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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • New York City residents in for high-pollution summer

    Air pollution is a major issue around the nation, despite an effort to reduce the problem. The American Lung Association's (ALA) State of the Air report was recently released and even though air quality in the U.S. is the cleanest on record, nearly 41 percent of all residents still live in areas with above-healthy levels. 

    One city that continues to deal with major pollution, mainly caused by vehicle emissions, is New York City. The ALA recently addressed this problem by informing all residents that air pollution levels are predicted to increase dramatically during the summer months. 

    "With these increased temperatures comes the increased threat of hazardous levels of ozone pollution," Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the ALA of the Northeast, said in a statement.

    In an effort to keep citizens informed and perhaps encourage them to stay inside on certain days, the ALA developed an app, "State of the Air," that works to track daily ozone and particle pollution levels based on an individual's zip code. 

    Those worried about a spike in air pollution this summer can invest in professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to keep harmful side effects such as wheezing, coughing or asthma attacks at bay. 

  • Global warming could be partly to blame for rise in pollen count

    Most Americans love the warm weather summer brings, but the majority is less than pleased by the pollen and other environmental allergens that also spike between spring and fall. Though such allergies are necessary to help support tree and flower growth, some people might be thinking the allergy season has grown worse over the years, and unfortunately, they're right. 

    Alyson Eberhardt, a coastal ecosystems extension specialist at the University of New Hampshire, told Foster's Daily Democrat that warmer winters mean longer summers and a boost in allergies. Eberhardt added that Superstorm Sandy and late snowstorms helped nourish plants, leading to the development of more pollen.

    "Not only do we now have a longer allergy season, but we also have a higher pollen count," Eberhardt told the news outlet. 

    Even though pollen levels will be high, affecting more than 35 million seasonal allergy sufferers, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are ways to curb the side effects. 

    Eberhardt told Foster's Daily Democrat that people can limit symptoms by washing their hands before bed, refraining from hanging clothes outside to dry during peak pollen season and keeping the windows closed to prevent pollen from getting in the house. Investing in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will also ensure people breathe easy at home. 

  • Strict car emission laws help lower LA air pollution

    Los Angeles might best be known for its slew of rock stars and A-list celebrities; however, another dirty little secret the City of Angels is known for is its high air pollution levels. According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2011, the city had the highest levels of ozone nationwide, with rates higher than the recommended federal health standards an average of 137 days each year. 

    Though L.A. still has a long way to go to curb its raised levels, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's research center at the University of Colorado Boulder have determined strict car emission laws have helped significantly decrease pollution in the city. The recent study used data collected in the area from 1960 to present day. 

    Scientists found that despite a large jump in the number of vehicles on the road in California between now and then, the tough laws, which include regulating the emissions of cars sold and driven in the state, have helped curb its high air pollution rates. 

    Ilana Pollack, lead author of the study, reports that the data "confirms that California's policies to control emissions have worked as intended." Now, researchers are looking to determine exactly how the change was made to implement the same ideas in other cities around the nation. 

    Even though emission rates have been lowered in Los Angeles, air pollution is still a major problem there and in many cities around the nation. Families living in high-traffic areas might want to invest in professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to keep pollution out.

  • Allergies: What are they really?

    Allergies are a common part of everyday life for the more than 55 percent of the U.S. population who have tested positive to one or more allergens, according to WebMD. Environmental allergens, such as pollen, not only cause irritation, but also cost the healthcare system more than $7 billion annually. 

    Though some people simply grin and bear it or invest in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus to curb side effects, some might be wondering, "Why do pollen and other allergens cause such annoying symptoms?"

    Dr. Phillip Hemmers, a specialist with the Allergy Association of Fairfield County, Conn., recently discussed the back story of seasonal allergies with The Redding Pilot. 

    According to Hemmers, environmental allergens, such as pollen from trees, flowers or plants, is mistaken as a danger to the immune system of people with allergies. The immune system believes the harmless substance is looking to harm the body and thus sends out the enforcer (immunoglobulin E) antibodies to fight off the pollen. The release of the antibodies ultimately causes the flair up of side effects. 

    Allergy sufferers might think it's best to take cover in the home during peak season (spring to fall), but Hemmers adds it's important to carefully wash fruit and other produce to avoid the side effects as well. He reports consuming foods from pollinating trees can lead to a reaction, even if a person eats it inside. 

    "It's almost like mistaken identity," Hemmers told the publication. "When you take a bite of an apple, your body thinks you are eating birch tree pollen."

    Luckily for those who love the outdoors, Hemmers added there should be a calming of allergies between July and August. 

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