offers portable and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter and HEPA filtration as well as optional UV germicidal lamps to remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, particles, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria and viruses.

With one of the most extensive product lines on the market, AllerAir has a personalized and specialized unit for virtually any indoor air concern.

From general purpose units to whole home air purifiers and chemical and odor air purifiers with specialized types of carbon, contact AllerAir to find the right unit for your needs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Indoor air quality and hay fever (VIDEO)

The indoor air quality in a home can make a big difference in the comfort level and well-being of residents that have become sensitized to pollen and other types of allergens.

More and more people are suffering from allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever.

The IAQ Video Network and Cochrane & Associates have released a new educational video about pollen, allergies and hay fever, which touches on the different types of allergies and ways to reduce exposure to allergens.

Air purifiers for allergies

AllerAir has designed portable and powerful air purifiers for those suffering from allergies or asthma.

The air purifiers feature a medical-grade HEPA filter to remove 99.97% of particles, allergens and dust up to 0.3 microns in size, a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove irritating odors, chemicals and gases and optional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and molds.

For chemical allergies, AllerAir also offers the most inert and proven air purifiers for MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities).

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized suggestions.

Now I wake up feeling refreshed
Before purchasing your air cleaner, I was taking prescription allergy medication at bedtime to relieve sinus drainage. Since operating your Model 4000 at night with the bedroom doors closed, I have found that I can forgo the medication entirely. The air must be so free of dust mite allergens that I can sleep better without the drug. Now I wake up feeling refreshed. Thank you!
Richard H. Rast
More testimonials...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wildfires sweeping across southwestern United States, parts of Canada

Wildfires can spread quickly and cause air quality
concerns in vast areas.
The blazes affect air quality in nearby cities and regions

Historic drought conditions in the southwestern United States are providing the perfect conditions for dozens of wildfires to ignite and spread.

Firefighters last week were battling more than a dozen fires in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, California and Utah. But other parts of North America were also feeling the heat, with wildfires in Canada’s Ontario, Michigan and other regions.

Homes and people’s health are at risk from the fires themselves and the smoky haze that can affect the air quality for a long time.

According to the CDC, smoke from wildfires can hurt people’s eyes, irritate the respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

It may also worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

High winds help spread the particulate matter and gases from wildfire pollution, and make the fires even more difficult to control.

The fire season came early this year and has experts worried about what is yet to come.

Source: The Guardian

Air purifiers for smoke, smog and other types of pollution

During wildfire season, the air quality in vast areas across North America may be compromised by the gases and fine particles released in the burning process.

When the air quality outdoors is a problem, indoor air quality becomes even more important.

AllerAir has designed portable and highly efficient air purifiers for airborne chemicals, fine particles, gases and odors that can help reduce indoor air pollution quickly and around the clock.

Air purifiers like the AirMedic Series provide a 360-degree air intake, a deep-bed carbon filter for the removal of gaseous pollutants and HEPA filtration for fine particles.

The 5000 Exec and similar models also have been proven to be very efficient and reliable air purifiers for the home and office.

In especially smoky areas, AllerAir recommends an air purifier for (tobacco) smoke for best results.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Still spring cleaning? Put your health first

Many cleaning products contain harsh
chemicals and irritants, experts warn.
When it’s time to get rid of all that accumulated winter dirt and grime in the home, most people want to get it over quickly and take out the big guns of cleaning products.

But beware; many commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals and VOCs that can contribute to indoor air pollution and may affect your health and well-being.

The list of potentially harmful ingredients includes:

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)
NPEs are common chemicals found in many cleaning products such as stain removers, detergents, citrus cleaners and disinfectants. According to the EPA, the chemicals can pollute the environment and they have been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine. Studies have linked exposure to reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.

A common ingredient in floor, bathroom, tile and glass cleaners, it’s a respiratory irritant that can produce poisonous gas when mixed with chlorine bleach.

Active ingredients called disinfectants include chlorine bleach, alcohol, quaternary compounds, pine oil and ethyl alcohol, which can be found in many household cleaning products and “antibacterial” products. Many of these chemical compounds are classified as pesticides and health hazards.

A product’s fragrance can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals, but which ones are often a mystery or so-called trade secret. Fragrance found in cleaners, detergents and air fresheners can be irritating to people’s eyes and respiratory tract.

A chemical found in furniture and floor polish as well as gas cleaners; overexposure can cause headaches, nausea and central nervous system symptoms.

Experts suggest going for more eco-friendly and greener alternatives whenever possible, but those who don’t want to spend the extra money can also make their own cleaners from non-toxic ingredients such as vinegar + water + biodegradable soap, baking soda, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and some essential oils.

Suggestions and ideas are available at Consumer Reports

Source: Las Cruces Sun-News

Air purifiers remove harmful chemicals and pollutants

Cleaning products are not the only source of pollutants in the home – many airborne chemicals and VOCs come from building materials, furniture, electronic equipment, personal care products and other sources.

Making healthier choices like non-toxic cleaning products can make a difference in the air quality, but a portable air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA air filters will provide around-the-clock protection from common household pollutants.

AllerAir’s air purifiers feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

AllerAir offers portable air purifiers as well as whole home systems.

For more information and personalized recommendations, contact AllerAir.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some toddlers more exposed than others to flame retardants

Furniture is a common source of exposure
to flame retardants, researchers say.
Does race and socioeconomic status play a role in a child’s exposure to chemicals?

A study of North Caroline toddlers shows that non-white toddlers are more exposed to flame-retardant chemicals than white toddlers.

Exposure may be higher in toddlers whose fathers do not have a college degree, which serves as a proxy measure of lower socioeconomic background.

The toddlers are usually exposed through hand-to-mouth activity or factors related to age and duration of breastfeeding, the researchers say.

The study examined the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in 83 toddlers between 12 and 36 months of age.

Sources of chemical exposure

PBDEs are a class of long-lasting chemicals, which were widely used as flame retardant additives in consumer products such as polyurethane foam padding, electronics, mattresses and furniture.

Toddlers (and adults) can inhale or ingest these chemicals, which can accumulate in the body and may be linked to disrupted endocrine activity and thyroid regulation, low birth weight and developmental problems.

House dust is a big source of exposure for toddlers, the study shows.

But dust can’t be the reason why there was such a big difference in exposure between nonwhite and white toddlers: white toddlers averaged 32 parts per billion of PBDE chemicals in their blood, while nonwhite toddlers averaged 60 parts per billion.

According to the researchers, the best ways to reduce exposure include:
  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Researching household products to find out which, if any, flame retardants are being used
 The study appeared in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Source: Duke University

Air purifiers to battle dust, particles, airborne chemicals

Source control is a great way to reduce chemical exposures in the home, but so many products that are already there may be off-gassing chemicals and contribute to contaminated dust and other exposures.

The AirMedics are effective dust,
particle and chemical busters.
That is why ventilation and air purification also play a major role in mitigating the risks of exposure to environmental pollution.

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

Air purifiers of the 5000 Series, the 6000 Series or the AirMedic and AirMedic + Series come with many options and customization to guarantee the right level of air purification for your individual concerns.

Find out more by contacting AllerAir.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chemical inheritance: Exposures affect future generations

Chemical exposures may have an effect on
future generations, researchers show.
It’s not only our own health we need to worry about when it comes to environmental pollution and chemical exposures - it's also our offspring we have to keep in mind.

According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University, animals whose ancestors were exposed to an environmental compound three generations earlier showed an increased reaction to stress.

In the study, female rats were exposed to a fungicide known to disrupt hormones. The researchers put the rats’ third generation of offspring through a variety of behavioral tests and found they were significantly more anxious and sensitive to stress than descendants of unexposed rats.

Third human generation since chemical revolution

The scientists chose the third generation specifically because we are now in the third human generation since the start of the chemical revolution, since humans have been exposed to these kinds of toxins.

This means that the chemical exposures of our great grandmothers could have programmed us in how we react to stress, the researchers say, which could explain why some people get post-traumatic stress syndrome while others do not.

In a previous study, the researchers already showed that ancestors’ environmental exposures altered how rats chose their mates.

The research could also provide answers about the rise in autism and bipolar disorder, the researchers say, and it might even provide some insight into the obesity epidemic.

Source: Washington State University

Keep chemical exposure to a minimum at home and at work

No matter where we are, we can be exposed to a toxic chemical soup coming from building materials, household products, equipment, personal care products, outdoor air pollution and more.

Along with source control and good ventilation, a portable air purifier with the right air filters can help reduce chemical exposures indoors and provide cleaner air.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for the home and office with the most efficient and longest lasting air filters available, including a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of airborne chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

For more information and other specialized units, please contact AllerAir.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A hot summer means more pollution

Warmer temperatures pose risks in terms of
pollution and associated health problems.
An unusually mild winter and hotter than normal summer may increase both air and water pollution and associated health effects, experts warn.

Pollution experts in North America are most concerned about the urban air pollution and smog caused by sunlight, traffic exhaust and polluted air from coal-fired plants.

Warmer temperatures also mean more wildfires and forest fires, which also affect the air quality, they warn.

Higher demand on air conditioning means more electricity use and more emissions as well.

Experts are also concerned about the risks posed by increased algae in lakes, which smells bad and affects water quality.

In terms of health effects, medical professionals are seeing the effects of pollution in their practices, including
  • Cardio respiratory symptoms like chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lung conditions
  • Heart conditions
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood, skin, kidney and other diseases caused by prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants
 Source: Global News

Air purifiers to keep indoor air clean and healthy

Higher pollution levels outdoors can lead to poor indoor air quality as well, as pollutants are often allowed to build up in airtight homes and buildings.
AllerAir's general purpose air
purifiers for homes and buildings.

A serious air purifier with the right air filters can help remove those pollutants and provide cleaner, more breathable air.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office feature the most efficient and safest air cleaning technologies with activated carbon and HEPA filters that can remove not only particles and dust but also treat harmful chemicals, gases, odors and fumes.

Air purifiers like the 5000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec have been shown to reduce indoor air pollutants quickly and efficiently with long-lasting air filters.

For best results, keep an air purifier in the room or area where you spend most of your time, or in the bedroom.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More floods in our future, report says

Climate change may bring more extreme weather and IAQ challenges

Heavy rainfall and floods can lead to mold
and poor indoor air quality in homes.
We may have to become more used to heavy rainfall and storms, according to a report by two environmental groups.

Heavy rains and severe flooding have already doubled in the Midwest in the last half-century and are part of a growing climate trend.

The research shows that during the past 50 years, the amount of precipitation falling during the heaviest rains increased nearly 20 percent. The largest increases were in the Midwest and the Northeast.

There are more frequent extreme storms and the average time between them has become shorter.

More floods and wetter seasons can mean an increase in mold spores and associated health problems.

The groups called on federal authorities to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, support energy efficiency upgrades and green infrastructure techniques.

Source: Des Moines Register

Protect indoor air quality during extreme weather episodes

Wet weather may lead to more mold spores in the air, which can cause or aggravate respiratory conditions.

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for mold that can help control spores and other pollutants and provide cleaner, more breathable air.

The AirMedic+ series features the most efficient HEPA filters to trap particles and spores, a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove odors, chemicals and mold mycotoxins and an optional UV light to neutralize mold spores and other biological contaminants.

The 360-degree air intake on AirMedics makes it such an efficient air purifier, it is also a popular choice for those affected by allergies and asthma.

Contact AllerAir for more information

Friday, May 18, 2012

Asthma rates at all-time high, authorities warn

Some asthma triggers are difficult
to avoid, but air purifiers can help
remove them.
A growing number of U.S. residents are suffering from asthma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

From 2001 to 2010, the rates increased from 7.3% to 8.4%, marking the highest level ever recorded.

In 2010, one in every 10 Americans had the chronic condition, which affects an estimated 18.7 million adults and 7 million children.

Childhood diagnoses of asthma are sometimes outgrown, otherwise these numbers would be even higher.

Asthma describes a chronic airway disorder caused by inflammation. Attacks can be triggered by exercise, infections, allergies, occupational exposures and airborne irritants, including tobacco smoke and chemicals.

Symptoms may include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

There is no known cure to asthma, although it may be controlled with a variety of drugs.

Asthma has a large impact on the United States healthcare system and associated costs.

Source: LA Times

Control asthma triggers with room air purifiers

Irritants in the ambient air can become health risks for those affected by asthma or allergies.

Source control and ventilation help reduce exposure, but a room air purifier with the right air filters can actively remove those triggers.

AllerAir has designed air purifiers for allergy and asthma that feature a smart airflow configuration, medical-grade HEPA and a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove irritating particles, chemicals, odors, fumes, pathogens and other triggers.

Air purifiers like the AirMedic+ Exec can provide cleaner air 24/7 on the lowest setting, and they have been shown to be extremely beneficial when used in bedrooms, for example.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Researchers blame autism rise on industrial chemicals

The rise in autism cases has researchers looking for
possible causes, including environmental pollution.
More and more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and most school districts nowadays have a team dedicated to autistic students to offer the right care and support.

The condition is hard to ignore: One in 88 children may now be diagnosed with autism by the age of 8, a 77 percent increase since 2002.

The numbers are shocking and have researchers, parents and teachers scratching their heads as to why autism has become such a widespread concern.

Of course, more awareness and better spotting methods could also contribute to the higher numbers, and other factors may be obesity and age of parents, but the scientific community is most divided over the question of genetics vs. environment.

Environmental factors have been disregarded for a long time, but new research from San Antonio and elsewhere are increasingly putting the blame on chemicals in the environment.

Ambient mercury emissions (close to coal burning power plants, for example) as well as poorly regulated common chemicals in households and workplaces have been pointed out specifically, although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which chemicals may be to blame because of a lack of information.

More research is needed, but the shortlist of possible chemicals to blame includes
  • Lead
  • Methylmercury
  • Organophosphate insecticides
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Arsenic
  • Manganese
  • Ethyl alcohol
Researchers warn that is it likely just the tip of the iceberg, as children can be exposed to 3,000 synthetic chemicals produced in quantities of more than 1 million pounds per year.

Even before children are born, they are exposed to hundreds of chemicals from cosmetics, building materials, polluted air, food and drinking water. Many of these chemicals are neurotoxic to adult brains and they have only come onto the market in the past few decades.

Avoiding chemicals as much as possible, especially during pregnancy and early childhood may be one of the best ways to reduce risks at this point in time, researchers say.

Source: The Current

Air purifiers for chemicals and environmental pollutants

Household products and materials are a major source of exposure to chemicals and other toxins.

Choosing more natural alternatives, providing good ventilation and cleaner air will help reduce the risks at home and at the office.

AllerAir has designed portable and powerful general purpose air purifiers with the most trusted and effective air filters for maximum air cleaning capabilities.

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

AllerAir offers air purifiers of different sizes, including the AirTube series for nurseries and baby rooms.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personal recommendations.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Seniors face risks of asthma

Asthma in seniors is a common concern
that is often forgotten, a study finds.
A new study shows that older adults with asthma often face major health problems that are often misdiagnosed or under-treated.

People over 65 that are hospitalized with asthma are 14 times more likely to die from asthma than younger adults. They are also at increased risk of impaired lung function and worse quality of life.

Researchers suggest that seniors are often misdiagnosed when it comes to asthma because the symptoms (shortness of breath, tightness in chest) are more likely to be attributed to being older, out of shape or the heart.

The study found that only 53% of older adults with asthma reported using a steroid inhaler in the month prior, which is used to control asthma.

A large percentage of the study participants with asthma also suffered from allergies to mold, animals and dust mites.

The findings were published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Source: WebMD

Air purifiers for asthma and allergies

Anyone affected by asthma or allergies can benefit from breathing cleaner and healthier air, especially in their bedroom.

A portable air purifier with HEPA and activated carbon as well as optional UV germicidal filtration will provide the most complete filtration system to handle the widest range of contaminants.

The HEPA filter takes care of particles and dust, including pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and other biological particles. The activated carbon removes airborne chemicals, gases, fumes and odors, which often aggravate asthma and allergy reactions (or cause them in the first place). The UV lamp helps neutralize contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact AllerAir for more information and a personalized recommendation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sleep is a public health issue, doctors say

A good night's sleep should be a daily priority: Experts
When people are trying to cope with packed schedules day after day, they might put off sleep, thinking they can always catch up later – but doctors are warning that a good night’s sleep is important to health and well-being.

A group of sleep specialists in Montreal wants to raise awareness about the importance of sleep.

Bad sleep has been linked to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system.

Unfortunately, sleep problems are widespread in today’s busy world.

One quarter of adults don’t get enough sleep or suffer from chronic insomnia.

Adolescents, who are very much in need of sleep, have the worst record: Up to 80 percent of Canadian students arrive at school sleep-deprived and 43 percent are going to bed very late. But children need at least 9 hours of sleep, which is important for learning, memory retention and academic performance in general.

Playing catch-up on the weekends doesn’t work, according to the sleep experts, who say that fatigue is cumulative.

While some sleep problems are caused by medical problems, others are easily avoidable. They want sleep to play a pertinent role in educational and public policies, along with other priorities such as eating well and exercising.


Tips for a better sleep

Getting enough sleep should be a priority, so here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to getting enough shuteye, according to sleep experts:

  • It’s not a good idea to participate in sports and cultural activities late on weekday nights.
  • People should keep the same bedtime and wake time throughout the week, if possible, or take a short nap on days when they didn’t get enough sleep.
  • Alcohol and sedatives will not lead to a healthy sleep cycle.
  • People should try to keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature and avoid too much clutter or stimulation.
  • Using an air purifier can provide better indoor air quality and soothing white noise.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the Home and Office offer the most effective filtration technologies to remove indoor air contaminants and last for a long time.

The activated carbon + HEPA filters can remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria and viruses.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Toxic laundry – the hidden dangers of a common household chore

Dryer sheets and other scented products
can contain hundreds of chemicals.
The chemicals contained in a wide range of laundry products can present hidden dangers, according to researchers.

Scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners can be the source of a toxic blend of chemicals that are unregulated and can contribute to a number of health problems.

Research by Dr. Joseph Mercola reveals that
  1. Dryer vents emit more than 600 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which come from commonly used laundry products. Some of these VOCs are known to cause cancer.
  2. We should be worrying about the long-term cumulative effects of these chemicals, which have not been studied and are largely unknown. However, experts suggest they may contribute to respiratory, neurological, endocrine, immune system and organ system health problems.
  3. Workers reacting to fragrances at work are becoming much more common, so much so that it is being compared to secondhand smoke exposure.
  4. Many people are unaware of the kinds of chemicals that products contain since companies are not required to list all chemical ingredients on labels. One fragrance can be made up of hundreds of chemicals.
  5. Fabric softeners can release formaldehyde, a known irritant and carcinogen.

According to research done by Anne Steinmann, PhD, laundry products that were labeled “organic” and “natural” were more toxic than regular products.

Opting for “unscented” versions of popular laundry products may also be a mistake, since these often contain the original fragrance as well as a masking fragrance.

A better idea might be to hang laundry to dry or to use dryer balls or similar non-toxic alternatives.

There are greener and less toxic laundry products available - simply being aware of the dangers and asking the right questions will help in making the right choices.

Source: Digital Journal

Rely on a serious air purifier for healthier indoor air

Source control and ventilation can help reduce exposure to many common household chemicals, but a portable and powerful air purifier can quickly become one of the most appreciated small appliances in the household.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for homes and offices can remove a wide range of indoor air contaminants, including chemicals, gases, odors, VOCs, particles, dust and pathogens.

Activated carbon is the safest and most
trusted filter media for chemicals and odors.
They are made out of the safest materials and don't produce any harmful byproducts.

With a deep-bed activated carbon filter and HEPA as well as optional UV germicidal filtration, AllerAir air purifiers offer the right unit for specific concerns such as

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Friday, May 11, 2012

VIDEO: Limitations make it difficult for EPA to move on flame retardants

Michael Hawthorne, the author of some in-depth articles about toxic chemicals in our environment that were recently published in the Chicago Tribune, explains in this video why there is so little progress in terms of regulation.

Chemicals and flame retardants can come from many
sources in the home, furniture and household products.
The EPA has limited powers to regulate chemicals in the first place and the agency has to prove a chemical is unsafe (rather than the manufacturer having to prove it is safe), which is why a lot of chemicals enter the market without being adequately tested.

This is concerning because scientists keep finding "mystery" chemicals in the environment and in people's blood or bodies and it is sometimes only by luck that they find out where they come from.

A lot of flame retardant chemicals are allowed to enter the market without a thorough study of health risks, he says and the government seems to be divided when it comes to these issues.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Want to know more about chemicals in the environment and in the home? AllerAir offers portable, powerful air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants. Contact AllerAir for more information.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is a clean home possible without chemicals?

Store-bought cleaners can contain
harmful chemicals and fumes.
The cleaning product aisles in supermarkets and other stores can be quite overwhelming with their abundance of specialty cleaners and chemical-laden products.

However, with many consumers becoming more health-conscious and weary of potentially harmful chemicals in such products, some trusted and non-toxic staples have been given a new life, including baking soda, vinegar, Castile soap and more. Others swear by the water and microfiber cloth cleaning method.

Going green when cleaning makes sense when it comes to personal health and the environment, but many people still question how effective these non-toxic cleaning products are.

Reducing germs – the green way

According to food safety specialists and other experts, home-made cleaners with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can be effective in removing dirt and particles as well as reducing germs. Baking soda is a good scrubbing agent but not an effective sanitizer.

But apart from surfaces where food preparation takes place, sanitation is not always necessary, experts say.

Often, hot water and soap is enough, as is regular cleaning and changing kitchen rags twice weekly.

Households with senior residents, young children or pets may want to sanitize more often.

Concerns about chemicals

A survey released by The Shelton Group earlier this year found that 24 percent of Americans buy or make all-natural cleaning products and an even larger number (65 percent) of Americans say that they are concerned about chemicals in products.

Common household cleaners can contain chemicals such as butyl cellosolve (can irritate skin and eyes and damage the liver and kidneys), crystalline silica (an eye, skin and lung irritant), phosphates (suffocate aquatic plants and animals) and chlorine (fumes are irritating to eye, throat and respiratory tract).

Green does not always mean non-toxic; reading labels is still one of the most important habits for customers.

Source: Detroit Lakes Online

Reduce chemicals everywhere
Activated carbon is the safest and most effective
way to remove airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

Chemicals are not only found in cleaning products and similar household staples – they can also hide in furniture, air fresheners, personal care products, building materials and many other sources.

Often, these chemicals become airborne and contribute to poor indoor air quality and health concerns.

Source control (choosing more natural and healthier products), good ventilation and air filtration can help reduce the risks associated with poor indoor air quality.

AllerAir has developed portable and highly efficient room air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA filters that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

With general purpose air purifiers as well as units made for specific concerns such as allergy and asthma, mold, MCS, tobacco smoke and more, it’s easy to find the right air purifier for each problem.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

New evidence of carcinogen in gas released by cigarette smoking

The gas in cigarette smoke may be the most harmful
because of the impacts on body cells, researchers warn.
The fact that cigarette smoke can cause cancer is not new, but researchers are starting to pinpoint exactly how the body reacts when confronted with thousands of chemicals and toxins in tobacco smoke.

In a new study, researchers found a key protein involved in cell function and regulation is stopped by a substance present in cigarette smoke.

The gaseous phase of cigarette smoke contains a cancer-causing agent called reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can inhibit normal cell function and almost completely stop a cell’s sodium pump.

A cell’s sodium pump is vital in the transportation of potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell. If a cell cannot regulate sodium, it may be prone to damage, disease progression and lower chances of survival.

The researchers say that these findings show that it’s not the particles in cigarette smoke that do the most damage – it’s the gas with this agent that is sufficient to cause harm and that can be breathed in while standing near a smoker.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 components, many of which have been linked to lung cancer.

Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as primary smoke because of its impact on the cells of the body, researchers say.

They also stressed the importance of keeping children away from cigarette smoke.

The study is published online in the American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cell and Molecular Physiology.

Source: Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research

Remove smoke pollutants from indoor air

Anyone who has been around a smoker knows that the persistent odors and toxins from cigarette smoke tend to linger – not only on people’s hair, clothes and skin but also on the furniture, textiles, walls and other indoor surfaces.
The 5000 DS can handle
cigarette smoke and more.

Many air purifiers are unable to handle tobacco smoke and might get plugged up fairly easily.

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for tobacco smoke that can handle all challenges presented by cigarette smoke: Chemicals and odors, particles and tar.

AllerAir’s smoking air purifiers like the 5000 DS feature special tar-trapping pre-filters to prevent clogging and to prolong the main filters’ lifespan.

They also contain a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove airborne chemicals, gases and odors that are present in tobaccos smoke. A HEPA filter completes the air purification system.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Toxic chemicals found in gardening products

Tools used for gardening or weeding
may contain toxic chemicals.
Indoor air is more contaminated than outdoor air, so spending time outdoors should be healthy, right?

In theory, yes, but for those spending a lot of time gardening, they tools they are using may also expose them to toxic chemicals.

Researchers at the Ann Arbor Ecology Center examined almost 200 gardening essentials, including gloves, knee pads, hand tools and water hoses and tested them for chemicals and heavy metals that are a health risk.

They found that nearly two out of three products they tested contained chemicals levels of high concern, including
  • Phthalates
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC)
  • Lead
  • Cadmium

Cloth gardening gloves often contain PVC in their grip dots, made with hormone-disrupting phthalates.

Phthalates are used to soften plastics and have been named a concern for pregnant women and children, although anyone should be concerned about exposure because they are disrupting hormone levels, researchers say.

Hand tools may have high levels of lead in the handle and the tool itself.

Garden hoses contain high levels of lead and phthalates that can leach into the water sitting in the hose as well as get into the ground.

The researchers sampled water that had been sitting in a hose and found that it contained 18 times the level of lead that is permitted in drinking water.

Some tips:
  1. Look for products that are PVC and lead free
  2. Don’t drink out of the garden hose
  3. Flush out the water from the hose for a few minutes before watering edible plants
  4. Keep gardening clothes separate and make sure you don’t bring any dirt inside

Source: Komo News

Clean indoor air of harmful chemicals and toxins

Even if you spend a lot of time outside, chances are, the majority of your days are still spent indoors, where the air can be polluted with chemicals, particles and biological contaminants.

Choosing the right products, being careful about chemicals in the home, insisting on good ventilation and a powerful air cleaner can all help improve the indoor air quality in the home.

AllerAir has developed portable and highly efficient air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA air filters to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, mold, bacteria, viruses, particles, dust and allergens.

The air purifiers are made with the safest materials and long-lasting filters for maximum protection.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Helping people with asthma

Asthma affects millions of Americans
and many children.
Asthma Awareness Month turns the spotlight on chronic respiratory disease

May is a busy month in terms of awareness campaigns. Not only is May MCS Awareness Month, it also has been dedicated as Asthma Awareness Month.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants the public to become more aware of the growing rates of asthma and how it affects families and communities around them.

The chronic respiratory disease affects almost 26 million Americans, 7 million of which are children. The condition is also widespread among low income and minority populations.

Asthma is a concern not only for those who suffer from it, but society in general because of the indirect costs involved for the healthcare system, economy and lifestyle.

In many cases, asthma can be caused or aggravated by indoor and outdoor air pollution and other toxins.

The EPA suggests the following tips to keep asthma under control:
  • Know your asthma triggers and avoid them – Triggers may include air pollutants, dust mites, secondhand smoke, cockroaches and mold.
  • Create an asthma action plan – Daily asthma management is essential, this includes reducing exposure to triggers
  • Get active – Sports and activities contribute to an overall feeling of well-being
  • Be ‘air aware’ – Plan your outdoor activities around local air quality conditions to help prevent attacks. For smart phones, a mobile app may be available for updates in the Air Quality Index.
Source: EPA press release

Remove asthma triggers from your indoor air

With North Americans spending so much time indoors, indoor air pollution has become a major concern for those affected by asthma.
AllerAir's AirMedic Series is
great for particles, asthma triggers
and other indoor air concerns.

With source control, good ventilation and air cleaning, anyone can improve their indoor air quality.

The best air purifiers feature safe and proven air filters that can remove a wide range of indoor air contaminants, including dust, particles, mold, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, odors and gases.

All of these pollutants can contribute to the inflammation to airways, so keeping the air as clean and contaminant-free as possible must be a No. 1 priority.

AllerAir has developed high-quality air purifiers for allergy and asthma, which include a medical-grade HEPA filter as well as a deep-bed activated carbon filter and optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the above-mentioned pollutants.

An air purifier in the bedroom can make the difference for effective asthma management. See a recent blog post about a study on the benefits of air purifiers in the bedroom.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.
Related posts:

Friday, May 04, 2012

Ban toxins from the nursery and baby's room

Green nurseries can help reduce exposure to environmental pollution
Many commercial baby products (incl. mattresses,
pajamas, toys) contain harmful chemicals and toxins.

Environmental factors are thought to play a role in the growing asthma and allergy epidemic in North America.

Almost 7 million children in the US have asthma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, and many environmental toxins can cause or aggravate those symptoms.

A green nursery may help provide safe haven for babies and allow them to rest their developing immune system.

Parents who are concerned about their baby’s environmental health should try to protect their newborn from toxins and harmful chemicals, choose environmentally friendly and healthy products and provide cleaner air to breathe.

Some chemicals to avoid in the baby’s room:
  • Vinyl
  • PVC
  • Phthalates
  • Bleach
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Pesticides

One of the most important choices you can make concerns the mattress, since babies spend so much time sleeping on it. Organic is the best choice, or mattresses free of vinyl, PVC, phthalates, pesticides and bleach.

When painting the nursery, opt for zero-VOC paint to prevent volatile organic compound emissions for years after the application of the coat.

An air purifier will help provide cleaner indoor air, which can be more polluted than outdoor air.

Look for air purifiers with the right air filters that not only filter particles and dust (HEPA) but also chemicals, gases and odors (activated carbon filter). A combination of activated carbon and HEPA offers the most complete protection.

Open windows regularly and replace HVAC filters as needed. Do not clean with bleach or other cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals and fumes. Opt for non-toxic or greener alternatives instead.

Go for flooring that is free of formaldehyde and VOC finishes.

Choose toys wisely, and opt for organic, wooden or washable toys.

Source: Bend Bulletin

Big and small air purifiers for nurseries of every size

Not every air purifier is made the same - only the right filtration combo will remove harmful toxins.

An air purifier can help keep indoor
air clean and healthy.
AllerAir air purifiers contain a multistage filtration system with activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV for all-around protection from contaminants such as chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mold.

From small and compact models like the AirTube Series for small baby’s rooms to full room air purifiers like the 5000 Exec or AirMedic Exec, AllerAir’s complete product line of home and office air purifiers promise to deliver the right unit for every need.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized recommendations, based on the room size, IAQ concerns and budget.
Related posts:


Thursday, May 03, 2012

May is MCS Awareness Month

A growing number of people are suffering from adverse reactions to chemicals and environmental toxins

Chemical sensitivities can affect people of all races,
ages and genders, experts say.
Environmental sensitivities, or multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), affect more than 48 million men, women and children of all races, according to MCS America.

While the medical community is still divided about how to deal with this mild to disabling condition that can involve a wide range of symptoms and triggers, it is not an entirely new phenomenon.

MCS was first documented in the 1950s by allergist Dr. Theron Randolph, who had a patient with adverse reactions to the petrochemicals in the Chicago area environment.

Environmental sensitivities often develop after a chemical injury or prolonged exposure to even small amounts of chemicals, and commonly cited culprits include pesticides, solvents, smoke, scented products and even toxic mold.

The entire month of May is dedicated to raise public awareness about chemical sensitivities and chemical injury. If you would like to organize something, you can get MCS America’s event planning kit here.

You can also learn more about chemical sensitivities in a free webinar on MCS offered by Air Quality Academy.

Filtered air for MCS relief

AllerAir is no stranger to MCS and has taken special care to develop air purifiers with the most inert materials and best features to remove chemicals, gases and odors from the ambient air, as well as particles and other pollutants.

AllerAir’s MCS-friendly features include:
  • The deepest beds of activated carbon for maximum efficiency of gaseous adsorption
  • The most tolerable carbon blends, determined for each customer by a special
  • Carbon Test Kit
  • Unbleached, organic cotton pre-filters
  • Inert HEPA material that contains no binder, glue or other irritants
  • Powder-coated finish on all metal surfaces – including air purifier housing, filter caps and more
  • Possibility for negative and positive air configuration
  • Burnt-in motor to reduce new motor smells

An air purifier for MCS needs many pounds of activated carbon to remove airborne chemicals, gases and odors. AllerAir’s air purifiers can be run 24/7 on a low setting and are very effective at removing the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

For more information and recommendations, contact AllerAir today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Apartment dwellers often exposed to smoke, odors from neighbors

Apartment buildings can expose
residents to a wide range of
pollutants and toxins.
We often cover the indoor air quality issues in houses and homes in this blog, but today’s post is dedicated to another kind of home with additional air quality challenges: Apartment buildings.

The nature of an apartment building is that there are many people living in close proximity, including children, seniors and people from a wide range of backgrounds.

These differences in cultures, ages and habits can also contribute to different indoor air quality concerns, including
  • Smoke
  • Food odors
  • Pesticide use
  • Fumes and particles from renovation work being done
  • And more
 In a recent survey of American apartment dwellers, more than a third of non-smoking residents said they detected secondhand smoke in the building’s public space or within their own apartments.

The survey included 323 nationally representative respondents, who were asked about their building's smoking restrictions; family composition; where they smelled secondhand smoke and how often.

Among those who reported smelling secondhand smoke, 38 percent said it happened weekly and 12 percent said they noticed the smell daily.

The exposure becomes a concern when it can affect children and other vulnerable groups, experts say.

Strong food odors may be another IAQ issue, albeit often a minor irritation as opposed to a health hazard.

A much bigger concern is a person’ use of pesticides in a neighboring apartment, which may enter other apartments through ventilation vents, windows, underneath doors etc.

Source: HealthDay News

Improve indoor air quality in apartments

With source control and portable air purifiers, apartment residents can make a huge difference in the quality of the air they are breathing.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office offer a multistage filtration system with the most efficient and long-lasting filters that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The activated carbon and HEPA filter combination can remove harmful chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust and biological particles, and an optional UV lamp can help neutralize contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and molds.

The 5000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec are examples of popular air purifiers for apartments.

Read on to see what others are saying about AllerAir:
“We live in an older apartment building where the activities of our neighbors seep through our walls. One weekend 6 apartments had to evacuate because of toxic fumes from another apartment's renovation. We were able to return to our apartment within a few days because we could detox it quickly using our AllerAir system. Our neighborhood also has a skunk problem, and when the odor starts to get in the house we turn our unit up to turbo setting and it removes the odor very quickly. At other times, we simply leave the unit on low, and the sound is almost unnoticeable. ... We recommend the AllerAir air purifier wholeheartedly.”
Kathleen Jordan
For smoke and secondhand smoke exposure, AllerAir has developed air purifiers for tobacco smoke that feature deep carbon beds, medical-grade HEPA filters and special tar-trapping pre-filters that can handle the sticky substances and toxins inherent in tobacco smoke.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

LiveZilla Live Help

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Are allergies actually good for you?

Researchers suggest that a body's reaction to allergens
may be designed to keep environmental pollutants out.
Some researchers are suggesting that allergies may have evolved to protect us from dangerous environmental pollution.

These scientists reject the idea that allergies are misdirected immune reactions to innocuous substances and are rogue workers from the body’s parasite-fighting workforce.

For them, parasites and the substances that trigger allergies share nothing in common and there are too many possible allergens.

Also, the body’s response to allergy triggers can be immediate, whereas a response to parasites often takes longer.

In a paper published in April in Nature, the researchers instead propose that allergic reactions may be there to protect us from potentially dangerous substances in the environment.

They cite studies that show that allergic responses to tick saliva, for example, prevent the pests from attaching and feeding.

Allergy symptoms keep pollutants out of the body

The symptoms many people experience with allergies (runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy skin and so on) would then serve the function to keep unhealthy environmental pollutants out of the body.

Allergic reactions could also serve to make people become more aware of their environment and to avoid certain places because of their experience, they say.

Of course, in some cases, allergies can be very excessive and even deadly – and sometimes they don’t seem to make sense. Why, for example, are one in 12 children affected by food allergies?

The researchers suggest different possible causes, including our evolutionary past and a guilt-by-association mechanism that could lead to allergies after eating something in a polluted environment.

It’s an interesting theory that might warrant some further speculation and research.

Source: Scientific American

Make breathing easier by filtering out allergens

Once a person suffers from allergies, airborne triggers can make reactions worse. Diligent source control, ventilation and air cleaning can all help in providing a clean and healthy environment.

For air purifiers for allergies and asthma, a medical-grade HEPA filter is an important feature to trap airborne particles, allergens, pollen and dust.

However, the air cleaner should also have an activated carbon filter to remove chemicals, gases and odors that can contribute to or aggravate the symptoms as well.

AllerAir air purifiers like the AirMedic+ Series contain a multistage filtration system made for the most complete protection from irritating airborne pollutants.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.