Friday, February 01, 2013

Can An Air Purifier Really Ease Asthma Symptoms?

Asthma, an inflammatory disorder of the airways, has become a common respiratory condition affecting an astonishing 30 million people in North America. While the exact cause and cure of asthma is unknown, experts agree that effective asthma management involves controlling known environmental triggers that aggravate the airways. This is where an air purifier may play an effective role; by reducing exposure to airborne irritants that are known to affect respiratory health and indoor air quality.
An Air Purifier: Part of a Global Approach to Asthma Management
There are numerous factors that affect indoor air quality; therefore using an air purifier must be part of a global strategy to fight indoor pollutants. An air purifier will be most effective in environments where homeowners have first eliminated major sources of allergens and irritants. The prime offender in most homes is wall-to-wall carpeting. One study by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation found that a normal vacuuming, even with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter-equipped vacuum cleaner could not adequately reduce fine dust in a carpeted home. To make any substantial impact on indoor air quality homeowners had to vacuum four to five times successively. Other significant sources of indoor allergens include pets, dust mites in bedding and mattresses, pollen and mold. Another area of interest for health professionals is non-allergenic contaminants such as chemicals, odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Institute of Medicine (2000) suggests limiting exposure to these pollutants where practical.

Choosing An Air Purifier
An air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter was traditionally recommended for the reduction of airborne irritants that worsen asthma symptoms. True HEPA filters are very effective at reducing fine airborne dust. They were first developed during the World War II era to prevent radioactive particles from escaping from government laboratories. These medical-grade HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger. The disadvantage of a HEPA air purifier for asthma sufferers is that it is not designed to remove non-allergenic contaminants such as chemicals, odors and VOCs. With increasing evidence that other pollutants may also play a role in aggravating delicate airways, an air purifier with additional filtration capabilities may be a better investment. 

An AirPurifier with Activated Carbon Filtration
Some more advanced air purifier models for asthma air care incorporate other technologies such as activated carbon to adsorb airborne chemicals, gases, odors and VOC’s. Like HEPA, activated carbon filtration was also developed for the military, this time for use in gas masks. Activated carbon is a type of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores and fissures into which pollutants are trapped. The surface area created by the activation process is so extensive, that the openings found in small handful of activate carbon could cover a football field. Granular carbon is considered the most effective for air filtration and a deeper bed of carbon will provide more surface area for chemicals, gases and odors to become trapped.

An AllerAir Air Purifier for Asthma Irritants and Triggers
Successful management of asthma involves the cooperative effort of the patient, their doctor and effective control of environmental triggers. An AllerAir air purifier is designed to remove the widest range of possible airway irritants producing cleaner, healthier indoor air. AllerAir air purifiers offer a powerful combination of HEPA filtration and deep-bed activated carbon filtration for cleaner indoor air over HEPA alone. To learn more about AllerAir air purifier models or specialty units for smoke odor, allergies or MCS contact an AllerAir air quality expert today at 1-888-852-8247 or connect via live chat, Facebook or Twitter.

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