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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

COPD Air Purifiers

Breathing Easy: Air Purifiers Can Help COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a result of the bronchial air passages narrowing over time due to other chronic pulmonary conditions such as bronchitis or emphysema. The most common cause of COPD is toxic gases or fumes that create inflammatory responses in the lung tissue. The biggest culprit of lung inflammatory responses is exposure to tobacco smoke, either first or second hand. COPD is one of the leading causes of death: third in the US and fifth worldwide. A person with COPD will find themselves short of breath. In fact shortness of breath or dyspnea is one of the most common symptoms. At first, a COPD patient will be short of breath during rigorous exercise, then over time, during light exertion, then as time passes and Read more [...]

Is My Air Purifier the Cause or Cure of My Headaches?

Headaches have many different causes, but one of the main causes can be traced to airborne allergens in the environment. The major type of allergy headache from airborne allergies is the sinus headache. Headache, Headache, Go Away The paranasal sinuses are paired open cavities in the skull that surround the nose and eyes. Everyone has four pairs of sinuses: one pair below the eyes and next to the nose (sinus maxillaris), one pair above the eyes (sinus frontalis) and two pairs between the eyes (sinus sphenoidalis and cellulae ethmoidales). When the membrane in the sinus cavity is inflamed, sinusitis and headaches result. The membranes in sinuses are similar to those in the mouth, throat, eyes and nose. If a person is allergic to an airborne particulate substance such as pollen, mold Read more [...]

Air Purifiers as Cleanup Tools after Indoor Contamination from Wildfires

If you live in a wildfire prone area of the country, you are likely aware that the pollution resulting from wildfires has a way of infiltrating everything, including your home and workplace environments. What Is in the Smoke from a Wildfire? The smoke released into the air contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor, hydrocarbons, organics, nitrogen oxides and other minerals. Depending on what is burning, the particulate matter released can be highly toxic because of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) released into the air (e.g. formaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, etc.), because of the density of the particulates, or both. The size of the particles matters when it comes to how it will affect your lungs. If the particles are greater than 10 microns, they can irritate sensitive membranes Read more [...]