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  • Incense smoke has similar side effects as smoking

    Burning incense has been a popular method of freshening up a room for centuries. While the technique is somewhat popular in the U.S., it's more widely used in Arabian Gulf countries, where two main varieties - Oudh and Bakhoor- are more commonly known. Scientists from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently tested the health risks of these types of incense to see if using them indoors poses any threats.

    During their trials, researchers "identified and measured" the particles and gases emitted from these types of incense and reviewed how the emissions affected lung cells taken from participants from the United Arab Emirates. Lung cells were exposed to one of the two popular varieties of incense for three hours and were then left in the rooms for a total of 24 hours to check for any damage or concerns.

    From the data, scientists found both types of incense spread "significant amounts" of various particles, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and oxides of nitrogen, which can lead to inflammation in the lungs. Other side effects include eye, nose, throat and skin irritation as well as respiratory issues similar to those faced by smokers. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. Since incense use could hold similar threats, it might be smart for users to burn the products outside or invest in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe easier in the home.

  • Know the signs of smog to breathe better in summer

    Once the weather warms up, most people head outdoors to spend time enjoying the wonders of nature. Even though traveling to the park to play games or trekking to campgrounds to set up tents for the weekend can be fun, if the air quality is poor, these outings can spell trouble. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a combination of hot, humid air, car exhaust and camp fire smoke can raise the levels of air pollution, making it harder for people to breathe.

    "We want people to be aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves from health problems related to poor air quality," said Maryanne Guichard, the assistant secretary of environmental public health.

    Symptoms of smog or unhealthy levels of population in the air include coughing or wheezing, watery or irritated eyes and runny noses. These conditions can be even worse for people with asthma, making it harder for these individuals to enjoy being outside.

    Since more than 18 million Americans are already living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could be smart for these people to take certain precautions to protect their health in summer. Avoiding outdoor activities on high smog days is one way to curb asthma side effects, as is installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe clean air at home.

  • Know the signs of smog to breathe better in summer

    Once the weather warms up, most people head outdoors to spend time enjoying the wonders of nature. Even though traveling to the park to play games or trekking to campgrounds to set up tents for the weekend can be fun, if the air quality is poor, these outings can spell trouble. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a combination of hot, humid air, car exhaust and camp fire smoke can raise the levels of air pollution, making it harder for people to breathe.

    "We want people to be aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves from health problems related to poor air quality," said Maryanne Guichard, the assistant secretary of environmental public health.

    Symptoms of smog or unhealthy levels of population in the air include coughing or wheezing, watery or irritated eyes and runny noses. These conditions can be even worse for people with asthma, making it harder for these individuals to enjoy being outside.

    Since more than 18 million Americans are already living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could be smart for these people to take certain precautions to protect their health in summer. Avoiding outdoor activities on high smog days is one way to curb asthma side effects, as is installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe clean air at home.

  • Air pollution could be tied to appendicitis

    In most cases, appendicitis is caused by a blockage, including a stool, foreign body or in some incidents, cancer, of the appendix, according to WebMD. Blockages can also be cause by infection. While these issues are well known, a new study indicates that air pollution could also be to blame for the common condition.

    Scientists from the University of Calgary published their recent findings in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. During trials, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 35,000 patients who were hospitalized for appendicitis in one of 12 Canadian cities between 2004 and 2008. Scientists compared the medical records to air pollution data from each city to calculate how much pollution each person was exposed to near the time of their medical emergency. 

    From the data, it was discovered that the number of people who had appendicitis increased when ozone levels were higher than normal. In fact, for each 16 parts per billion increase in air pollution, the number of ruptured appendix cases increased by between 11 and 22 percent. 

    Even though there is no way to prevent appendicitis, families can limit air pollution exposure at home by investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas

  • Cutting smoking from casinos could save lives

    Casinos are among the last private-run businesses that allow guests to smoke indoors. While smoking bans have been implemented around the nation in other facilities to help curb secondhand smoke, a new study might entice casinos to follow suit. Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, recently found that casinos that banned smoking indoors saw fewer medical emergencies than their counterparts that still allow people to puff inside.

    The findings, published in the journal Circulation, show that smoke-free facilities could lead to a decrease in a wide variety of heart-related issues such as stroke and heart attack. During trials, scientists reviewed information on Gilpin County, a small city about an hour outside of Denver, Colo. The area is home to more than two dozen casinos and it's reported that these facilities bring in about 40,000 people annually.  

    From January 2000 through December 2012, more than 16,600 ambulance calls were reported around town. However, following an indoor smoking ban at casinos put into place in 2008, ambulance calls to these facilities dropped by close to 20 percent. This shows just how serious secondhand smoke is and ways in which people can limit others' exposure.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke has been found to cause an estimated 46,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year among nonsmokers. Casinos can cut back on secondhand smoke by banning smoking indoors and by installing professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Wet summer means ragweeds bloom

    Ragweed is one environmental allergy that wreaks havoc on people's immune systems around the nation. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, people affected by ragweed or hay fever tend to experience a wide array of symptoms ranging from sneezing and stuffy noses to itchy throats, swollen eyelids and even hives. 

    Unfortunately for many around the U.S., ragweed season is fast approaching, and this year, the pollen is taking names. The Plain Dealer reports ragweed pollen tends to spike in mid-August, and due to the heavy rains that hit much of the country this summer, it's expected that the ragweed count will be higher than it has in a long time. 

    While some might breathe easy at home thanks to a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, others might be interested in learning other ways to curb allergies' effects. The news outlet suggests people with known ragweed allergies take precautions - using eye drops and antihistamines - before the season spikes. This way, individuals can stop symptoms in their tracks. 

  • Wet summer means ragweeds bloom

    Ragweed is one environmental allergy that wreaks havoc on people's immune systems around the nation. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, people affected by ragweed or hay fever tend to experience a wide array of symptoms ranging from sneezing and stuffy noses to itchy throats, swollen eyelids and even hives. 

    Unfortunately for many around the U.S., ragweed season is fast approaching, and this year, the pollen is taking names. The Plain Dealer reports ragweed pollen tends to spike in mid-August, and due to the heavy rains that hit much of the country this summer, it's expected that the ragweed count will be higher than it has in a long time. 

    While some might breathe easy at home thanks to a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, others might be interested in learning other ways to curb allergies' effects. The news outlet suggests people with known ragweed allergies take precautions - using eye drops and antihistamines - before the season spikes. This way, individuals can stop symptoms in their tracks. 

  • Be proactive: Tips for helping your pet deal with allergies

    Allergies are a common problem for many Americans. Whether families deal with environmental allergies such as grass or ragweed, or food allergies with peanut butter or milk, the majority of people understand the annoying symptoms of this problem. Unfortunately, the same side effects that plague kids and adults can also pop up in pets, making it more important than ever to learn the signs of pet allergies and ways to stave them off. 

    "Seasonal allergies are just as frustrating for pets as they are for humans," said veterinarians from Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colo. "Since many skin conditions have similar symptoms, pet dermatology is essential to identifying the precise trigger for a pet's skin problem... "

    There are many ways to evaluate if a pet has allergies, starting with monitoring the animal to check for any differences in its behavior. For example, a dog that is suddenly scratching or biting its skin more, sneezing or experiencing more build-up in its eyes could be living with allergies. CNN reports pet owners can help their allergic dogs and cats feel better by making sure the house is clean and free of dust mites and pollen. Vacuuming regularly, keeping the windows shut during peak allergy season and even investing in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, can all help a dog or cat and the family feel better. 

  • Maternal smoking could be tied to asthma in third generation

    Asthma is one of the most common conditions in the U.S., affecting close to 19 million people. With such a presence, many wonder what causes the condition and if there are ways to prevent or curb its symptoms. According to a new study conducted by scientists from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and published in the American Journal of Physiology, asthma could be tied to individuals' maternal grandmother. 

    Researchers discovered that "maternal nicotine exposure" during pregnancy may be a cause of asthma in the third generation of a family. This leap, known as transgenerational linkage, is unique because it shows how a child who was never personally exposed to nicotine or smoking can still develop asthma as a result of his or her grandmother's habit. 

    "Even though there are multiple causes for childhood asthma, research linking this serious chronic condition to maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy for up to three generations should give mothers-to-be even more reasons to reconsider smoking," said Dr. Virender K. Rehan, lead author of the study.

    While it may be hard to change history after a child is born, parents can help ease the asthma symptoms their children are experiencing by investing in an air purifier such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Children should be included in discussions about their asthma

    It's true in most cases that parents know what's best for their children. However, when it comes to figuring out how able a child is based on his or her asthma symptoms, sometimes it's the kids who know best. A new study conducted by scientists from UT Kids San Antonio and the Center for Airway Inflammation Research discovered it's important to include children in check-ups with physicians.

    The findings, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, were discovered after reviewing quality-of-life questionnaire answers from parents and 79 children with asthma. The survey asked the children to rate their own limitations due to asthma and their parents were asked to rate how the child's asthma affected or limited family activities.

    From the results, researchers noticed caregivers were more likely to rate a youngster's asthma as more limiting to the family, but the kids usually viewed themselves as less impaired. While a parent might only be looking out for his or her child, the takeaway of the study is that children with asthma might be a better indicator of what they can and cannot do. 

    More than 7 million children in the U.S. are living with asthma, according to the American Lung Association. Even though kids might think they're immune to the side effects of the lung problem, it's important that parents help their kids breathe easy at home. Investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will ensure a child with asthma breathes fresh air at all times in the house.

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