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Pollution

  • 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. 

  • Early exposure to air pollution tied to increase in asthma cases

    Asthma is a common issue in the U.S., and new research from the University of California, San Francisco, shows early exposure to air pollution could play a role in who goes on to develop the condition later in life. The new study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found this to be the case among a large group of minorities.

    Scientists recruited and checked up on more than 3,300 Latino and 970 African American patients who were born in the U.S. From the collected data, researches noticed that for every five parts per billion increase in nitrogen dioxide exposure (NO2), a component of vehicle air pollution, in an infant's first year of life, the child had a 17 percent higher risk of developing asthma as they aged.

    The American Lung Association reports asthma is among the most common chronic disorders in childhood, affecting more than 7 million kids under the age of 18. Though more research needs to be conducted to verify the recent findings, it seems there is some link between air pollution and asthma. Parents can help their youngsters breathe better by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC Multigas in their homes. 

  • Dwindling salamander population sparks pollution talks

    With a name like hellbender, it's no wonder that the largest salamanders in the Western hemisphere have survived for millions of years - evolving just enough to live when dinosaurs couldn't, according to The Nature Conservancy. Despite its once healthy hold in places like Missouri, Virginia and Arkansas, the hellbender population is rapidly declining, and many blame environmental pollution for the demise. 

    The salamanders, who live near fresh streams and rivers in these parts, have been dying off at faster rates in recent years and scientists are worried it's an indication of just how bad pollution levels have gotten. 

    "Hellbenders tell us that our streams are healthy," Kimberly Terrell, a wildlife biologist with the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "If the hellbenders start disappearing, there is probably something wrong with our streams. And most of us live downstream from hellbenders."

    Terrell added that many of the problems hellbenders face people polluting the streams, while issues with air quality also threaten their existence. 

    Air and environmental pollution levels continue to be high around the nation, with rates expected to increase rapidly during the hotter months. Those living in high traffic areas might benefit from investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe easy at home. 

  • New York City residents in for high-pollution summer

    Air pollution is a major issue around the nation, despite an effort to reduce the problem. The American Lung Association's (ALA) State of the Air report was recently released and even though air quality in the U.S. is the cleanest on record, nearly 41 percent of all residents still live in areas with above-healthy levels. 

    One city that continues to deal with major pollution, mainly caused by vehicle emissions, is New York City. The ALA recently addressed this problem by informing all residents that air pollution levels are predicted to increase dramatically during the summer months. 

    "With these increased temperatures comes the increased threat of hazardous levels of ozone pollution," Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the ALA of the Northeast, said in a statement.

    In an effort to keep citizens informed and perhaps encourage them to stay inside on certain days, the ALA developed an app, "State of the Air," that works to track daily ozone and particle pollution levels based on an individual's zip code. 

    Those worried about a spike in air pollution this summer can invest in professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to keep harmful side effects such as wheezing, coughing or asthma attacks at bay. 

  • Strict car emission laws help lower LA air pollution

    Los Angeles might best be known for its slew of rock stars and A-list celebrities; however, another dirty little secret the City of Angels is known for is its high air pollution levels. According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2011, the city had the highest levels of ozone nationwide, with rates higher than the recommended federal health standards an average of 137 days each year. 

    Though L.A. still has a long way to go to curb its raised levels, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's research center at the University of Colorado Boulder have determined strict car emission laws have helped significantly decrease pollution in the city. The recent study used data collected in the area from 1960 to present day. 

    Scientists found that despite a large jump in the number of vehicles on the road in California between now and then, the tough laws, which include regulating the emissions of cars sold and driven in the state, have helped curb its high air pollution rates. 

    Ilana Pollack, lead author of the study, reports that the data "confirms that California's policies to control emissions have worked as intended." Now, researchers are looking to determine exactly how the change was made to implement the same ideas in other cities around the nation. 

    Even though emission rates have been lowered in Los Angeles, air pollution is still a major problem there and in many cities around the nation. Families living in high-traffic areas might want to invest in professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to keep pollution out.

  • Could exercise protect lungs from air pollution?

    Going for a jog on a warm spring day might be the ideal workout for nature lovers. Not only do they enjoy breaking a sweat, but also breathing in fresh air. That is, unless they live in high-traffic areas full of pollution. Though emissions, like those from diesel fuel, are harmful for people to breathe in, a new study discovered that working through the smog could help the body adapt for the better. 

    Scientists from the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine tested the effects of diesel exhaust exposure among two groups of mice for five weeks. Both groups regularly breathed in tainted air, but one group exercised each day while the other remained sedentary. The collected data showed that the mice that did not exercise were plagued with significantly higher levels of lung inflammation and free radicals, while the exercising mice benefited from changes that allowed their immune systems to fight back against the pollution. 

    Even if working out could help the body fight off or curb the side effects of air pollution, it's certainly not a cure-all. According to WebMD, there are too many different types of air pollution to assume exercise could help stave off negative symptoms. Instead, people should limit their time spent in cars and remain indoors during peak traffic times if they live in congested areas. Investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas is another smart way to breathe easy at home. 

  • Could pollution be tied to ADHD?

    Attention deficit hypertension disorder (ADHD) is a growing problem in the U.S., with more than 5 million kids and teens between the ages of  3 and 17 living with the side effects of the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The behavioral disorder affects boys more frequently than girls, and it can lead to children having difficulty paying attention in class, having too much energy or lashing out due to acting without thinking. 

    Though there is no set cause for the disorder, a new study has found traffic pollution could play a role in children's development of ADHD. Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati followed approximately 576 children from birth until the age of 7. All lived in the metro area of Cincinnati. The kids were separated into two groups - youngsters who lived near major highways or bus routes and those who lived more than a mile away from traffic and congestion. 

    When the kids turned 7, their parents were asked to fill out a survey regarding their behavior. From the results, it was discovered that children who lived near traffic were far more likely to have hyperactivity symptoms than their peers who lived in more rural, less congested areas. Though more research needs to be conducted, parents worried about their youngster's development might want to install a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to help curb how much traffic pollution kids breathe in. 

  • Type 2 diabetes risk tied to pollution

    There are many factors that affect the amount and type of air pollution Americans deal with every day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cities around the nation face six specific "criteria pollutants" that can lead to issues like asthma and allergies as well as other respiratory problems. The criteria pollutants people in the U.S. deal with include ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead. These pollutants can arise from car emissions, pollution from factories and even grilling. 

    A new study conducted by German scientists published in the journal Diabetologica discovered yet another medical concern air pollution could be related to. Researchers tested whether there was a link between pollution and diabetes by collecting blood samples from almost 400 10-year old children. They also reviewed how much air pollution exposure each child had by checking out car emission reports from their neighborhoods as well as how densely populated their hometowns were, among other data.

    From the collected information it was found that kids with more exposure to air pollution also had "significantly higher insulin levels" than their peers who breathed in less air pollution. Though more research needs to be conducted, scientists believe there is a real link between diabetes development and air pollution levels. 

    Parents can ensure their family breathes in only the freshest air at home by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas

  • Using grocery delivery services is better for the environment

    Though grocery delivery services like Peapod by Stop & Shop have been around for years, some people might assume it's a waste of money and time to use such options. However, a new study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington found that using such services might be more eco-friendly. 

    To test this theory, researchers looked at delivery services versus traditional shopping in the Seattle area. From the collected data they discovered that, on average, delivery trucks produce 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than what drivers would emit going shopping on their own. Erica Wygonik, co-author of the study, believes the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to the environmental benefits delivery services provide. 

    "What's good for the bottom line of the delivery service provider is generally going to be good for the environment, because fuel is such a big contributor to operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions," said Wygonik. "Saving fuel saves money, which also saves on emissions."

    Air pollution is a serious problem around the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency reports prolonged exposure to such toxins can cause people to develop serious medical conditions such as cancer, respiratory problems or even fertility issues.  

    Switching to a grocery delivery service might be one way to cut your family's emissions rate, while installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas can also ensure everyone breathes clean air at home. 

  • Air Pollution: Not just an urban problem

    Most Americans have heard of air pollution, but might not think the issue affects them, especially if they live in quiet, suburban areas. Despite this feeling of safety, a new study conducting by members of the California Environmental Protection Agency found air pollution can strike anywhere, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    According to the report, scientists used an environmental health screen tool called CalEnviroScreen to evaluate how polluted certain areas of Southern California were. The collected data found the three highest air polluted town were all in the San Joaquin Valley, specifically, Fresno, Bakersfield and Stockton.

    "Some people expected most of these ZIP codes to be in industrial, urban areas," Sam Delson, a spokesman for California's Environmental Protection Agency, told the news outlet. "It was surprising to some that while many were in urban areas, a lot of them were in agricultural areas."

    The Clean Air Act reports the U.S. deals with six major air pollutants: carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, though there are many secondary issues as well. 

    Families interested in keeping air pollution out of their homes can invest in medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe easy indoors. 

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