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  • New study connects air pollution to Alzheimer's-like brain changes in youth

    A new study published by the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests that exposure to air pollution can cause changes in children and young adults that are similar to those seen in Alzheimer's patients, according to Environmental Health News.

    The disturbing correlation between a disease typically seen in the elderly appearing in the brains of children has scientists working to determine how poor air quality can affect the brain.

    Conducted in Mexico City, an area notorious for its high levels of air pollution, North American researchers studied the postmortem brains of children and young adults who had suffered accidents, reported Environmental Health News. More than half of the participants examined were younger than 17.

    Air pollution is not limited by borders and can spread out to surrounding areas. San Antonio, Texas, is less than 1,000 miles from Mexico City, for example. Investing in a home air purifier can reduce toxin exposure by improving air quality within the home or office environment.

    This study builds upon growing research that suggests links between air pollution and brain function. A previous study has found links between air pollution exposure and inflammation, which commonly occurs and is indicative of injury in dog and mice brains. Air pollution may have lasting effects and individuals may wish to do as much as they can to reduce their exposure to these types of toxins.

  • Enforcement fails for New York City idling law meant to reduce toxic tailpipe fumes

    The New York State Environmental Law (ECL) prohibits heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses from idling for more than five minutes at a time. Additions were later made to the law to include passenger vehicles as well.

    By 2009, the city passed stricter regulations and allowed drivers only one minute to turn off their engines if they were across the street from a school. The law was passed to improve New York City's air quality by decreasing the production of toxic tailpipe fumes as asthma development in city children rose above national levels.

    However, both CNN and NewYorkCBSlocal report a lack of enforcement of the law, leading to even greater air pollution levels. Schools may wish to invest in an IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier to reduce toxin levels within the building.

    According to CBSNewYork, the NYPD issued 2,210 tickets for idling in Manhattan last year, of which 66 were issued in Queens, 34 in Brooklyn and just 12 in the Bronx.

    "When NYPD wants to enforce the law, it enforces the law… it’s been pretty clear, if you look at the data…12 tickets across the whole Bronx in a year? They’re not enforcing the law," Rich Kassal of the Natural Resources Defense Council told the news source.

  • California experiencing historically increased levels of poor air quality

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping in and coming to the aid of the San Joaquin Valley in California after historically poor air quality conditions have left the region fearful.

    "Four times more people die in the San Joaquin Valley from air pollution than they do from traffic fatalities," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator, told

    The poor air quality is a common occurrence in the region. Environmental factors such as La Nina weather patterns and the cold and warm temperature switches combine to keep normal pollution levels from cars and factories lower than they'd otherwise be within the local atmosphere. Even so, the damage can be substantial, and homeowners in the region are encouraged to limit exposure to pollution. Investing in an IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier reduces homeowners' toxin exposure while inside the home.

    Efforts are still being made to control pollution levels in San Joaquin Valley. The area is home to a large amount of American crop production, and the EPA has declared to spend $5 million in an effort to promote clean air in the area.

    "[The EPA is] going to be a player in this, as opposed to just an oversight big brother that doesn't have a stake in what's going on here," Seyed Sadredin, director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, told the news source. "I'm really encouraged by their interest in doing this."

  • Cleaner air improves employee morale

    Indoor air quality can drastically affect the health, happiness and productivity of a worker. Several studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency have found increased levels of pollutants indoors that exceed the levels outside, especially in heavily trafficked urban areas. Air pollutants can promote illness amongst workers, aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma or lead to the eventual development of disease.

    The average American spends 7.5 hours a day in the office, according to the Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. By spending such a large chunk of time inside the workplace, workers are subjected to long-term exposure to potentially poor air quality indoors. By investing in the IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier, you can assure that the air your employees are breathing is free from the airborne toxins that cause sickness and decrease office productivity.

    Reducing toxins benefits employee health by limiting their exposure to pollutants. The less sick time workers need to take, the greater the office's overall efficiency. Productive workers who aren't fighting the lagging effects of an illness are typically much happier, too. Promoting a cycle of health and happiness in the workplace can improve employee moral as well as one's bottom line.

  • Brevard County breathes easier with cleaner air

    Residents of Brevard County, a place fondly referred to as the Space Coast, can now breathe a sigh of relief. In the most recent data released from the federal Toxics Release Inventory, toxic air pollution in Brevard County has dropped almost 90 percent, according to Florida Today.

    "You can really see a big drop from 2007 to 2010," Caroline Shine, administrator of the air resources management program for Florida Department of Environmental Protection central district in Orlando, told the news source.

    The drop in air pollution levels is attributed to a variety of factors. However, officials caution residents that the new figures are not indicative of a decrease in health risk. Investing in a home air purifier could assist in decreasing prolonged exposure to toxins in the air.

    Efforts to decrease pollution began with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection creating regulations for local businesses, inspecting them and then allowing the potential fines accrued to be spent on upgrading the business or pollution prevention projects. The closing of the Florida Power & Light Co. power plant for a cleaner new gas plant and a decrease in luxury boat manufacturing has contributed heavily to the new increase in air quality.

  • Three Lake Erie coal-fired power plants to close

    FirstEnergy Corp., an Ohio-based utility company, announced on Thursday, January 27 that it will be shutting down three Lake Erie coal-fired plants, reports the Chicago Tribune.

    The power company faced the more stringent pollution limits set by the Federal Clean Air Act. FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it will be closing the plants instead of upgrading due to cost.

    The Obama administration has begun to penalize and require plants that produce lung- and heart-damaging pollution under court order, according to the Miami Herald. While the plants may be closing this year, toxic air pollutants can remain in a region for an extended time period. To increase air quality and ensure that these toxins don't cause lasting health concerns, individuals can invest in medical-grade home air purifiers such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier.

    Closing the plants is expected to improve the local fishing economy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bay Shore plant near Toledo, Ohio killed more than 46 million adult fish, as well as 2.4 billion eggs, larvae and young fish every year.

    Those who support the measure believe the closings will benefit regional air quality and provide a boost to the fishing industry, which is necessary for creating more jobs.

  • Automakers support new California regulation to cut air pollution

    A new proposed regulation in California would require automakers to build more electric and hybrid vehicles by 2025, reports the Washington Post. Large automakers such as Ford Motor Corp., Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and others have already testified on the behalf of the new emission standards being proposed during a California Air Resources Board meeting.

    "We can’t afford to wait. We have to act on these issues now," Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chairman, said at the panel’s meeting. "Our projections show continued growth in population and vehicle miles traveled, which will affect air quality for years to come."

    A home air purifier could help decrease the toxins that can travel into residences until the proposed new regulations come into effect.

    The new standards include cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and begin with new cars sold in 2015, as well as mandates that one in every seven new cars sold in California in 2012 would be a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid car. The state aims to have 1.4 million zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2025.

    While the plan works to create a more environmentally friendly state with cleaner air, it might take some time to see it come to fruition.

  • Air quality agreement cuts pollution in Carolina

    A settlement between environmental groups and Duke Energy will cut pollution out gradually by phasing out over 1,600 mega watts of an outdated, dirty coal-fired power plant.

    Under the terms, Duke Energy will slowly retire old coal-powered units that lack modern pollution control technology while meeting customer energy demands. The timeline for retirement is enforceable, thereby ensuring that improvements in air and water quality will be made. However, it will be years before all the changes are made. For homes surrounded by out-dated coal-burning plants, a home air purifier could improve indoor air quality.

    "This settlement phases out some of the oldest, dirtiest and most inefficient coal plants in the Carolinas," John Suttles, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represented the groups in court, told the media. "In addition to protecting people's health and saving lives, it also will save ratepayers' money by paving the way for a more efficient and sustainable energy future."

    Presently, only the Duke Energy's Cliffside power plant near Shelby, North Carolina, operates under the new strict acid gas controls, with a 99.9 percent reduction in air pollution.

  • Poor air quality in schools can make students ill

    According to CNN, studies have estimated that a third of U.S. schools have mold, dust and other indoor air problems at high enough volumes to cause or exacerbate respiratory issues such as asthma in students and teachers.

    This is a decrease from a 1995 federal government report that estimated that 50 percent of the nation's schools have problems linked to poor air quality, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

    Indoor air pollutants can cause students and faculty discomfort, decrease productivity, increase absenteeism and lead to short- and long-term health effects. School administrators searching for a potential cost-effective solution to improve indoor air quality should consider the IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier. It is a medical-grade air purifier able to remove ultrafine particles that may be present in an older educational facility.

    Mold, mildew and dust present in schools can negatively impact the health of students and faculty. By investing in an air purifier, a school can drastically reduce respiratory tract infections, disease, allergic reactions, headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, headaches and asthma attacks - all prime conditions that increase absenteeism amongst students and teachers.

    Schools and students suffer when children are not present in the classroom. An increase in indoor air quality could assist in decreasing absenteeism caused by illness.

  • NYC's Second Avenue Subway Construction Causes Health Worries

    Construction to create the Second Avenue subway on New York City's Upper East Side - which temporarily stopped due to numerous complaints from residents reporting health problems - has resumed with promises from the MTA for less dust.

    The MTA is working on digging three underground stations for the much-anticipated line along 2nd Avenue from 125th Street to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, according to The New York Times. The long-awaited construction has been a nuisance to Manhattan Easter-siders due to excessive noise, powerful vibrations and respiratory health concerns.

    The poor air quality from the smoke and dust created a large movement from residents to halt the project until a solution could be found.

    "It's like gun powder that is going up in the air," Jean Schoenberger, who lives on East 70th street, told the news source before blasting was resumed. "It is a smoke cloud that is very pervasive."

    The dust and particulate debris from blasting was coating those walking the streets - forcing them to cover their faces in an attempt to prevent inhalation. Respiratory problems became so common that doctors in the area termed it "the Second Avenue cough." Local residents with homes and apartments in the Upper East Side were unable to keep the dirt and dust from finding its way into their homes, regardless of whether they kept their windows shut.

    "I don't want it to turn into a 9/11 situation where 5 to 10 years down the line we're sick," resident Donna Pressman said at a meeting of Community Board 8's Second Avenue Subway Task Force Committee on Tuesday, according to NBC New York.

    The MTA has promised residents a reduction in excessive dust and explained numerous changes to the project, including smaller blasts, spraying extra water and using a curtain to soak it up. However, dust will still remain in the area regardless of reduction treatments. For this reason, homeowners concerned about potential illness due to poor air quality may wish to consider investing in a medical-grade home air purifier.

    The IQAir HealthPro Plus provides air filtration for the home and will reduce residents' exposure to the poor air quality resulting from construction. Homeowners in the Upper East Side concerned about potential health problems should consider a home air purifier while construction is underway, especially as the project is not scheduled to be completed until 2016.

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