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Pollution

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Texas blocks new EPA ruling

    After the new Cross-State Pollution rule by the EPA was passed at the end of 2011, some power companies were worried about the effect it would have on their ability to produce. This concern was borne out of the potential cost and time it would take to fit these plants with the proper filters for reducing the emissions to a safe level under the new guidelines.

    As a result of this worry, many Texas-based power companies asked for the date of implementation to be pushed back from January 1st of 2012. When this was denied by the EPA, these companies took it a step further. A D.C. circuit court granted the request that the EPA wouldn't, effectively stopping this new law.

    This means that until the hearing in the spring, the old laws for governing emissions will remain while investigators for both the court and the EPA take another look at the law to find the places where it can be improved as well as which aspects would cause the cited 'irreparable harm' that many power companies claim it will cause.

    Until new legislation is passed, emissions are expected to remain high. If you'd like to remove that pollution from your breathing air, consider investing in a medical-grade home air purifier to keep the air in your home clean and healthy for you and your family.

  • How traffic jams affect air quality

    The personal automobile is the single greatest polluter in most urban areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While the emissions from a single vehicle are minute, every pollutant produced can add up to create the hazy blanket traditionally pictured in urban environments that see heavy traffic flow.

    Emission production increases during traffic jams - often to an unhealthy level. The constant acceleration and braking in stop-and-go traffic burns fuel at a faster rate, resulting in a greater rate of emissions being released at one centralized location. Vehicle exhaust negatively impacts air quality by adding hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to the EPA.

    Homes located near roadways that frequently suffer negative traffic conditions may wish to invest in a professional-grade air purifier.

    This type of chemical cocktail can negatively impact human health. High levels of nitrogen oxide are toxic, and carbon dioxide works to create an insulating barrier from the sun resulting in a build up of ozone that impairs lung function. The IQAir® GC MultiGas air purifier can clear the home of a wide variety of pollutants - a potentially worthwhile investment for individuals living near heavy traffic.

  • LA pollution control agency increases rebate for gas log

    Rebate increases for gas log range from $125 to $200 by the Air Quality Management District, according to the LA Times. The rebates are available through the Healthy Hearths initiative launched by AQMD in 2008.

    The rebate was created in order to entice consumers to consider changing their existing wood-burning fireplaces to fake log sets fueled by natural gas. This has been proven to radically reduce the production of fine particulates that can have a negative effect on health.

    Combining the switch with an investment in quality, home air purifiers may be enough to reduce the particulates in the home. The exposure to PM2.5 can elevate the risk of premature death from heart disease in older adults and the likelihood of strokes in post-menopausal women.

    Other potential medical conditions may include the aggravation of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis. For those interested in obtaining a rebate, it does work on a first-come, first-serve basis and there is a limited amount of funds available. Homeowners may wish to consider checking out the potential changes sooner rather than later.

  • Kennecott Utah Copper accused of violating Clean Air Act

    A lobbyist group made up of mothers and doctors is suing Kennecott Utah Copper over mining dust pollution that they claim violates the United States Clean Air Act. The group is blaming the company, which mines one of the largest pits in the world, of contributing up to one-third of Salt Lake County's pollution.

    The company responded to the claims by saying the accusations are without merit, according to the Huffington Post.

    "Kennecott has and continues to operate within the parameters of its air permits and is consistently in compliance with U.S. EPA and Utah Division of Air Quality regulations, which are based on strict standards for protecting human health," the company said.

    Utah's chief air regulator did acknowledge that the company has been violating a 1994 Environmental and Protection Act law that limited the company to hauling only 150 million tons of ore a year. However, the state has allowed Kennecott to mine as much as 260 million tons most recently.

    Medical-grade air purifiers may assist in keeping indoor spaces free of the pollutants named in the suit.

  • Air pollution linked to diabetes

    Two studies in the past year, one in the United States, the other in Germany, found evidence that suggests high rates of tiny-particle air pollution may be linked to rising rates of diabetes.

    Some doctors believe the evidence points to a rise in "the exploding pandemic, if you will, of type 2 diabetes, particularly in urbanized areas around the world," Sanjay Rajagopalan of the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, told USNews.

    In the study, the mice living in an environment with clean, filtered air remained healthy. In contrast, those that experienced real world air suffered insulin resistance and were more likely to develop belly fat and other classic prediabetic symptoms. Other metabolic diseases were also found in high quantities in subjects who were treated with "city" air.

    Air pollution is consistently being found to have potential negative effects on the health of both humans and animals. Long-term exposure to particles over time may increase a person's chance of developing the disease. Investing in medical-grade air purifiers may help remove these pollutants from the home.

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