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Pollution

  • Utah officials to develop new air pollution strategy

    The Utah Air Quality Board will create new air pollution guidelines after it deemed its previous standards insufficient. According to The Associated Press, board members said they intend to develop tougher regulations for Salt Lake City and much of the northern Utah urban sector.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators had set December 14, 2012, as the deadline for Utah leaders to establish up-to-date air pollution standards. However, Utah officials said they will miss the deadline, as these representatives will have more time to develop stricter policies for oil refineries and other industrial facilities.

    "It's better to have the right plan late than the wrong plan on time," Bruce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, told the news source.

    Richard Mylott, an EPA spokesperson, noted that agency officials expect Utah leaders to work diligently to institute new air pollution regulations.

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  • Decreasing air pollution helps raise life expectancy in United States

    Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently discovered a significant connection between the declining air pollution rates in the United States and the rising average life expectancy among the country's citizens. According to News-Medical, the research team found that there have been substantial reductions in air pollution over the past 10 years, which have helped improve life expectancy figures in many areas. However, Andrew Correia, a researcher with the Harvard School of Public Health, cautions that optimum air quality levels have not yet been reached.

    "The U.S. population as a whole is exposed to much lower levels of air pollution than 30 years ago...it appears that further reductions in air pollution levels would continue to benefit public health," Correia told the news source.

    Correia and other researchers collected data between 2000 and 2007 for their evaluation. Group members calculated the mean life expectancy change during this time frame in 545 U.S. counties, and also considered potential variables such as the number of residents who smoked and the socioeconomic status of citizens in these regions.

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  • Alaska parents and teachers fight against air pollution

    Parents and teachers at Woodriver Elementary School in Alaska's Fairbanks North Star Borough are trying to eliminate air pollution from the area. According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the elementary school was severely hit by wintertime smoke, and local parents and educators have formed a committee to help combat air quality issues.

    A recently approved proposal prevents officials in the borough from enforcing air pollution regulations on home heating devices. However, parents and teachers are reaching out to state administrators to help relieve air pollution problems that have been shown to cause health problems.

    "As the parents, once we started looking into it more it was really concerning," local parent Carrie Dershin told the news source. "Seeing the levels and seeing how extremely poor it was for all the children was really concerning."

    The Airgle® PurePal® Plus AG850 Air Purifier features enhanced technology for chemical, microbe, odor and particle filtration. It is a quality air purifier with an ultra-quiet design, metal-frame housing and a powerful airflow that kills bacteria and viruses and safely breaks down dangerous chemicals and odors.

  • EPA promotes public involvement in Texas air-pollution permits

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging Texas residents to become actively involved in helping the state control air pollution at power plants and other industrial facilities. According to the Houston Chronicle, the agency approved revised regulations for the Lone Star State's power plants and refineries on November 30, 2012.

    EPA officials noted that the public plays a role in the permit-approval process, and residents can offer input before a company receives a state-issued permit. Ron Curry, a local administrator with the EPA, said that public participation is essential for the agency's Clean Air Act to be successful. Amendments from this regulation are designed to help people avoid the dangers of air pollution, and under the recently accepted Texas legislation, agency representatives said they hope state residents will have easier access to documents and other information related to pending permits.

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  • First-ever no-burn alert issued for Southland

    For the first time ever, a no-burn alert order has been issued for Southland. A majority of the Los Angeles population is being asked to not light wood-burning fireplaces or open fire pits. The Los Angeles Times reports that the intent of the restriction is to reduce the levels of air pollution surrounding the city.

    The new program was adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and applies to residents in West Hollywood, Burbank, the downtown area and many in the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley. Violating the order comes with a $50 fine for first-time offenders.

    "Over 1 million homes actively use fireplaces to burn wood in Los Angeles,'' Sam Atwood, an agency spokesman at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, told the news source. "That results in four times the particulate pollution created by all of the power plants in the basin."

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  • Most common air pollutants in America

    Americans concerned about the presence of air pollution in their community can monitor the posted concentrations of the six most common pollutants in the United Stated. The Environmental Protection Agency tracks levels of ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead.

    The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for these six pollutants because they can be harmful to people's health and the environment and even cause property damage. These pollutants are tracked in two ways: by air concentration levels based on actual measurements of pollutant concentration in outside air at selected monitoring sites and by emission estimates made by experienced engineers and scientists.

    The limits based on human health requirements are referred to as primary standards. Another set of regulated levels, called secondary standards, is intended to prevent environmental and property damage.

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  • Link between autism and air pollution strengthens

    New research shows that children with autism are two to three times more likely than other children to have been previously exposed to air pollution during infancy. Time Magazine reports that the study's findings were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry and show a link between early exposure to air pollution and autism spectrum disorders.

    "We're not saying that air pollution causes autism. We're saying it may be a risk factor for autism," Heather Volk, lead author on the new study and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, told the news source. "Autism is a complex disorder and it’s likely there are many factors contributing."

    The news source claims that researchers analyzed 500 children living in California. According to the study, children in the top 25 percent of pollution exposure were more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder than kids in the bottom 25 percent of the pollution level scale.

    New parents or those about to become parents can install a home air purifier to reduce the presence of harmful air pollutants in the home. An IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air purifier can improve air quality in a house and potentially have a positive impact on a child's health.

  • Air pollution warning issued for southwestern New Hampshire

    Air pollution levels rose to unhealthy levels in southwestern New Hampshire during peak holiday travel times last week. As a result, officials from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services advised that sensitive individuals in the region take precautions and protect their health by limiting exposure, reports The Keene Sentinel.

    The elderly, young children and those afflicted with respiratory conditions like asthma or bronchitis should consider spending time indoors and limiting strenuous activity when air quality warnings are released. According to the news source, the department forecast high concentration levels of fine particulate matter due to temperature conditions and increased travel volumes.

    Air quality has been linked to numerous health effects, which is why a homeowner may find investing in a IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air purifier an ideal way to reduce air pollutants in a house. The unit effectively removes common air pollutants - allowing individuals to breathe easier. A home air purifier can allow a person to feel comfortable and safe in his or her house.

  • Study finds designated smoking areas ineffective

    The Washington Dulles International Airport is not only one of the busiest are transportation hubs in the United States, but it is also one of the smokiest. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, busy American airports that allow smoking in designated terminal areas register air pollution levels five times higher than completely smoke-free airports.

    NewsChannel 8 reports that areas designated for smoking in the airport such as certain bars, restaurants and other rooms registered pollution levels 23 times higher than in smoke-free airports despite the installation of air pollution control technology such as high-end ventilation systems.

    "The findings...further confirm that ventilated smoking rooms and designated smoking areas are not effective," Dr. Tim McAfee, the director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, told the news source.

    Raised air pollution levels from smoking are a growing concern among travelers and homeowners. People who rent apartments or own condos in combined buildings may find smoke lingering from past tenants or coming from connecting ventilation shafts. Using a home air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air purifier can reduce the presence of fine particulate matter in a home.

  • Air quality watch issued as result of a Coon Creek fire

    An air quality watch has been issued following a fire near Coon Creek in San Luis Obispo County. The Santa Maria Times reports that the health watch was issued by the county Public Health Department and the Air Pollution Control District.

    The smoke from the fire is traveling downwind and is negatively impacting air quality as monitoring stations record elevated levels of fine particulate matter and soot in Santa Maria and Lompoc.

    Those people who are considered "at risk," like the elderly, children and those with heart or lung disease or any respiratory condition, should remain indoors. Anyone experiencing shortness of breath or elevated levels of coughing are advised to monitor their condition to determine if going to a hospital or medical clinic is warranted.

    Smoke and fine particulate levels can negatively impact the health of anyone at any age. Concerned individuals can invest in a home air purifier to reduce the presence of these pollutants throughout the year. A unit like IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air purifier benefits everyone spending significant time in a space.

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