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Monthly Archives: December 2011

  • Is burning wood bad for your health?

    A study published by the American Chemical Society's (ACS) journal found that the small invisible particulates created by wood smoke may have several severe health effects. Known as wood smoke particulate matter (WSPM), the tiny items used for home heating may create unnecessary health risks.

    During the winter months, air pollution rises significantly due to an increase in wood burning. For both economic and sentimental reasons, wood-burning fireplaces and stoves become a popular home heating option.

    In homes that burn or neighbor wood-burning stoves, placing medical-grade air purifiers in bedrooms may cut down on prolonged exposure. This can greatly decrease the potential negative health effects associated with wood burning. Wood burning increases the likelihood of developing a heart attack in adults, a stroke in post-menopausal women, aggravating current respiratory problems and contributes to asthma in young children, reports the LA Times.

    Science Daily reports that WSPM contains aromatic hydrocarbons that work as a human carcinogen. These negative health effects can have permanent effects on a person's health. The change from wood-burning stoves to those that burn faux logs coated in natural gas may be a potential answer for a beneficial change. A medical-grade air purifier can also help to combat potentially harmful pollutants.

  • LA pollution control agency increases rebate for gas log

    Rebate increases for gas log range from $125 to $200 by the Air Quality Management District, according to the LA Times. The rebates are available through the Healthy Hearths initiative launched by AQMD in 2008.

    The rebate was created in order to entice consumers to consider changing their existing wood-burning fireplaces to fake log sets fueled by natural gas. This has been proven to radically reduce the production of fine particulates that can have a negative effect on health.

    Combining the switch with an investment in quality, home air purifiers may be enough to reduce the particulates in the home. The exposure to PM2.5 can elevate the risk of premature death from heart disease in older adults and the likelihood of strokes in post-menopausal women.

    Other potential medical conditions may include the aggravation of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis. For those interested in obtaining a rebate, it does work on a first-come, first-serve basis and there is a limited amount of funds available. Homeowners may wish to consider checking out the potential changes sooner rather than later.

  • Kennecott Utah Copper accused of violating Clean Air Act

    A lobbyist group made up of mothers and doctors is suing Kennecott Utah Copper over mining dust pollution that they claim violates the United States Clean Air Act. The group is blaming the company, which mines one of the largest pits in the world, of contributing up to one-third of Salt Lake County's pollution.

    The company responded to the claims by saying the accusations are without merit, according to the Huffington Post.

    "Kennecott has and continues to operate within the parameters of its air permits and is consistently in compliance with U.S. EPA and Utah Division of Air Quality regulations, which are based on strict standards for protecting human health," the company said.

    Utah's chief air regulator did acknowledge that the company has been violating a 1994 Environmental and Protection Act law that limited the company to hauling only 150 million tons of ore a year. However, the state has allowed Kennecott to mine as much as 260 million tons most recently.

    Medical-grade air purifiers may assist in keeping indoor spaces free of the pollutants named in the suit.

  • Air pollution linked to diabetes

    Two studies in the past year, one in the United States, the other in Germany, found evidence that suggests high rates of tiny-particle air pollution may be linked to rising rates of diabetes.

    Some doctors believe the evidence points to a rise in "the exploding pandemic, if you will, of type 2 diabetes, particularly in urbanized areas around the world," Sanjay Rajagopalan of the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, told USNews.

    In the study, the mice living in an environment with clean, filtered air remained healthy. In contrast, those that experienced real world air suffered insulin resistance and were more likely to develop belly fat and other classic prediabetic symptoms. Other metabolic diseases were also found in high quantities in subjects who were treated with "city" air.

    Air pollution is consistently being found to have potential negative effects on the health of both humans and animals. Long-term exposure to particles over time may increase a person's chance of developing the disease. Investing in medical-grade air purifiers may help remove these pollutants from the home.

  • Company agrees to pay $1.7 million in penalty fines

    The Essroc Cement Company has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in penalty fines by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company will also have to invest approximately $33 million in pollution control technology to resolve the allegations of violating the Clean Air Act.

    The settlement will assist in protecting Americans' health by reducing more than 7,000 tons of harmful nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide pollution each year, according to the Department of Justice.

    "The EPA is committed to cutting illegal air pollution from the largest sources of emissions," Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's office of enforcement and compliance assurance, told UPI. "The pollution controls required by today's settlement will reduce harmful air pollutants, protecting communities across the nation."

    Bringing Essroc into compliance with the Clean Air Act can potentially lead to better air quality and reduce associated health problems. Medical-grade air purifiers can also assist in reducing exposure to harmful toxins.

  • Fire place soot damaging air quality

    Levels of soot and debris have Clovis and Fresno's air quality over twice the federal health limit. The unusual weather and high levels of pollution production are combining to create a dark haze of nasty pollution.

    "We would love to have clear, healthy air and allow people to choose when they want to burn," said district spokeswoman Jaime Holt. "But we have a soup of pollution out there."

    Homes in the area may wish to invest in medical-grade air purifiers to assist in protecting them from inhaling the poor-quality air. The elderly, children and those with respiratory issues are especially impacted. At times, the pollution has reached unhealthy levels for adults as well.

    Despite daily no-burn order from authorities, people are still lighting fires in order to keep warm during the winter season. This, combined with diesel exhaust and chemical droplets, is creating a dark cloud of pollution across the valley.

    By investing in home air purifiers, people may be better able to avoid inhaling such high levels of toxins during all hours of the day.

  • Clean air advocates celebrate small victory, have a long road ahead

    Clean air laws have always been a battle between those who believe that healthy air is the most important direction we can take, and those who worry that the costs of implementing these changes would be more than the economy and taxpayers could handle.

    Clean air advocates have had cause to celebrate in recent months, as the Environmental Protection Agency's improved emission standards won them a significant victory in the fight against air pollution. The new guidelines, which are supposed to significantly improve the air and the quality of life throughout the country, focus largely on the few remaining factories that have been running unrestricted for decades, spewing toxins into the air with no filters.

    Still, the battle for clean air is still being fought, as this victory has managed to distract the heavy loss from earlier in the year when new smog control laws for heavily polluted areas were rejected.

    As the government plays back and forth on which pollutants to limit and which to allow to continue, you can keep your home safe from the danger these toxins may cause by investing in a medical-grade air purifier.

  • Erase some damage from your holiday parties with the IQAir HealthPro Plus

    The holidays can be a fun time, but what happens when they're over? After a day full of eating, watching television and opening presents, cleaning up can feel a bit overwhelming. It can be easy to fall into the trap of leaving the cleaning for later in the week, but with food and lingering odors from family pets, this can lead to an uncomfortably smelly home.

    This year, when ridding your home of these issues, consider employing your IQAir HealthPro Plus. This powerful air purifier can help control the variety of smells you find yourself trying to get rid of.

    Consider using it again as your New Year's party approaches. Place it in the garage and designate it as the smoking area to control the secondhand smoke and the smell it causes. Leave it in the kitchen overnight as the leftover foods and dishes sit around to keep them from causing a more permanent odor the next day.

    With a guaranteed efficiency of 99.5 percent, this is an investment that will have your home smelling fresher than ever.

  • Alleviate chronic bronchitis with a medical-grade air purifier

    Bronchitis is a respiratory disease that comes about when the bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs become inflamed due to a variety of irritants. The inflammation restricts breathing and can even shut off total portions of the lung, causing coughing and shortness of breath.

    Chronic bronchitis specifically is a long lasting and recurring form of this disease that is often caused by continued interaction with lung irritants. You can work to avoid and ease chronic bronchitis with a medical-grade air purifier.

    As the most common irritants that cause bronchitis are pollution, dust and tobacco smoke, the powerful filtration provided by a purifier can ease the effect of those toxins in the home, the most likely place for people to exert some control over the quality of the air they breathe. Some jobs are the root of the problem, whether a physical labor job where inhalation of these toxins is a constant hazard, or if your office is right above the smoking area. Therefore, investing in a medical-grade air purifier for your home may help reduce the problem by promoting fresh and clean air the minute you walk through the door.

  • Air pollution in wake of BP oil spill equaled levels seen only in a 'large city's'

    Air pollution levels off the coast of Louisiana reached levels typically only seen in large cities in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Researchers tested air-borne zone and particulate matter, which are proven to have direct effects on human health, and found that about 8 percent of every 13 spilled barrels made it to the ocean's surface and evaporated into airborne particles small enough to be inhaled.

    "It was like having a large city's worth of pollution appear out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico," said Daniel Murphy, a NOAA scientist and co-author of the report.

    As a result, there were increased levels of respiratory problems across the gulf region. Homeowners may wish to consider investing in a IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier to ward off prolonged exposure to toxins such as these.

    The report states that as the oil evaporated, it put 10 times more organic particles in the air than the burning did, and that areas as far as 50 miles inland suffered from the degraded air quality. The BP Deepwater Horizon spill may have lasting health and ecological effects.

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