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New York City's air quality goes under the microscope

In a new study, researchers are learning that the air quality of an individual neighborhood can reveal the local culture and industry of the area. While the New York Daily News reports that all residents of the Big Apple are regularly breathing in bacteria, pollen, clothing fibers, fungus, tire rubber, dead skin cells, cooking fat and carbon emissions, certain communities have higher levels of individual pollutants than others.

According to scientist Bill Logan, who conducted the research, the air quality of a neighborhood is like an invisible stamp of its businesses, lifestyle and culture. For example, in midtown there were a high number of skin cells from all races, potentially a reflection of the diverse population. In contrast, in Williamsburg there were high levels of blue jeans, tire rubber, nail polish and pollen. The news source reports that this combination has been dubbed "the hipster sample."

A homeowner concerned about the health effects of breathing in fine particulate matter – regardless of what community he or she lives in - can purchase a home air purifier. A unit like the IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air purifier reduces air pollution levels in a house to improve the health of residents.