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Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Study finds harmful flame-retardant chemical is prevalent in offices

    Office jobs are quite common in America - ranging from financiers and bloggers to bankers and salesmen and women. Even though such positions might be deemed as some of the safest in the nation, a new study finds office workers may be at risk of being exposed to a harmful flame retardant. 

    Scientists from Boston University's School of Health came to this conclusion after taking urine samples from 31 people, as well as dust samples from their cars, desks and homes. Researchers were looking for a chemical called chlorinated tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, or TDCPP. The chemical, which was once used to make children's pajamas, has more recently has been used as an additive to polyurethane foam used in upholstered furniture like office chairs. TDCPP has also been found to increase people's risk of cancer.

    Scientists discovered 99 percent of dust samples taken from officer workers' homes, cars and offices had a "widespread presence of this flame retardant in the indoor environment," according to the study. The authors added that the chemical was more present in older offices. 

    Even though more tests need to be conducted to verify the recent findings, it might be smart for businesses to install professional-grade air purifiers like the Airgle PurePal MultiGas AG950 into their offices to help eliminate dust and dander that could contain TDCPP.

  • Study finds C-section babies prone to allergies

    There are many issues to weigh when a person starts thinking about whether she wants to deliver her unborn child naturally or via a Caesarian section, ranging from how pain medication can affect the baby to what the recovery time is like for both options. However, a recent study conducted by scientists at Henry Ford Hospital may have found one more reason for women to go natural.

    Researchers discovered babies born via C-section are approximately five times more likely to develop allergies by the age of two than their peers born naturally. During trials, scientists tracked more than 1,200 babies born between 2003 and 2007 and conducted various tests on them and their parents to check for signs of allergies. Tests were run at one month, six months, one year and two years to evaluate each child's allergy risk.

    Overall, kids born via C-section were far more likely to develop allergies over this time in comparison to their peers born naturally. Scientists believe the issue may stem from the babies' "lack of exposure to bacteria in the birth canal." Many suspect the bacterium plays a role in boosting a newborn's immune system.

    WebMD reports that more than half (55 percent) of all Americans have at last one allergy, making it a major health issue. Even if parents can't control how their babies are born, they can help them live better with allergies by installing a medical-grade air purifier like the Airgle PurePal CleanRoom AG900 to ensure family members breathe well at home.

  • Traffic pollution tied to childhood asthma

    Asthma is one of the most common conditions children are faced with - the disease affects more than 7 million youths to date, according to the American Lung Association. There are many causes behind asthma, ranging from secondhand smoke to allergies, though a new study has found that road traffic pollution may also be partly to blame.

    Scientists from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute came to this conclusion after reviewing the population-attributable fractions to assess' childhood asthma rates in 10 European countries. Population-attributable fractions refer to the risk of a child developing asthma based on how close he or she lives to busy roads and high-traffic areas.

    From the data it was discovered that 14 percent of asthma cases found were "due to exposure to traffic pollution near busy roads." This means air pollution could have a similar role in childhood asthma as secondhand smoke. The latter is linked to between 4 and 18 percent of all child asthma cases, according to the study.

    Parents may not be able to control where they live, but they can ensure their children are breathing in the cleanest air possible at home by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the Airgle PurePal Plus AG850.

  • Wisconsin coal plant set to install new pollution control system

    A company that was once fined for failing to comply with the Clean Air Act is now on its way to becoming one of the leaders in the air pollution lowering game. The Journal Sentinel reports Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), based out of Green Bay, recently got approval to install a sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide lowering system that is already heavily used in Japan.

    More specifically, the system, known as ReACT, costs $275 million to install, and will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by up to 90 percent and lower nitrogen oxide levels by between 20 and 60 percent. WPS decided to look into this plan after it was faced with a lawsuit claiming it violated the Clean Air Act by failing to install pollution control systems in the coal plant years ago.

    Installing the ReACT system in the coal company could be a step in the right direction. The Union of Concerned Scientists reports coal plants are the top source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., and are the leading cause of smog, acid rain and toxic air pollution.

    Finding ways to lower the air pollution levels caused by coal plants is an important step in helping people enjoy fresher air, but it could take awhile to implement changes around the nation. For now,  those who are concerned about the harmful effects of air pollution can install a professional-grade air purifier like Airgle PurePal AG800 in their homes to ensure their families breathe easy while in their private dwellings. 

  • EPA changes air quality index

    Air pollution is on the rise around the nation, making it more crucial than ever for the government to find a way to curb or prevent the issue. The Tribune reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its plans to change the current Air Quality Index levels. 

    Under the change, the EPA will lessen the air quality rates from 15 to 12 micrograms per cubic meter. Lowering the rates will mean different cities around the country will likely see more days that are considered "moderate" in terms of air quality.

    AIRNow reports the Air Quality Index is meant to tell residents how clean or polluted the air in their region is on a daily basis. Levels that are between 0 and 50 are considered "good" in terms of how healthy the air is, while levels from 51 to 100 are deemed "moderate" and levels between 101 and 150 are pegged as "unhealthy for sensitive groups." Any levels over 151 are listed as various forms of "unhealthy." Looking closer, the website reports days considered moderate mean air quality is acceptable, but pollutants in the air could be of concern for people who are "unusually sensitive to air pollution."

    Since the change in air quality levels will soon go into effect, it might be smart for families who suffer from the side effects of air pollution to invest in an air purifier like the Airgle PurePal MultiGas AG950 to breathe easy in the home.

  • Is it allergies or a cold? Knowing the symptoms can lead to the right relief

    Allergy season is right around the corner in the U.S., and even though the season is about to start, many experts are worried patients will confuse certain cold symptoms with allergies. Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist and past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, reports certain pollens can pop up during late February and early March, so learning the difference between allergy and cold symptoms is key in getting a patient the right treatment. 

    According to ABC News, there are differences between these two common issues that can help patients decipher what condition they have. 

    "A cold can be accompanied by low-grade fever, sore throat and a cough, whereas allergies usually don't have those things," Dr. William Schaffner told the publication. "You might have a little bit of sore throat with allergies, but it's mostly runny nose and red, itchy eyes."

    Other side effects that differ include feeling achy or having body pains, symptoms that can sometimes occur while battling a cold, but never happen with allergies. 

    Even if you understand the differences between a cold and allergies, it's never too early to start planning for the latter. A great way to ensure family members enjoy fresh air in the home is by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the Airgle PurePal CleanRoom AG900 to help eliminate pollen and other particles in the air.

  • Study finds no link between air pollution and rheumatoid arthritis

    Air pollution is a serious problem that seems to be getting worse, leading many people to install professional-grade air purifiers like the Airgle PurePal Plus AG850 to breathe easy at home. Despite the growing issue, a new study has found unhealthy air can be crossed off the list of possible reasons behind rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

    Researchers have long believed that there could be a link between the form of arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease leading to inflammation of the joints, and air pollution. However, a new study may have debunked this idea. 

    Scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital used the Nurses' Health Study, which has the medical records of more than 11.400 women from between 1976 and 2006, to look for RA incidents and a possible link to air pollution. A total of 858 women developed RA over the course of 30 years. Researchers used these participants' mailing addresses to gauge how close they lived to places of high air pollution as well as other known pollutant-makers like power plants and highways. 

    Overall, the researchers found no solid link between RA and air pollution. However, the authors are quick to point out that more trials need to be conducted to verify the recent findings.

    Even if there is no real connection to RA, air pollution can lead to a number of other serious medical conditions. Most recently, scientists from Rice University found cardiac arrest incidents went up on days when air pollution levels were above average. 

  • Get ready for allergy season ahead of time

    Spring is right around the corner, and even though this means longer days, better weather and blooming flowers, the warmer months also mark the beginning of allergy season. Since more than half (55 percent) of all Americans suffer from some type of allergy, according to WebMD, finding ways to deal with symptoms ahead of time is key. Dermatologist Carol Baum recently spoke with Women's Health magazine to discuss ways in which families can get ready for allergy season in an attempt to limit its effects. 

    The term "spring cleaning" is more than just a nice suggestion - it could actually help keep allergy symptoms at bay, according to Baum. Getting rid of dust and other grime in the home is crucial in reducing allergy effects even if people aren't allergic to such things. This is because dust, dirt and other particles in the home can irritate your respiratory system even if you're not allergic, which could only make things worse when allergy season is full blown. 

    Preparing your body by boosting your immune system is also key in the fight against allergies. Adding tons of foods filled with vitamin D and C can help keep you healthy, as can getting in more lean protein, like that from salmon or other fatty fish. 

    After cleaning and boosting the immune system, families can go one step further in preventing allergy-related flare-ups. Investing in professional grade air purifiers like Airgle PurePal AG800 can help people breathe better at home. 

  • College student comes up with plan to deal with air pollution

    Air pollution continues to be a major problem as it can not only affect how people breathe, it can also lead to serious medical conditions like asthma, allergies and even more serious respiratory illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. 

    Since issues with air pollution continue to come up, more researchers from around the globe are looking into ways to curb the side effects. The Times of India reports that Vijay Raj, a college student at Kalasalingam University, recently came up with a model that could combat air pollution. 

    Raj, a mechanical engineering student, created a model in which smoke and water mix together to create carbonic acid, which occurs when hydrogen in the water reacts with carbon dioxide, the news source reports. This procedure has been found to eliminate pollution and offer benefits as well. 

    "The carbonic acid could be used to generate electricity. The residue carbon could be used in carbon-based industries,'' Raj told the news source.

    Even though there could be a way to use Raj's method to rid cities of air pollution in the future, there are other ways families can enjoy fresh air now. Installing a medical grade air purifier like Airgle PurePal MultiGas AG950 in the home helps ensure people breathe easy in their dwellings.

  • More cities looking to educate residents on air pollution

    Air pollution is a growing problem around the world, but its effects are greatly felt in North America. This continent produces approximately 6 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, according to a joint study conducted by the Environmental Integrity Project, EarthJustice, and the Sierra Club. Due to the shocking numbers, more cities around the nation are looking into ways to cut their pollution.

    The city of Helena, Mont., is one such location, as the Lewis and Clark City-County Health Board is planning to voluntarily join an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program in order to learn new methods of pollution reduction, the Helena Independent Record reports. The desire to join the EPA's Particulate Matter Advance Program comes after a survey found a shockingly low number of city residents believes the region has air pollution. 

    The survey, which questioned 270 random households, found 83 percent of respondents did not believe there was an air pollution problem in Helena, even though many here choose to heat their homes with firewood. This shocked members of the health board because this type of burning, along with car emissions, is among the biggest pollution issue in America.

    As more information comes out regarding the dangers of air pollution, some families might take comfort knowing they can breathe easy at home by installing professional grade air purifiers like the Airgle PurePal CleanRoom AG900.

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