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Pollution

  • Air pollution in wake of BP oil spill equaled levels seen only in a 'large city's'

    Air pollution levels off the coast of Louisiana reached levels typically only seen in large cities in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Researchers tested air-borne zone and particulate matter, which are proven to have direct effects on human health, and found that about 8 percent of every 13 spilled barrels made it to the ocean's surface and evaporated into airborne particles small enough to be inhaled.

    "It was like having a large city's worth of pollution appear out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico," said Daniel Murphy, a NOAA scientist and co-author of the report.

    As a result, there were increased levels of respiratory problems across the gulf region. Homeowners may wish to consider investing in a IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier to ward off prolonged exposure to toxins such as these.

    The report states that as the oil evaporated, it put 10 times more organic particles in the air than the burning did, and that areas as far as 50 miles inland suffered from the degraded air quality. The BP Deepwater Horizon spill may have lasting health and ecological effects.

  • New Year's Eve air quality advisory issued due to smoke levels

    The Clark Country Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management (DAQEM) in Nevada is issuing an air quality advisory from December 31 through January 1.

    The DAQEM believes that smoke caused from New Year's fireworks, combined with weather conditions, may create a potential problem by worsening respiratory diseases. Homes in the area with children or adults who suffer from chronic asthma or respiratory illness may wish to consider investing in medical-grade air purifiers to filter out average or unusual levels of irritants.

    The predicted cold weather and lack of wind may cause smoke and dust from fireworks to remain at a low elevation, according to the DAQEM. These conditions could allow traditional celebratory events to produce unhealthy levels of smoke that will not dissipate at the usual rate. Using air purifiers and staying inside should provide the necessary safety precautions to prevent smoke levels from creating havoc with respiratory functions for those afflicted with asthma or bronchitis.

    Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to the negative effects of exposure to smoke, and should remain inside.

  • While nation focuses on EPA changes, California has emission debates of its own

    Much of the coverage concerning air pollution in America these past few weeks has focused on the controversial new EPA regulations concerning coal-burning power plants, but there have been more local efforts to clean the air as well.

    Updated in 2010, the new emission-reducing regulations required by the California Air Resources Board are slated to go into effect on January 1st, 2012. These restrictions, which are aimed at diesel-producing trucking companies, are being attacked with renewed vigor as the deadline approaches.

    Due to pressure from worried business owners, who cite the expense of such a change as a concern, the CARB has allowed for some leeway in the rule, causing mixed responses from the public. California is notoriously poor when it comes to air pollution, and proponents of these restrictions may see this backing off as a sign that nothing has changed.

    Still, the diesel particle emissions can be something of a health hazard, regardless of tightening restrictions. Consider investing in a medical-grade air purifier to help keep the air in your home healthy and clean.

  • Dust storms may negatively impact West Coast air quality

    Winter dust storms located on the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado have sharply risen, and out of the 65 dust storm events that have occurred since 2003, 32 have happened in the last three years, according to the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies.

    These dust storms reduce air quality, which may have an adverse effect on an individual's health if he does not spend time in an indoor facility equipped with a professional-grade air purifier.

    The dust in these regions carry a distinct iron oxide-heavy chemical signature, according to The New York Times. For those monitoring regional air quality, the increase in dust storms and the alarmingly high rates of asthma may suggest a link. A 2010 indicator report by the Utah Department of Health states that areas identified as frequently affected by dust storms experienced pronounced levels of asthma that exceeded statewide averages.

    The survey reported that 13.6 percent of adult residents in these rural areas suffer from asthma in comparison to the 7.5 percent nationally, reports The New York Times. Homes equipped with an IQAir® HealthPro Plus air purifier could experience reduced levels of asthma attacks by eliminating air pollutants.

  • Indoor air can contain more pollutants than outdoor

    A recent study found more than 400 chemicals ranging from pesticides to phthalates inside household air in Arizona homes. Researchers placed air-collecting devices in 52 homes in Arizona along the Mexican border for 30 days, according to Environmental Health News. Using chromatography and mass spectrometry, they were able to identify 400 individual chemicals.

    However, 586 chemicals were cataloged, leaving scientists unable to identify at least 120 of the chemicals, the source reports. A high-end home air purifier could assist in removing toxins inside the home.

    Amongst the identified chemicals, there were 27 different organochlorine pesticides detected. P,p’-DDE is a breakdown of the now banned pesticide DDT and was detected in more than 90 percent of homes, according to the source.

    While the majority of the unidentifiable chemicals were similar to fragrance compounds, many of the identifiable elements are considered to be a risk to human health with long-term exposure. The high concentrations of banned pesticides and other organic compounds has helped bring upon the realization that average home air quality may often be worse than its outside counterpart if a home air purifier is not used.

  • Kennecott copper mine causes huge problems for clean air

    In Utah, a variety of groups have introduced a lawsuit against Kennecott Utah Copper Mine, claiming that the company had knowingly broken laws outlined in the Clean Air Act in regards to their air pollution.

    The filers of the suit, including a society of physicians, claim that the mine is responsible for nearly a third of the air pollution in the Salt Lake area. In 1994, the mine agreed to laws that were enacted to keep production under 150.5 tons a year. This regulation was enforced to minimize the dust thrown into the air from mining, as well as reduce emissions from the heavy mining machinery and transportation vehicles.

    While the mine has received permission from the state to increase production drastically, the suit claims that these production increases were never cleared on a federal level, or with the EPA, and that the mine has broken clean air restrictions as a result. The groups filing the suit hope to see a reduction to safe production levels, and monetary awards to be used for cleaning the air and environmental safeguards.

    While the lawsuit is decided, the air remains polluted. If you worry about the effect of constant air pollution on you and your family, invest in a medical-grade air purifier to filter out toxins and keep the air in your home healthy.

  • Clean Air Act violation results in $12 million fine

    The Clean Air Act is a piece of legislation that is designed to improve the health of every American citizen through regulation of pollution and strict attention to air quality. Pelican Refining Company LLC, a Texas-based oil company operating in Louisiana, was found to be in violation of the Act and received its sentencing this month - a fine of $12 million for purposely causing the violations and attempting to cover up its wrongdoing.

    The cost, a $10 million fine for criminal wrongdoing and an additional $2 million to be spent on community service-based environmental improvements, is the largest of its kind in Louisiana and is a good reminder that though much progress has been made in keeping the air clean and healthy, there is always room for improvement.

    While the majority of companies take steps to comply with regulations, the upcoming tightening restrictions on the Clean Air Act may reveal that companies that value profits over public safety will do everything they can to avoid reducing their emissions at the expense of their bottom line.

    Rather than waiting for those corporations to fall in line, protect your family from harmful pollutants now by investing in a medical-grade air purifier to keep the air in your home fresh and healthy.

  • Wood smoke a dangerous pollutant as well

    After hearing the words "air pollution," the majority of people will jump immediately to thinking about factories, coal, oil and cars. But there are many different kinds of air pollution, and recent findings have shown that wood smoke is a major contributor of airborne toxins.

    It may be hard to believe that campfires could contribute significantly to air pollution, but old-fashioned wood-burning stoves and furnaces, along with fireplaces and any other wood-burning heater, all contribute greatly to air pollution, not in the least because many of these apparatuses predate the kind of filter they should be equipped with.

    The real problem comes from the fact that, while industry emissions are closely controlled, the soot particles from private homes are not, so when the winter comes around and the wood starts burning, it can be difficult to even walk outside.

    If you want to protect your home this winter, consider investing in a medical-grade air purifier. With powerful filters that remove up to 99.5 percent of airborne toxins, you can breathe easy knowing the air in your home is clean and healthy.

  • Punjab Agricultural University is one escape from city pollution

    Pollution in India has been a problem ever since the country went through a major industrial revolution following its independence from Britain. Cities like Ludhiana in Punjab have gotten so bad in this regard that the majority of flights from the area are unable to take off for days at a time. Recently, a group of international beauty queens visited the city, and the common complaint about the city was the state of the air.

    Punjab Agricultural University is located a few miles away from the city proper and has recently become an extremely popular place for walking as a result of the city's high pollution. It has become so popular, in fact, that the university began requiring permits from those on the campus. Still, despite the permit fee, many city dwellers are paying it happily and travel for miles for the opportunity to take a walk and clear their lungs of the dirty city air.

    This clamor for clean air is a strong indicator of the difference it makes not only to one's energy, but also health. If you want to make a similar stand for your health and energy level, consider investing in a medical-grade air purifier and fill your home with clean, fresh air.

  • Chinese air pollution the cause of protests

    This week, air pollution in China became a national concern as heavy smog in Beijing grounded hundreds of flights due to visibility issues. The U.S. Embassy in China now routinely takes samples and studies of the air quality for study, and the information is available through their Twitter feed. Their readings during the worst of this smog crisis were literally so high that the chart the American EPA uses to classify pollution-related health risks didn't have a rating high enough.

    In the meantime, Chinese government readings were significantly lower due to the fact that they have created a different scale that ignores many of the pollution-causing particles and only measures certain pollutants. This allows their readings to be significantly lower.

    While the average Chinese citizen has no access to Twitter, the embassy's readings have been reposted in so many places that the news was received by the public and has been the cause of a rising online protest.

    If nothing else, this event shows that all forms of pollutants are dangerous, regardless of context. If you want to protect your family, whether traveling overseas or just in your own home, invest in a medical-grade air purifier and keep the air in your home fresh, clean and healthy.

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