Articles

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 [...]

Air Care for Lung Health: A Buyer’s Guide to Air Purifiers

Shopping for a quality air purifier can be an overwhelming experience. Questions that you will want to consider are: What type of filtration do I need? How large of an area do I need to purify? Do I have a ‘sick’ building that needs microbial purification? Hopefully this guide will help you choose the best air purification system for your specific needs. 1.       Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) There are a number of VOCs that can be detected in a normal household environment. Cleaning agents, varnish, adhesives, paint, disinfectants and items like new furniture, flooring or carpeting all emit odors that can be very irritating or even toxic. Smoke from fires, cooking or tobacco is also a common airborne contamination. Optimal systems for this type of contaminant include Read more [...]

Best Air Purifiers for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Do you ever walk into a room only to be hit with a wall of odor from someone who decided to bathe in perfume? Or how about walking into a smoker’s house? Most people are sensitive to some type of airborne chemical, but people who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are extra sensitive to a large number of chemicals in very small quantities. MCS - A Frustrating Condition MCS is not recognized as a true medical condition. Further, there are people who will say that MCS is a psychosomatic response. But those who suffer from MCS *really* suffer. Some of the symptoms of MCS include nausea, headache, scratchy throat, itching eyes, runny nose, sleepiness, dizziness, abdominal cramping, joints aching, ear aches, confusion, etc. Some substances that often cause MCS are tobacco smoke, Read more [...]

Charcoal Air Purifier, Charcoal Filter, Chemical Air Purifier

The Truth about Charcoal Air Purifiers A charcoal air purifier or charcoal filter, also commonly known as an activated carbon air filter, works by absorbing the gases and odors in the air. However, the cost and size of a charcoal purifier filter varies considerably. Charcoal that is marketed as activated carbon has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of pores in between the carbon atoms. This works so well because the millions of tiny cells that are in the charcoal in addition to being very porous also attract and capture odors and gases. A carbon air filter is also often used in military gas masks and water purifiers. This is because it is capable of absorbing toxic gases in air as well as chlorine and other chemicals in water. When the available cells are full of absorbed Read more [...]

VOCs and Indoor Air Quality

VOCs are volatile organic compounds. This simply means they are chemicals that will evaporate into the air at room temperature. Depending on the concentration, their presence may be noticeable, as when you smell gasoline, or they may be scentless or at a low enough concentration to escape notice. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  In the factory, several commercial, custom air cleaner solutions exist. Manufacturers are required to remove toxic substances with a fume extractor or air extractor to prevent or minimize release into the environment. This doesn’t help with volatile chemicals that may be trapped in the product when it is sold to the public. What is outgassing? The classic example of outgassing is what we call the “new car smell.” Although clever auto Read more [...]

Air Purifiers Remove Office Chemicals

We tend to think of the office environment as neat, tidy and clean. With regular janitorial services, to the eye it certainly appears so. However, there are often undetected chemicals in the office environment, but that do have health effects. In fact, it is enough of a concern for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (a department of the CDC) to devote an entire section of their website to the problem. And, unfortunately, it isn’t enough for building management to use air duct cleaning or normal air filter systems to fix all the problems. Air filter systems installed as part of the air handling equipment for a building will help reduce dust accumulation, as will regular air duct cleaning. What these procedures will not do is remove most chemical contaminants from the Read more [...]

Formaldehyde Exposure

Formaldehyde is a very small molecule, about the size of a single molecule of water. However, even though it is extremely tiny, it packs a big punch. It’s probably best known to the public for its preservative properties – solutions containing formaldehyde have been used to preserve biological specimens and even in embalming. The reason it is so effective at stopping bacterial growth is the same reason we don’t want it in our air; it is extremely poisonous. The cells in our bodies can be killed by formaldehyde as easily as bacterial or fungal cells are. Of particular importance is the concentration of formaldehyde in the air. Measurements are given in parts per billion (ppb). One ppb means one molecule of formaldehyde in a billion molecules of air. The section below on formaldehyde Read more [...]

New Home Chemicals

In 2001, a phenomenon hit the news that had been largely hidden until that time. Drywall, imported from China and used in new home construction, was releasing sulfur compounds into the air. The toxic gasses – carbon disulfide, hydrogen sulfide and carbonyl sulfide – were generated by the drywall itself. The high sulfur content of the gypsum was reacting with moist air and releasing these chemicals. The Consumer Product Safety Commission got involved, and finally, in early 2012, a settlement has been reached. However, this example was just the visible tip of a huge iceberg, a gourmet menu of problems with new home construction and the materials used. And homeowners were under the mistaken impression that a high quality furnace air filter would help – it doesn’t. Only a carbon air Read more [...]

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities – MCS Air Purifiers/Air Cleaners

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is often considered a fringe disease – a diagnosis that doesn’t have clear and compelling evidence in the medical community. The reason for this is the individual nature of the symptoms. Although MCS mimics symptoms of allergy, and is thought to share some of the same mechanisms, different people show different levels of sensitivity and quite often, it is impossible to narrow down a specific cause. Further, symptoms of MCS are not those of a classic allergy (although there may be some overlap): Runny nose, watery or stinging eyes Wheezing or breathlessness Nausea Fatigue, poor memory, inability to focus/concentrate Headache, migraine, dizziness Only the first of these are symptoms of allergy. Many physicians will approach MCS in the Read more [...]