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  • Fourth of July celebrations could lead to air pollution

    Across the nation, millions of Americans celebrated the country's birth earlier this week during the Independence Day festivities. While the tempting aroma of barbecues could be smelled in countless neighborhoods from coast to coast, another staple of the Fourth of July could have an adverse effect on people's health: fireworks. According to the Courier-Journal, the holiday revelry in Louisville, Kentucky, caused air pollution levels to increase sharply.

    The Courier-Journal's environmental correspondent James Bruggers wrote that last year, atmospheric monitoring devices around Louisville registered soot levels that reached up to 90 micrograms per cubic meter. Although these figures do not quite exceed the city's legal limits for particulate pollution, they still represent a significant risk to human health, particularly for individuals with respiratory illnesses like asthma.

    Bruggers' comments were echoed by health officials in California's San Joaquin Valley. According to The Business Journal, experts at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned residents that fireworks can raise the amount of particulate matter in the air to dangerous levels, and advised revelers to exercise restraint during the holiday.

    Individuals who are particularly sensitive to airborne pollutants may want to consider investing in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to protect themselves and their families from particulate matter in the air.

  • Reducing air pollution could mean fewer lung cancer deaths

    Lung cancer can be caused by various issues ranging from smoking and family history to diet and drinking habits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. While smoking is typically highlighted as one of the main risk factors of the disease, a new study finds air pollution could also contribute to its development.

    The trials, conducted by scientists from Oregon State University and published in the journal Environmental Science and Toxicology, found that high emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be tied to lung cancer deaths in places like the U.S., Canada, France and Germany. PAHs are a group of more than 100 chemicals like those that are released from vehicle exhaust and burning wood.

    Researchers discovered this after reviewing a wide range of information from 136 countries. Data they looked at included residents' average body mass, price of cigarettes, smoking rates and the amount of PAHs found in the air. From this information, scientists calculated the measure of health and pollution and how it related to lung cancer deaths in each nation. Overall, they were able to find a correlation between high PAHs and an increase in lung cancer rates, while smoking was still an obvious link as well.

    Those worried about lung cancer or other medial issues they could develop due to living in high air pollution regions could invest in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe better at home. 

  • Study finds genetic link to allergies

    Allergies are a common condition worldwide, whether individuals are inflicted with an undesirable reaction to pollen, dust mites or animals, there are many factors that can cause the symptoms. Looking into the genetics behind allergy development has grown increasingly popular over the years, since there is such a high occurrence of allergies being passed down from generation to generation. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a child born to one parent with allergies has a 33 percent chance of also developing the condition, while if both parents have allergies, their offspring has a 70 percent chance of having similar allergies. 

    While it's well known that taking OTC medication or investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus can ease symptoms, a new study finds allergies may be more genetic-based than previously thought. The study, published in Nature Genetics, discovered 16 new genetic regions are related to common allergies including dust, pollen and cat fur. 

    Researchers from the University of Bristol reviewed the results of two previously conducted studies to come up with the latest findings. John Henderson, a scientist who worked on the trials, believes the data may improve the lives of allergy patients in the future. 

    "... This is a very exciting time for allergy research. Genetic discoveries have identified specific pathways of allergy development that are not shared with allergic diseases like asthma," said Henderson. "Understanding these pathways could lead to eventual development of drugs that cure or prevent allergy rather than just suppressing its symptoms."

  • Air pollution tied to heart risks

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. While lifestyle choices such as smoking or eating high-fat foods can trigger stroke or heart attacks among patients already living with heart problems, a new study finds air pollution could also spark heart trouble. 

    The trials, conducted by scientists from Tufts Medical Center and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, discovered that exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause people with pre-existing heart problems to be prone to the development of irregular heartbeats, which can trigger more serious heart-related issues. Researchers reviewed the heartbeats of 176 patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), which record the heart's rhythm, among other things, and compared their heartbeats to where they live.

    Overall, scientists noticed the rate of patients' heartbeats greatly varied by the amount of air pollution they were exposed to on any given day. While there could be other reasons behind the change in heartbeats, researchers are looking closer into the idea that air pollution could be to blame.

    People with heart conditions living near high-traffic areas might want to invest in an air purifier like the IQAir GC Multigas to breathe better and protect their hearts while at home.

  • Study: 21 percent of homes in Sweden make up 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions

    Curbing greenhouse gas emissions is a growing need as gases like methane and carbon dioxide not only pollute the air, but also lead to unhealthy climate changes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 84 percent of all greenhouse gases around the country come from carbon dioxide, which is caused by factors like electricity and vehicles. Though changes are being made to lower this high rating, a new study published in the American Chemical Society journal has found a shocking 21 percent of homes in Sweden make up 50 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions - and the same could be true for parts of the U.S.

    Scientists came to this conclusion after they studied more than 3,000 Swedish households to figure out how much greenhouse gas emissions they were responsible for. Overall, the majority of households were guilty of having major environmental footprints due to heating, lighting and cooling. Adding even more to the high pollution rates were long commutes to work. By the assessments of these homes, researchers were able to estimate just how much of a role natives play in the greenhouse emission rates, and furthermore, find making simple changes, such as switching to energy-saving light bulbs, could make a major difference. 

    Though rates may be a bit better in America, air pollution is still a major problem, which is why it may be beneficial for families to invest in medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC Multigas to breathe better at home. 

  • Avoidance is key for environmental allergy sufferers

    Environmental allergies are annoying, but in reality, most people can handle itchy eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats with help from OTC medication or by installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus for relief at home. Such steps are the best options, since clinics around the nation are full of patients looking to ease their side effects, even though avoidance is truly the best medicine, CBS affiliate WJZ 13 reports. 

    The news outlet spoke with Dr. Julia Montejo, an allergist at Fairview Clinics in Minnesota, who said that pollen counts are currently higher than they've been in recent years and that issues like grass and ragweed will be sticking around for longer than usual, meaning allergy patients are likely to feel the effects more than they have in the past. 

    Though staying inside more frequently during peak allergy season is the biggest tip Montejo offers, she added that finding an allergist is another important step. This way, people are able to figure out exactly what they're allergic to and can work harder to avoid certain places like baseball fields or parks, if they are found to be severely allergic to specific environmental  factors.

  • Date night ideas for the allergy-prone

    Allergies, especially those related to environmental issues like pollen or ragweed, can make it unpleasant to have a picnic, head to the beach or go on any other common date outings. Even though some couples may be allergy-free, chances are one, if not both partners will experience mild or severe symptoms in spring, summer and fall. In fact, it's estimated that one in five American adults are inflicted with at least one allergy or asthma symptom, WebMD reports. 

    Though it may seem like there is nothing to do with a date except watch movies at your home, if you have a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, there are a few other ideas to keep in mind. 

    The experts at Huffington Post recommend taking a new date to a museum or art gallery. Not only will doing so show you're interested in culture and the arts, but since such facilities are in charge of keeping valuable items safe, many boast air purifiers and other air quality measures to avoid moisture or germs from harming the goods. This makes museums high on the list of allergy-friendly date night outings. On the same note, taking in a comedy show could be equally as fun, while helping you relax, working to reduce any inflammation or other side effects linked to allergies. 

  • Early exposure to air pollution tied to increase in asthma cases

    Asthma is a common issue in the U.S., and new research from the University of California, San Francisco, shows early exposure to air pollution could play a role in who goes on to develop the condition later in life. The new study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found this to be the case among a large group of minorities.

    Scientists recruited and checked up on more than 3,300 Latino and 970 African American patients who were born in the U.S. From the collected data, researches noticed that for every five parts per billion increase in nitrogen dioxide exposure (NO2), a component of vehicle air pollution, in an infant's first year of life, the child had a 17 percent higher risk of developing asthma as they aged.

    The American Lung Association reports asthma is among the most common chronic disorders in childhood, affecting more than 7 million kids under the age of 18. Though more research needs to be conducted to verify the recent findings, it seems there is some link between air pollution and asthma. Parents can help their youngsters breathe better by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC Multigas in their homes. 

  • Asthma patients could be worse off this summer

    Though some people might find their allergy and asthma symptoms are worse during the spring and fall months, other experts have reported that such side effects can occur year-round, and could be the most prevalent during summer. WBTV recently spoke with Dr. Maeve O'Connor, an allergist and immunologist who discussed what is most likely to trigger an asthma or allergy attack and when.

    According to O'Connor, grass pollens and mold spores are the most common forms of allergens during the hotter, summer months, leading to a rise in itchy eyes, coughing and wheezing as well as asthma flare-ups. Luckily, there are ways to keep such symptoms at bay.

    UPI reports there are many simple tricks and tips people can adhere to during peak allergy season to gain some relief. Installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will work to limit how much pollen and other allergens get into the home, while picking up eye drops or OTC allergy medicine can also keep annoying side effects at bay. 

    Despite the ease and style contact lenses offer people, the news outlet reports that opting to wear glasses when the pollen count is high can limit how itchy or red eyes get. 

  • Asthma patients could be worse off this summer

    Though some people might find their allergy and asthma symptoms are worse during the spring and fall months, other experts have reported that such side effects can occur year-round, and could be the most prevalent during summer. WBTV recently spoke with Dr. Maeve O'Connor, an allergist and immunologist who discussed what is most likely to trigger an asthma or allergy attack and when.

    According to O'Connor, grass pollens and mold spores are the most common forms of allergens during the hotter, summer months, leading to a rise in itchy eyes, coughing and wheezing as well as asthma flare-ups. Luckily, there are ways to keep such symptoms at bay.

    UPI reports there are many simple tricks and tips people can adhere to during peak allergy season to gain some relief. Installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will work to limit how much pollen and other allergens get into the home, while picking up eye drops or OTC allergy medicine can also keep annoying side effects at bay. 

    Despite the ease and style contact lenses offer people, the news outlet reports that opting to wear glasses when the pollen count is high can limit how itchy or red eyes get. 

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