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  • Household chemicals could contribute to allergies

    During the height of allergy season, many people are quick to blame external factors, such as heightened levels of pollen and other airborne irritants. However, according to The Tennessean, these individuals may want to look a little closer to home.

    Bonnie Hinds, an environmental health and housing specialist at the University of Tennessee, claims that common household chemicals such as those found in construction materials and aerosol sprays, increase the level of indoor air pollution around the home. This, in turn, can exacerbate the symptoms of common respiratory ailments like asthma and allergic reactions.

    Hinds added that scented products such as air fresheners can often give off potentially harmful chemicals, and recommended that people use natural cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar instead.

    Researchers are also examining the connection between worsening allergy seasons and climate change. According to scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have resulted in heightened levels of pollen dispersed by common allergens such as ragweed.

    This allergy season, concerned individuals may want to invest in an IQAir HealthPro Plus medical-grade air filtration system to ensure the air quality in their home is as high as it can be and alleviate bothersome symptoms of seasonal allergies.

  • Air pollution a major contributor to premature death, says study

    Most people know that air pollution is bad for their health, but a new research paper suggests the impact of air pollution is far worse than initially thought. According to the BBC, air pollution is a significant factor in as many as 2.5 million deaths per year.

    The study, which appeared in the Environmental Research Letters journal, revealed that airborne pollutants cause approximately 2.1 million deaths annually, with unsafe levels of ozone accounting for an additional 400,000 fatalities every year. 

    "Epidemiological studies have shown that ozone and PM2.5 (particulates with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns - about 30 times thinner than the width of a human hair) have significant influences on human health, including premature mortality," read a statement by the paper's authors, as quoted by the news source. 

    According to LiveScience, the study includes data from several climate models, including those from Southeast Asia, to draw a more definitive connection between air pollution and global mortality rates. Researchers believe a majority of the deaths caused by poor air quality occur in Asia, due to this region's large population and high levels of airborne pollutants.

    Individuals who are concerned about air pollution and their health may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to protect themselves and their family from the harmful effects of air pollution. 

  • Research suggests link between lipid levels, risk of allergies

    For children and teens who suffer from respiratory allergies, an IQAir HealthPro Plus medical-grade air filtration system can help reduce the likelihood of airborne irritants causing an allergic reaction. While this may be welcome news for parents of children with these conditions, the underlying causes of respiratory allergies have remained unclear - until now. New research has linked levels of omega-3 and omega-6 lipids in children's cord blood at birth with their likelihood of developing allergies in later life.

    Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden identified a correlation between the presence of poly-unsaturated fatty acids in cord blood with the possibility that children will develop respiratory and skin allergies in adolescence. In addition, children who suffered from these allergies in their teens also had significantly lower levels of mono-unsaturated fats in their cord blood at birth than those who did not show signs of respiratory and dermatological allergies.

    "The mechanism by which these lipids affect allergy development is unknown, but may involve dampening of the immune activation in infancy needed for proper maturation of the infant's immune system," read a statement in the study, which was published in the open-access "PLoS One" scientific journal.

  • Research reveals definitive connection between air pollution, lung cancer

    Scientists have long known of the correlation between increased levels of airborne pollutants and serious diseases, but a comprehensive new study has revealed the extent to which air pollution and chronic conditions like heart disease and lung cancer are connected. According to The Guardian, emissions from traffic and industry have a direct impact on the incidence of lung cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.

    Researchers collated data from 17 separate studies in nine European countries to arrive at their conclusions. Key findings of the research paper, which was published in British medical journal The Lancet, indicated that long-term exposure to nitrogen oxides and particulate matter substantially increased the number of cases of lung cancer reported in the population.

    In addition, the risk of developing lung cancer rose by 18 percent for every 5 microgram-per-meter rise in particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, and 22 percent for airborne pollutants with a diameter of 10 micrometers.

    According to CBS News, even moderate exposure to low levels of air pollution can have a significant impact on an person's likelihood of developing lung cancer. As a result, concerned individuals may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to reduce levels of particulate matter in their home.

  • Colorado's energy industry threatens air quality

    Many residents of Colorado have praised the state's decision to expand its oil and gas production operations, as these energy facilities create thousands of jobs and contribute to the economy. However, according to the Denver Post, these industries could also be responsible for worsening air quality in the Centennial State.

    Emissions from the state's oil and gas production facilities are now the main source of volatile environmental chemicals in Colorado, and produce more than 600 tons of airborne contaminants per day, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In addition, these facilities are the third-largest contributor of nitrogen oxides in the state. Prior to the expansion of the oil and gas industries in Colorado, many parts of the Denver metropolitan area were already in danger of failing to meet federal clean air standards.

    According to The Associated Press, the state health department is considering amending current regulations to ensure the health of Colorado residents. These measures include the strengthening of emissions controls for storage tanks and the expansion of existing pollution control requirements.

    Individuals who live in close proximity to oil and gas production facilities may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas air filtration unit to ensure their family's health is not adversely affected by airborne pollutants.

  • 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. 

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