Air Purifier 101 – Frequently Asked Questions

Air purifiers can be of great help to individuals suffering from asthma, allergies and many similar chronic respiratory conditions or seasonal respiratory viral infections. Following are the most frequently asked questions and answers about air purifiers that will help you select the right one for your needs. When should I use an air purifier? If you find that your allergies are out of hand, if you have a mold problem, if you live or work in a ‘sick’ building, or if you are doing indoor remodeling, you may need an air purifier. Air purifiers can be lifesavers and will increase your quality of indoor life immensely.  Where should I position my air purifier to achieve its maximum performance? The most common places to position an air purifier in your home would be your bedroom Read more [...]

Ragweed Allergies and Air Purifiers

Ragweed is a flowering plant that comes from the sunflower family. Unfortunately, once this plant takes root in a given area, it is very difficult to completely rid the area of ragweed. Thus, it is considered an invasive plant species. Ragweed can be found in the temperate regions of North and South America, as well as other temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Why Are People Allergic to Ragweed? The flower of the ragweed plant typically blooms from early July until the weather gets colder. One ragweed plant can release as many as a billion pollen grains. Ragweed pollen grains are very small. At approximately 19-20 microns in diameter (or 1/25,000th of an inch), these grains are microscopic (humans can usually see no smaller than 40 microns). Goldenrod is often mistaken for ragweed, Read more [...]

How Much Do You Know About Air Quality?

We often hear about air quality and air pollution, but what do we know about pollution? How does one categorize air as polluted or unpolluted? Outdoor Pollution There are several types of pollution: the type that consists of toxic gases, the type that consists of particulate matter, acid rain, and ozone pollution. Human activity is one of the major sources of all primary outdoor pollution. Chemicals that are released by some sort of human activity include: Carbon monoxide (vehicular exhaust) Carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas released during any type of combustion) Nitrogen oxides (high temperature combustion) Sulphur oxides (coal and petroleum combustion) Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs (from aerosols – banned currently) Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – (industrial sources) Toxic Read more [...]

Fine Particle Pollution Is a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA came out In June of 2012 with very strong statements about the quality of our air, how it needs to be further protected and improved and what exposure to pollution does to our bodies (especially to the bodies of the elderly). They did not mix metaphors when they stated clearly: “An extensive body of scientific evidence indicates that long- and short-term exposures to PM2.5 cause premature death and adverse cardiovascular effects, including increased hospitalizations and emergency department visits for heart attacks and strokes. The evidence also links PM2.5 exposure to harmful respiratory effects.” Although pollution affects the elderly much more than other populations, the truth is that pollution and poor general air quality affect all age Read more [...]

The Elderly, Air Pollution, and Hospitalization

Although air quality is very important for all of our health, one group of humans is especially impacted by poor air quality: the elderly. Various factors cause the elderly to be a vulnerable population when it comes to health. They have more ‘garbage’ in their lungs than most of us because they have been breathing longer. They may have been smokers or may have been brought up in a smokers’ household in an age where smoking was an acceptable behavior. Because of these things, their lungs typically have less capacity than younger people’s lungs. The lungs of an older person is less elastic and less able to filter out polluted air than when they were younger. Furthermore, the elderly have a more compromised immune system than younger people. Their immune system is not as agile at Read more [...]

Chemical Allergies and Air Purifiers

We live in a chemical-filled world. Most chemicals with which we come in contact are not part of the ‘natural’ world and thus are considered ‘foreign’ to our bodies. Thus, many people suffer from something called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS. What Exactly Is Chemical Sensitivity? Increasingly our society is based on chemistry. After World War II petrochemicals were developed and used in a variety of consumer goods. Plastics are the most ubiquitous of petrochemical products. In addition, petrochemicals began to appear in almost every household product including cleaning products, pesticides, detergents and perfumes/scents. Synthetic fabrics, carpeting and building materials were made with petrochemicals as well. These items tend to give off toxic fumes, especially when Read more [...]

Cosmetics Allergies and Air Purifiers

A cosmetics allergy is when some sort of makeup or skin care product causes an allergic reaction, either by contact or by inhalation. The reaction to a cosmetics allergy can range from a minor sniffle to a serious rash and immune response. Cosmetics can be in the form of creams, powders, liquids, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, conditioners, deodorants, etc….really anything that is put on one’s person. Contact Dermatitis Contact dermatitis happens when a person is sensitive to a chemical in the cosmetic. Contact dermatitis can result in a rash on the part of the body covered by the cosmetic or on the part of the body used to apply the cosmetic. One can either be allergic to the substance or irritated by the substance. An irritant actually damages the skin, which an allergy evokes an immune Read more [...]

Pollen Allergies and the Air Purifiers That Confound Them

Pollen are reproductive cells released into the environment by plants, grasses, trees and weeds. They are the corollary to human sperm, but in the plant world. Pollen is everywhere, is airborne and windborne, and is present in great quantity most especially in the spring and fall. Weeds typically release pollen in late summer and fall. Most people who have pollen allergies (75%) have allergies to the pollen from ragweed. Just one ragweed plant can release a billion pollen grains. In the United States, about 1 in 7 people suffer from pollen allergies. That’s about 36 million people! Is It Possible to Avoid Pollen? Unfortunately, you cannot avoid pollen. Even if an allergy sufferer decides to stay indoors, pollen infiltrates buildings. Pollen is microscopic in size, although some larger Read more [...]

Seasonal Allergy Solution Guide

HELP! I Have Allergies All Year Long! A Guide to Seasonal Allergy Solutions Seasonal allergies, contrary to popular belief, do not just occur in the fall and spring. Every single season has its own set of allergies that need to be addressed. This is a guide to each season and how the different types of allergies can be alleviated. Spring Allergies Finally the world awakes from its freeze! It’s time to frolic and play outdoors as the birds sing and the trees awaken. But all of a sudden, you begin sneezing uncontrollably! Spring allergies are upon you! Spring allergies are, by and large, due to plants beginning to pollinate. Some weeds pollinate in the spring, but trees are the biggest culprits. Oaks, Elms, Poplar, Sycamore, Birch, Olive and Ash trees are the main pollinators during Read more [...]

Air Purifiers Help with Dust Mite Allergies

A particularly insidious household allergen that can cause a great deal of trouble at any age is the dust mite. Often people believe themselves to be allergic to dust, when in reality what they are truly allergic to are the mites that live in and on the dust. What Are Dust Mites? Dust mites are microscopic sized, ugly arachnids – yes they are relatives to the spider. Most household dust is comprised of human skin cells that are constantly shed. Dust mites feed on dead human skin cells. They thrive in warm, humid environments and can be found pretty much everywhere in the home, especially in carpeting, bedding, pillows, and upholstery. The allergic reaction is either to the dust mite feces or to proteins on or in the body of the mites. Anywhere from 100 – 19,000 dust mites can live Read more [...]