Friday, June 29, 2012

Household risks: Stain repellents linked to liver damage

Researchers link stain repellent chemicals to
liver damage and possible liver disease.
High levels of two stain-resistant chemicals in the blood of adults living near a chemical plant indicated enzyme activity that could lead to liver damage and liver disease, a study found.

The study involved 47,000 people from West Virginia’s Mid-Ohio Valley and examined their exposure to perfluorinated acids PFOA and PFOS, chemicals that are used to make cookware, food packaging and fabrics. They are often used to make the materials resistant to stains and water.

The study results confirm findings of studies that involved lab animals and chemical plant workers, finding clear links between the blood levels of the chemicals and an enzyme’s activity among water districts, individuals and within the population.

While most household products only contain low levels of PFOA and PFOS, the chemicals are often formed when other fluorinated chemicals degrade in the atmosphere or break down in the body.

Almost all Americans have low levels of PFOA and PFOS in their blood. Exposure occurs through drinking water, ingesting food and inhaling dust and air.

Source: Environmental Health News

Air purifiers for homes and offices
AllerAir air purifiers
with carbon + HEPA

Since most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, indoor air quality becomes a main concern in people’s exposures to chemicals, dust and irritants.

Source control and good ventilation help to control exposures, but an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA can help provide cleaner and healthier air on a 24/7 basis.

AllerAir has developed some of the most efficient and longest lasting air purifiers on the market, with many pounds of virgin activated carbon to remove VOCs, chemicals, odors and gases, medical-grade or micro-HEPA to trap up to 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, easy-change pre-filters and optional UV germicidal filtration to neutralize biological contaminants.

Popular base models like the 5000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec provide reliable general purpose air cleaning. Read some of AllerAir’s client testimonials.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Researchers suggest a simpler lifestyle could be the answer

A small population study shows that lifestyle could be one of the most important factors to curb exposure to endocrine disruptors such as BPA and phthalates.

The lifestyle with the best results focuses on fresh foods and limited use of products likely to contain environmental chemicals.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked
to adverse health effects, researchers say.
The researchers examined urine samples and individual lifestyle choices of a group of Old Order Mennonite (OOM) women in mid-pregnancy and found that they have much lower concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) than the general population.

The Mennonite community provided a good control group because their lifestyle includes mostly fresh foods, farming without pesticides, no cosmetics and limited use of personal care products.

The scientists compared the data on 10 OOM women in mid-pregnancy with pregnant women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

While more research is needed to confirm their findings, the researchers say that the results show how important lifestyle factors and the home environment are when it comes to chemical exposures.

Why avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals?

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s hormone system.

Recent studies have linked EDCs to adverse health effects such as neuro-developmental delays, behavioral issues and fertility problems.

BPA and phthalates have also been associated with obesity, asthma, allergies and heart disease.

It is next to impossible to completely avoid exposure, since these chemicals can be found in a wide range of household products that contain certain plastics, including
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Medical supplies
  • Cosmetics

Adopting a simpler lifestyle similar to the OOM women may help reduce exposure, the researchers say.

The study appeared in the journal NeuroToxicology.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital

Air purifiers for chemicals and more

The air in homes and offices is often contaminated with chemicals (especially volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), odors and other pollutants such as dust, pollen and mold.

Conventional air purifiers with a HEPA filter are incapable of removing those potentially harmful chemicals and gases, since they can only filter out particulate matter (dust, biological particles, etc).

The best air filtration media for chemicals and gases is activated carbon – and the more carbon there is, the better the filter will be and the longer it will last.

AllerAir specializes in air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA to bring the most complete filtration systems to people’s homes and offices.

By offering different carbon blends and countless options as well as other features (including optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of bacteria, viruses and mold spores), AllerAir promises to deliver a custom-fit solution for virtually any indoor air quality concern.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving? Watch out for toxic substances

Moving can be stressful and involve harmful toxins.
Moving can be exciting – but it can also be fraught with potentially hazardous materials.

With all the packing, dumping and sorting comes a new set of challenges:

Particles and dust
Even with the most vigorous cleaning regimen, large dust bunnies and particulate matter will gather underneath large pieces of furniture and in hard-to-reach corners. Disturbing them may send a large amount of fine particles into the air, which can aggravate allergies and asthma or cause respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and nose irritation.

Mystery substances
Unless the new space is brand new, chances are previous owners left some things behind. In the case of unmarked bottles or containers with mystery liquids, new homeowners should be extra vigilant to avoid accidental poisonings or toxic exposures. Bring all such containers to a hazardous household waste dump, if possible.

Cleaning products
Many movers like to scrub away all evidence of previous tenants with harsh chemicals and cleaning products, many of which can be harmful to human health. Make sure the place is well ventilated, and try to use the least toxic products possible.

Decorating / painting
Moving generally also means buying new furniture or household products and painting, as well as doing other types of renovations or maintenance projects. Many of these involve harmful chemicals or volatile organic compounds that can affect people’s health and well-being. Choose the low- or zero-VOC paints when possible and the least toxic products you can find – your indoor air quality will thank you later.

Air purifiers for cleaner air

Airborne chemicals, puzzling odors and irritating particles don’t have to become permanent house guests – remove them with a portable and powerful air purifier with activated carbon + HEPA.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for general purpose air cleaning are equipped with a deep-bed carbon filter for chemicals, gases and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and optional UV lamp for mold, bacteria and viruses.

For special indoor air quality concerns, AllerAir also offers air purifiers for allergy and asthma, air purifiers for tobacco smoke, air purifiers for mold and air purifiers for odor and chemical control.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized recommendations, or consult the model sizing and selection guide.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BPA exposure may have social effects: Study

Is BPA to blame for a lack of friends?
Researchers have linked the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) with a host of bad health problems, including reproductive and developmental effects – but it may affect social behavior as well.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Virginia and University of Missouri found that mice exposed to BPA weren’t as social as other mice.

The scientists injected a dose of BPA into maternal mouse plasma and evaluated their offspring’s behavior. The dose reflected the concentrations that can be found in the blood of most Americans.

Starting with the first generation of offspring – and lasting the next four generations of mice – the BPA-exposed mice weren’t interacting as much with their peers, didn’t want to spend as much time with adult males when they were juvenile males.

Since BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical, these results are to be expected, according to the researchers. The endocrine system regulates chemicals such as oxytocin, which helps us trust others. If that system is disrupted, social behavior may be affected.

More research is needed to see if human exposure to BPA produces similar outcomes, of course.

Source: Fast Company

Air purifiers to reduce chemical exposures

Our homes and offices can expose us to a wide range of chemicals and VOCs that are emitted by building materials, furnishings, household products and more sources.

An air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon can help reduce exposure to these chemicals, odors and gases.

AllerAir has developed powerful air purifiers for the home and office that feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter, a HEPA filter and optional UV germicidal filtration to remove gaseous pollutants as well as particles, dust, pathogens and more.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

LiveZilla Live Help

Friday, June 22, 2012

Household chemicals: Protect your child with these 5 swaps

Children are more susceptible to chemical
exposure than adults, experts warn.
In the first few years of their lives, children grow like weeds, and their developing systems make them especially vulnerable to environmental pollutants.

Common chemicals and toxins in the home may affect them more because they tend to play closer to the floor, put more things into their mouths and inhale more air than adults in proportion to their body weight.

Parents can limit their children’s exposure to potentially harmful pollutants by making a few changes:

  1. Swap “antibacterial” products for soap and water. Antibacterial hand soaps, gels and body washes contain the chemical triclosan, which can interfere with thyroid function and contribute to the resistance to antibiotics. Soap and water are more than enough to get things clean, according to health authorities like the EPA and Health Canada.
  2. Choose organic cotton over flame-retardant materials. Flame retardant chemicals found in children’s clothing and mattresses have been linked to a wide range of health issues, including delayed brain development, reproductive problems and cancer. Organic cotton clothing is a much better choice and if you can afford it, so is a child’s mattress made from organic cotton or natural latex.  Or, let the mattress off-gas as much as possible and cover it with organic cotton protectors and sheets.
  3. Use natural products instead of pesticides. Pesticides generally use harsh chemicals to manage household pests, but these can be harmful to children – the EPA says most pesticides can block absorption of nutrients and cause biological changes. Studies have linked pesticide exposure with childhood leukemia and birth defects. Natural products that work against pests such as ants and roaches are vinegar sprayed around doors, windows and countertops, borax and sugar to kill roaches, and diatomaceous earth (careful, some of these natural products can also be hazardous if ingested).
  4. Ditch the air fresheners for actual clean air. Air freshening products contribute to indoor air pollution with hormone disrupting phthalates and VOCs, including formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). Open windows to increase ventilation and let some fresh air in. Use an air purifier with activated carbon (for chemicals and odors) and HEPA (for particles and dust) and opt for soy-based candles over petroleum-based ones.
  5. Swap chemical cleaning products with natural alternatives. Most commercially available cleaning products from the store contain harsh chemicals that can cause or aggravate respiratory problems. Natural cleaning agents include vinegar, baking soda and plain old soap and warm water. The vinegar has antibacterial properties and can be used on almost any surface in the home. The smell disappears after a few minutes. And baking soda makes a great natural scrubbing paste.
Source: The Kansas City Star

Cleaner air for a healthier home
AllerAir's air purifiers come in
different sizes and styles.

Sometimes, it’s not so easy to keep indoor air at its cleanest – homeowners may want to keep windows and doors closed to keep cooled or heated air inside and conserve energy. But indoor air pollution can be harmful to children as well as other family members.

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

The proven and safe air filtration system includes a deep-bed activated carbon filter for airborne chemicals, gases and odors as well as HEPA for particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration for biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold.

With special units for allergies and asthma, mold, multiple chemical sensitivities, smoke and even volcanic smog, AllerAir’s extensive product line promises the right air purifier for virtually any indoor air concern.

Contact AllerAir for more information or a personalized recommendation.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dog house dust linked to lower risk of asthma

Homes with dogs may protect children from
developing childhood asthma.
Dogs are often called man’s best friend – but they may also protect children from developing asthma.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, showed that house dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that has been linked to the development of asthma in children.

For the study, the scientists fed mice with house dust from homes with dogs, which made them less vulnerable to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common childhood airway infectious agent.

They compared this group with mice that were infected with RSV without exposure to the dust and a control group of mice not infected with RSV.

Many children develop mild to severe symptoms from RSV infection, but severe infection in infancy is associated with a higher risk of developing childhood asthma, the researchers say.

Pets in the home beneficial to health

However, exposure to the dog house dust gave the mice a distinct gastrointestinal bacterial composition that appears to protect them from the symptoms associated with RSV infection, including inflammation and mucus production.

The researchers showed in a previous study that house dust in homes with pets such as dogs or cats features different bacterial communities than house dust in homes with no pets.

This research was presented as part of the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology this month.

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Air purifiers for the home and children’s rooms

While inhalation and ingestion of a little bit of house dust is unavoidable, too much house dust may be harmful. Studies show that house dust can contain pollutants such as chemicals and toxins that may be harmful to human health – especially to the developing bodies and immune systems of children.

Regular cleaning, use of non-toxic products and air cleaning can help reduce those risks.

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that feature the most complete filtration system with activated carbon, HEPA, pre-filters and optional UV germicidal filtration.

For nurseries and baby’s rooms, the AirTube series provide reliable protection from airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust and biological contaminants.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wildfire smoke – air quality and health concerns

Smoke from wildfires or tobacco can damage the
lungs and aggravate respiratory conditions.
Officials are worried that the Colorado wildfire will burn all summer, and the airborne particles and chemicals from the wildfire smoke may affect people in regions far away.

Those with respiratory conditions such as asthma need to be careful about the amount of time they spend outside, especially exercising.

But even healthy individuals’ lungs can suffer from the irritants and toxins that can be found in wildfire smoke, doctors warn.

Exposure raises the risk of irritation and lung infections such as bronchitis.

Facts about fires

Wildfire smoke contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon, all known irritants to the respiratory tract.

If you can breathe the smoke in the air, it is already affecting you.

Older adults and young children are most vulnerable.

What you can do to protect yourself

Other than limiting time spent outside, there are many ways to minimize the risks of wildfires to human health.
  • Have medications refilled and know how to use them properly
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • For air conditioning systems, keep the fresh-air intake closed and keep the filter clean
  • Avoid burning things indoors (candles, fireplaces, gas stoves)
  • Limit vacuuming to avoid stirring up particles in the home
  • Do not smoke
  • Use an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA to remove irritants, chemicals, odors, particles and other pollutants
Source: The Laramie Boomerang

Air purifiers for wildfire smoke

AllerAir's 5000 DXS
Keeping doors and windows closed is a great way to keep wildfire smoke out – but it also means indoor air pollution is allowed to stay or build up in the home.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for smoke feature a proven carbon + HEPA filtration system to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants from the home or office.

For tobacco smoke as well as wildfire smoke, AllerAir’s 5000 DS provides the best protection and air filters.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MCS: Housing accommodations for those with chemical sensitivities

Chemical sensitivity affects 16% of
the population: Experts
Chemical sensitivities are on the rise – and many organizations and individuals are taking notice.

In a recent presentation given at the NCIL Annual Meeting by Mary Lamielle with the title “Accommodating Consumers and Staff with Chemical Sensitivities,” the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc. pointed out different ways and policies to make those suffering from MCS more comfortable.

What is MCS?

People affected by multiple chemical sensitivities react to low levels of everyday chemical exposures, although individual tolerances vary.

The NCEHS estimates that 16 percent of the population may be affected by chemical sensitivities and that up to 6 percent are chronically ill and disabled due to their chemical sensitivity.

A lack of accessible and affordable housing that is healthy and non-toxic forces many people suffering from debilitating forms of MCS to live in tents or makeshift homes, or to suffer in their contaminated homes.

Better IAQ a must for MCS

The presentation stressed the importance of indoor air quality when it comes to chemical sensitivities, especially since 90 percent of Americans spend 95 percent of their time indoors – either at home, at work, in school or in the car.

Combine that fact with a growing number of indoor air pollution sources, a lack of fresh air as well as new or reformulated products and substances,  and it is no wonder that MCS is on the rise.

The Center’s recommendations included:
  • Integrated pest management (IPM) to avoid pesticide exposure
  • Electronic rather than gas appliances
  • Hardwood floors instead of carpeting
  • Windows that can be opened
  • Clean ductwork
  • Tolerable or less toxic construction and retrofitting materials
  • No smoking policy
  • No idling policy
  • Non-discrimination policy
  • Non-toxic cleaning products
  • No air fresheners or scented products
  • Notifying tenants of cleaning or renovation projects
  • Educating staff and tenants about chemical sensitivities

People affected by MCS may also want to use charcoal masks and activated carbon air filters, the presentation concluded.

Source: National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.

Charcoal air purifiers for MCS
Carbon (charcoal) filters can remove
airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

A HEPA filter alone is simply a dust collector – it is not designed to remove airborne chemicals and odors.

Chemical sensitivities require a deep-bed activated carbon or charcoal filter, which is the most efficient and trusted filtration media to remove chemicals and gases that may affect people’s health and well-being.

But not every charcoal filter is made alike.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for people affected by MCS, which come with the following features and bonuses:

  • An MCS test kit to find the most tolerable carbon type or blend
  • Organic unbleached cotton pre-filter
  • A deep-bed activated carbon filter with many pounds of activated carbon
  • Super-HEPA particle filter that contains no glue, binders and Polyamide
  • Metal housing and metal carbon canisters to prevent off-gassing
  • Powder-coated finishes
  • Burnt-in motor to reduce the new motor smell
  • Positive and negative pressure configurations
  • HVAC-compatible components

Some of AllerAir’s most popular models for chemical sensitivities are the 5000 D MCS Supreme and the AirMedic D MCS.

Contact AllerAir for more information or to place your order.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rainfalls can lead to mold and health problems

Extreme weather events and heavy rains can lead
to mold growth in homes, experts warn.
When heavy rain moves through regions, homeowners need to watch out for water infiltration, which unchecked could lead to mold and health concerns, experts warn.

Allergy and immunology experts say that rainfalls and other extreme weather conditions may turn even small leaks into significant health risks, if mold starts to grow.

Rain can hit clogged gutters, back up under eaves and drip into the home, water can get under crawl spaces or enter a home through tiny leaks that a homeowner may not be aware of or may not have gotten around to fixing.

The water infiltration can lead to structural problems in the home and to mold, which can lead to wheezing and aggravated asthma symptoms as well as nose and throat problems or other allergic-type reactions.

The mold can grow behind walls or in areas that are hidden from view, exposing the home’s residents to spores and mycotoxins.

After heavy rains and other weather events, homeowners should inspect the home and fix any water infiltration problems immediately to prevent mold from growing.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle

Air purifiers for mold can help provide cleaner air

Indoor air quality can be a concern at any time, but once mold becomes an issue, it can quickly turn into a source of irritants and pollutants.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers specifically for mold, which feature
  • A deep-bed activated carbon filter for mycotoxins and odors associated with many molds
  • A HEPA filter to trap mold spores and particles
  • Pre-filters 
  • Optional UV germicidal filtration, which neutralizes mold spores and other biological contaminants
The air purifiers remove not only mold spores and toxins, but also airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, allergens, bacteria and viruses.
"In the year 2000 I was diagnosed with multiple allergies (including molds), as well being chemically sensitive. As I suspected mold in my basement, my specialist recommended an air purifier from AllerAir. I placed my unit in my basement, and within 24 hours the moldy, musty smell had disappeared! I was so happy with your product, I purchased a second unit for my bedroom! I believe these air purifiers have improved the air quality in my home."
A. Morton, St. Thomas, Ontario
Read more testimonials
Contact AllerAir for more information.

LiveZilla Live Help

Friday, June 15, 2012

Secondhand smoke exposure increases risk of long-term effects in children

Study exposes strong link between childhood exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and chronic cough in adulthood
Breathing smoke between birth and 15 years of age can
have serious health consequences later in life: Study

Exposing children to secondhand smoke could have long-term effects on their health and well-being, University of Arizona researchers warn.

Even non-smokers who were exposed to passive smoking as children are more likely to develop chronic chest infections, they say.

The researchers analyzed data from questionnaires answered by study participants every two years over more than 20 years. More than half of the participants had been exposed to smoke in their younger years.

The scientists adjusted for other factors and found a strong link between the exposure and several persistent respiratory symptoms, especially cough and chronic cough.

Parental smoking also affected the risk of wheezing and asthma in adulthood, although the association was slightly weaker.

Persistent respiratory symptoms may be early risk factors of more serious lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) later in life.

Source: Daily Mail

Air purifiers for smoke and tobacco odors

Secondhand smoke is a serious risk not just for the smoker, but also for other people who may be exposed – especially if the smoking occurs indoors.

It’s difficult to remove stale tobacco odors and the lingering chemicals and toxins from the ambient air, but the right air purifier can provide cleaner and healthier air without running the risk of clogging.
AllerAir's air purifiers for
tobacco smoke and odors.

AllerAir has developed a range of air purifiers for tobacco smoke that feature the most efficient filters and features.

The 5000 DS and DXS models remove toxins and odors with a tar-trapping pre-filter, a medical-grade HEPA filter for smoke particles (and other fine particles) as well as a deep-bed activated carbon filter filled with granular virgin activated carbon.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

5 common chemical concerns at home

Indoor air pollution is a serious health risk,
according to health authorities such as the EPA.
Rarely do we pause to think about the air we are breathing every day at home and at the office.

But indoor air pollution has become a serious concern, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality among its top four environmental health concerns.

Air quality indoors has become a bigger problem with the advent of more airtight homes and buildings, poor ventilation and higher emissions from a wide range of products.

As part of their 2012 National Men’s Health Week, Men’s Health Magazine published a guide to the 5 most common chemicals at home that can affect people’s health and well-being.

Household Cleaners and Disinfectants
Homeowners may like the “fresh” smell, but many of these products contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and cause headaches as well as nausea. Look for non-toxic cleaning products or use cleaning agents such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.

Radon can become a problem in almost any house. The odorless, colorless and radioactive gas comes naturally from the decay of uranium in the soil and can enter homes through cracks and fissures in the foundation or building envelope. Since radon is often named as the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke, it’s important to have the home tested and the problem mitigated, if necessary.

Many renovation and finishing products like paints, paint strippers, varnish removers and more contain harmful VOCs, including possible carcinogens benzene and methylene chloride. Opt for low- or zero-VOC products, or make sure the area is well ventilated.

Carbon Monoxide
The odorless gas comes from wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, gas cook tops and other sources and can be extremely harmful to human health.Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas.

This known irritant and carcinogen is a common pollutant in any home, coming from furniture and building materials (especially pressed wood and particleboard), appliances, paints and many other sources. Good ventilation and air cleaning are key to reduce exposure.

Source: Men’s Health (pdf)

Air purifiers for the home and office

Airborne chemicals may be a common concern, but homeowners and family members may reduce their exposure by using a portable room air purifier with the right type of air filters.

A commercial air purifier with a HEPA filter is more like a dust collector than an air purifier, and it won’t be effective for chemicals, gases and odors. For those gaseous contaminants, a granular activated carbon filter is needed with at least 15-18 pounds of carbon.

AllerAir offers some of the most efficient and long-lasting air purifiers on the market with the most relevant filtration media and the most customizable options. For help in choosing the right air purifier, check out AllerAir's air quality sizing and model selection guides.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bed bugs won’t budge with bug-bomb foggers

Bed bugs hide in hard-to-reach
areas and are difficult to eradicate.
When homeowners want to get rid of bed bugs or other common household insects, they often reach for commercially available “bug bombs” or “foggers.”

New research shows, however, that these products are ineffective against bed bugs.

In an article appearing in the June issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE), researchers warn that bug bombs and foggers should not be recommended for household bed bug control.

Foggers might actually make matters worse, they say, after examining the effects of three different fogger brands on five different bed bug populations.

In order to be effective, pests need to be exposed to the fogger mist, but bed bugs are known to hide in protected sites such as under sheets and mattresses, in cracks and crevices, deep inside carpets and other areas.

In addition, many bed bug populations have become resistant to insecticides and are likely to survive the application.

Ineffective use of the products can lead to further resistance in insects, the researchers say, concluding that most bed bug infestations require professional extermination help.

Source: Entomological Society of America

Air purifiers for odor and chemical control

Whenever homeowners use pesticides, insecticides or other chemical products in and around the home, chances are the indoor air is polluted with airborne chemicals, gases and toxic fumes.

Choosing more natural products will help, and an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA provides the most complete protection from common indoor air contaminants.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office for general purpose air cleaning as well as air cleaners for specific odor and chemical control feature deep-bed activated carbon filters for chemicals, gases and odors, HEPA filters for particles, dust and pollen as well as optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Air pollution in kitchens higher than on busy city streets: Study

Your kitchen may be more polluted than a
city center, a new study shows.
We published a post on kitchen air pollution last week, about researchers testing different kitchen exhaust fans and their ability to remove indoor air pollutants from one of the most important rooms in the home.

But with this new study being released, we will continue to talk about kitchens: According to researchers at the University of Sheffield, the air inside kitchens can be three times as bad as in city centers and along busy roads.

Say what?

City centers and busy roads have long been touted as highly polluted areas due to high traffic and automobile exhaust fumes, smog, lack of green spaces as well as other chemical and particle pollution sources. And now kitchens are supposed to be three times worse?

The study examined the air quality inside and outside three residential buildings and showed that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the kitchen of a city center apartment with a gas cooker were three times higher than the concentrations measured outside of the building.

Health effects of airtight homes

The researchers are warning that more airtight homes and certain actions inside can expose us to high levels of indoor air pollutants, “with potential impacts on our health.”

They also included pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and fine particles (PM2.5) in their research.

Cooking with gas led to higher amounts of fine particle pollutants in the home, which can be breathed deep into the lungs where they may cause inflammation and other health problems.

There are currently not enough standards or guidelines about indoor air pollution levels, the researchers warn.

The study was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC INTRAWISE Consortium).

Source: Click Green

Cleaner indoor air with air purifiers
For homes and kitchens:
AllerAir's AirMedic Series

More than 90 percent of our time is spent indoors, so it is important to make sure the air we breathe is free of potentially harmful contaminants.

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

The air purifiers feature a highly efficient activated carbon and HEPA filtration system, plus optional UV germicidal filtration to provide cleaner and healthier air around the clock.

Control indoor air contaminants and odors in kitchens, bedroom and living areas and feel the difference cleaner air makes.

For more information, contact AllerAir.

Monday, June 11, 2012

5 easy steps to a healthier home renovation

Non-toxic materials and products can help improve
indoor air quality in the home, experts say.
Every home is in need of an update or renovation at some time – and making the right choices can be one of the most important factors for providing a healthier environment for the entire family.

Building materials and finishes are major contributors to indoor air pollution for years after they were put in or applied.

And with so many people spending more than 90 percent of their time indoors, it is important to limit risks as much as possible.

Luckily, there are healthier alternatives out there.

Here are some tips compiled by green experts:

1) Take care when selecting materials
Try to use natural materials whenever possible and educate yourself about possible chemical hazards and precautions when installing them. Use low or zero-VOC materials such as paints, adhesives, glues and floor sealants. Avoid pressed-wood products, if possible, since they emit formaldehyde into the ambient air. Look for materials that have been certified by Greenguard or Green Seal.

2) Pay attention to the ventilation system
Strict energy codes and more airtight homes often fail to address indoor air concerns and can lead to higher indoor air pollution. A HVAC contractor can include a fresh-air ventilation system to improve IAQ in the home. During home renovations, HVAC ductwork can become contaminated with dust and other particles, so sealing them off and cleaning them after the work is done may be a good idea.

3) Control moisture
A good ventilation system will help, but it is important to also monitor the home’s humidity levels to control moisture. High humidity levels can lead to building structure problems and mold growth. Any water infiltration problems need to be fixed immediately and moisture buildup can also be prevented by venting clothes dryers, kitchen range hoods and bathroom fans to the outdoors.

4) Test the air
One of the most important tests in any home is the radon test. A home renovation in the basement can easily accommodate a soil vent system to prevent gases from entering the home. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

5) Replace carpets
New carpets can emit VOCs, and older carpets often trap dirt, dust mites, molds and other contaminants. The best alternative may be natural hardwood flooring finished with a non-toxic low-VOC sealant. Smaller carpets that are made of natural fiber and washable are also good options.

Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, make sure you do your research into the materials, possible hazards and health effects first and ask the right questions.

Source: Healthy Child, Healthy World

Air purifiers for cleaner, healthier air

Before, during and after home renovations, a portable air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA filters can help remove toxic chemicals, fumes and particles from the ambient air.

AllerAir has developed versatile and powerful air purifiers for the home and office that feature the most relevant filter media to address the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

For renovations and heavier concentrations of chemicals and gases, AllerAir recommends a "D" or "DX" air purifier with an extra deep bed of activated carbon. A specific type or blend of carbon may further enhance effectiveness.

While activated carbon filters can typically last between two and five years, those filters used for home renovations involving a lot of fumes and chemicals may have to be replaced earlier.

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

Friday, June 08, 2012

Infants take up chemicals in PVC floors: Study

Children absorb phthalates, a softening agent in PVC floors, through ingestion, inhalation and contact with skin, researchers warn
Infants can absorb chemicals through
house dust and other sources.

PVC floors tend to be a popular choice in many households because of perceived durability, resistance and affordability. But the chemicals in the flooring materials may be absorbed by our bodies and they may pose a significant risk to children in particular, researchers say.

A new study at the Karlstad University in Sweden shows that children can ingest the softening agents with food, by breathing and through the skin.

Phthalates are suspected of disrupting hormones and causing asthma and allergies as well as other chronic diseases in children.

Flooring materials using softened PVC are a major source of phthalates in indoor dust, but phthalates can also be found in construction materials, toys, cleaning solvents, packaging and other sources.

The researchers examined urine samples from 83 randomly selected children between the ages of two and six months in western Sweden.

They measured the prevalence of four types of phthalates in the urine and collected data on the home, the flooring materials, family lifestyle and individual factors for each infant.

The study shows that the uptake of banned chemicals is dependent on a variety of factors, not only food, which should be taken into account when examining toxicity or health effects.

Source: Swedish Research Council

Air purifiers for cleaner air

Young children are part of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to indoor air pollution – and chemicals as well as their possible cumulative health effects over time have become a major concern for health professionals and researchers alike.

Parents can help reduce exposure by choosing more natural and greener products and materials, cleaning regularly (with non-toxic cleaning products), ensuring adequate ventilation and providing cleaner and healthier air throughout the home.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, particles and biological pollutants with a proven activated carbon + HEPA filtration system.

The air purifiers can be stand-alone units or attached to existing ventilation systems (whole home air purifiers).

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Study links air pollution with chronic heart disease

Repeated heart attacks could be result of high air pollution
Long-term impact of air pollution is worrying: Experts.

Many studies have confirmed the dangers of air pollution when it comes to respiratory infections, lung cancer and heart disease.

But now a researcher at the Tel Aviv University has shown that air pollution can also be a risk factor for repeated episodes over time.

Dr. Yariv Gerber of TAU’s School of Public Health at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine followed cardiac patients in high pollution areas and found they were more than 40 percent more likely to have a second heart attack than patients living in low pollution areas.

Inhalation of air pollutants irritates the inflammatory system and can thus contribute to repeated cardiac events, he says.

Study examined long-term impact of air pollution

The study involved 1,120 first time MI-patients under the age of 65, who were followed for a period of 19 years.

The researchers kept track of the air quality through 21 monitoring stations in the areas where the patients lived and adjusted results for other factors such as socio-economic status and disease severity.

Nevertheless the strong association between high levels of air pollution and recurrent vascular events such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure, often resulting in death, remained.

According to Dr. Gerber, the impact of air pollution may be even stronger, since people may be exposed to higher level of pollutants than they were getting form the air monitoring stations.

Doctors should raise awareness about the dangers of air pollution in vulnerable groups and suggest ways to limit exposure, he says.

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Air purifiers for environmental pollution
Activated carbon and HEPA filters
provide the most complete protection.

The problem with high levels of air pollution is that contaminants find their way indoors, where they often build up to even more dangerous levels.

One of the most reliable and effective ways to improve indoor air pollution is to use a room air purifier for the home or office.

AllerAir has designed powerful air purifiers with activated carbon and HEPA filtration systems as well as optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of contaminants – including airborne chemicals, VOCs, odors, gases, fumes, particles, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria and viruses.

Popular base models like the 5000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec come with many customizable options to provide the best possible air cleaning solution for virtually any indoor air quality concern.

Contact AllerAir for more information and a personal consultation.
Related posts:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Reducing indoor air pollution: Use a kitchen exhaust fan!

An over-the-range hood can be effective in removing
indoor air pollutants - if used regularly, experts say.
Cooking is a great habit that can help promote healthier eating habits, strengthen family bonds and create financial stability – but it can also produce high levels of indoor air pollution.

Cooking with high heat or gas burners on stove tops and in ovens can spread airborne chemicals and particles that may affect people’s health and well-being.

Experts often advocate the use of kitchen exhaust fans as one way to reduce indoor air pollution.

However, the exhaust systems vary in terms of price, noise, power consumption and effectiveness, and there is no standard to rate them.

In a recent study, researchers looked at the effectiveness of seven different over-the-range hood designs.

They found that no device excelled in all categories, as those fans that were efficient in removing pollutants tended to have high fan speeds that hurt efficiencies or were so loud that normal conversation became impossible.

In the end, buying a new hood may not be necessary, the researchers say: Using even moderately effective kitchen exhaust fans can make a positive difference in the air quality at home.

Another tip: Cooking on the back burners instead of the front burners allows for even greater efficiency.

The study was published in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Source: American Chemical Society

Air purifiers for better indoor air

Cooking odors can be quite irritating, but they are not the worst pollutants in indoor environments.

AllerAir's 5000 Exec:
Powerful room air purifier

Most homes and offices feature a variety of toxins in the air, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

While better ventilation and source control will help, a portable and powerful air purifier with the right air filters will provide healthier and cleaner air – guaranteed.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office have been designed with the most efficient airflow configurations, the most effective air filters and the most versatile options in mind, to provide the best possible air cleaning solution for virtually any indoor air quality concern.

The air purifiers boast a deep-bed granular activated carbon filter, a trusted and proven filtration media for airborne chemicals, gases, odors, VOCs and fumes.

The carbon and HEPA filter combination also takes care of particulate matter, dust, pollen and dander, while optional UV germicidal filtration helps neutralize biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

Not sure what you need? Consult our air quality and model selection guides.

Contact AllerAir for more information as well as personalized recommendations, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The fight against dust – hopeless yet manageable

Exposure to dust can trigger allergies and asthma.
Even those people who clean every day and hate dust with a passion will never be able to banish dust  completely.

The good news? Regular cleaning and other measures will help to keep these allergy triggers and indoor air pollutants under control.

According to experts, dust accumulates constantly on books, clothes, knickknacks and other surfaces and has nothing to do with being dirty or housekeeping.

The average American home collects 40 pounds of dust each year.

Dust is made up of different components:
  • Microscopic dust mites and their waste
  • Breakdown of fibers from fabrics and furniture
  • Human and animal dander (skin flakes) and hair

Dust and dust mites can trigger asthma attacks and allergies, and most people don’t like to see a layer of dust on their household surfaces.

Experts say there are many ways to keep the dust problem under control:
  1. Reduce clutter as much as possible – especially in bedroom where we spend about one-third of our lives asleep. They suggest a bedroom with an uncarpeted floor, minimal furniture, only the current season’s clothes in the closets and no pennants or posters on the walls.
  2. Use a low-VOC paint that can be cleaned with water on the walls.
  3. Clean the air with an air purifier. While HEPA filters are the most important filters when it comes to dust, airborne chemicals and odors can also be allergy triggers, and they can only be removed by a granular activated carbon filter. A combination carbon +HEPA air purifier will provide the cleanest air in the bedroom.
  4. Vacuum regularly. The vacuum cleaner should have a HEPA filter built in.
  5. Encase mattresses and pillows in allergy proof covers (but watch out for chemicals)
  6. For cooling off in the summer, air conditioning works better than fans, which simply move dust around. Make sure the air filters in the air conditioning unit are changed. For HVAC systems, the air filters should be changed every 3-6 months.

Source: National Post

Air purifiers for the home and office

Along with the other tips mentioned above, an air purifier provides the most reliable and effective relief when it comes to indoor air pollution.

Dust is only part of the problem – airborne chemicals, odors, fumes, mold, bacteria and viruses are common indoor air contaminants that also affect a person’s health and well-being.

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for general purpose air cleaning as well as addressing specific air quality concerns (including allergy and asthma, mold, tobacco smoke and MCS).

For more information and a personalized recommendation, contact AllerAir.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Silent Spring: Landmark book on environmental pollution turns 50

Rachel Carson’s work is widely credited for launching the modern environmental movement

Pesticide spraying could harm more than weeds,
book author warned.
When Silent Spring was published five decades ago, it was met with a public outcry of immense proportions and spawned action on a variety of environmental concerns.

The book forced readers to take a close look at what was being done to animals, human health and the environment.

Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically.

The book exposed the effects of pesticides on the environment and fueled public opposition against those chemicals hazards, eventually leading to a ban on DDT in 1972 in the U.S.

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was a marine biologist and conservationist, who became interested in the effects of extensive pesticide spraying after a friend described the death of birds around her property because of DDT that was being sprayed to kill mosquitoes.

She was worried also about human exposure, since many chemicals and pesticides can be stored in the body or end up in the food chain.

While there was a lot of support, there were also many critics of the book, who say that some of her conclusions were incorrect or exaggerated.

But studies continue to show the harmful effects of pesticides, including a possible link to the mysterious death of bees.

Source: Haaretz

Reduce chemical exposure – outdoors and in

In the past 50 years, the use of chemicals in household products and materials has gone up, and we are all exposed to a wide range of chemicals and substances in our everyday lives.

Choosing more natural and non-toxic materials when possible, providing adequate ventilation and a serious air filtration system can help reduce chemical exposure indoors (where we spend most of our time).

AllerAir has developed portable and powerful air purifiers for homes and offices that provide a complete air cleaning system with activated carbon (charcoal), HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration.

With specialized units for chemicals and odors, tobacco smoke, mold, MCS, allergies and asthma as well as many others, AllerAir helps solve indoor air quality problems in North America and beyond.

Contact AllerAir for more information.
LiveZilla Live Help

Friday, June 01, 2012

Relative humidity a main indicator of indoor air quality

High humidity in homes can lead to mold growth,
structural problems and poor indoor air quality.
Homes can make relative humidity problems evident in many different ways: A musty closet and traces of mildew on some clothing, ice formation or humidity on windows during the winter, a damp basement.

In fact, many homes in North America suffer from humidity in basements during the summer months.

The reasons could be as varied as an absorbent soil and moisture migrating through a concrete foundation, condensation on cold concrete floors and walls during humid months, indoor activities such as showering, cooking and drying clothes and water leaks (which should be fixed promptly).

High levels of humidity in a home should be addressed, since they can lead to structural problems, mold growth and poor indoor air quality.

According to experts the relative humidity levels in a home should be between 35-60%. Any higher, and mold will start growing, any lower and home occupants may be uncomfortable due to dry mucous membranes.

Tips to manage indoor humidity levels:

  • Use a dehumidifier (in the basement) when needed
  • Use spot ventilation in those areas of the home where moisture is created, i.e. a kitchen exhaust fan, a bathroom fan, in the laundry room
  • Install drainage inside and out
  • Look into airtight vapor barriers to prevent moisture from seeping through the concrete floor
  • Fix any water infiltration problems immediately

Please note: Making a home too airtight can lead to poor indoor air quality and related health symptoms. An airtight home may need an updated ventilation system and air cleaning equipment.

Source: The Republican Journal

Air purifiers for homes and offices

Controlled humidity will help prevent mold growth and some indoor air quality concerns – but the indoor air in many homes is still polluted by airborne chemicals, gases, odors, particles, allergens, bacteria and viruses.

Source control, ventilation and air filtration will help provide clean air throughout the entire year.

AllerAir offers serious home and office air purifiers with the most complete and longest-lasting air filters to remove the widest range of contaminants.

The air purifiers feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals, odors and fumes, a HEPA filter for particles and dust as well as optional UV germicidal filtration for the neutralization of bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and see what other customers had to say in our testimonials section.