Fresh Air News

  • Smartphone app could help people with food allergies eat safer

    In today's society, up to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies, while this allergy affects one in every 13 children under the age of 18, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. While these and other allergies can be regulated with EpiPens or by avoiding certain foods altogether, it can be hard for people with food allergies to go to eat out. 

    However, the worry of eating something with a trigger food in it may soon be avoidable thanks to a smartphone app and specialized cradle that is able to look for specific ingredients. Fox News reports researchers from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, created the handheld biosensor that uses a series of lenses and filters to detect toxins, bacteria and even allergens in food by simply holding it over the item in question. 

    While the project is still in the experimental phase, it could be a valuable tool for people in the coming years. This is just the latest in tools to track allergies, as the MyAllergyTest, an at-home screening system that can test for up to 10 common allergies, was FDA approved in June. 

    The test checks for things like Bermuda grass, cat, cedar, house dust mites, ragweed and other allergens. While food allergies can be harder to track, those with environmental or pet allergies can breathe easier at home by investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Smartphone app could help people with food allergies eat safer

    In today's society, up to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies, while this allergy affects one in every 13 children under the age of 18, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. While these and other allergies can be regulated with EpiPens or by avoiding certain foods altogether, it can be hard for people with food allergies to go to eat out. 

    However, the worry of eating something with a trigger food in it may soon be avoidable thanks to a smartphone app and specialized cradle that is able to look for specific ingredients. Fox News reports researchers from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, created the handheld biosensor that uses a series of lenses and filters to detect toxins, bacteria and even allergens in food by simply holding it over the item in question. 

    While the project is still in the experimental phase, it could be a valuable tool for people in the coming years. This is just the latest in tools to track allergies, as the MyAllergyTest, an at-home screening system that can test for up to 10 common allergies, was FDA approved in June. 

    The test checks for things like Bermuda grass, cat, cedar, house dust mites, ragweed and other allergens. While food allergies can be harder to track, those with environmental or pet allergies can breathe easier at home by investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • China's air pollution woes worsening

    It is no secret that China has one of the worst air pollution problems in the world, but new data suggests that the issue may be even more serious than previously thought. According to Bloomberg, some parts of China reported levels of airborne pollutants at more than three times the safe levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

    The maximum safe limit for airborne particulate matter is 25 micrograms per cubic meter, but in 74 Chinese cities, levels routinely exceeded 76 micrograms for much of the first six months of 2013. Many of the worst-affected cities were found to be in the northern province of Hebei, one of China's most heavily industrialized areas and a key part the country's steel manufacturing sector.

    According to the Xinhua news agency, China's southern provinces experienced significantly less air pollution last month than northern regions. In particular, the Pearl River Delta, an urban agglomeration in southern China, reported acceptable levels of airborne pollutants for most of June.

    China's pollution crisis is significantly worse than conditions in the U.S., but the need to ensure air quality is as high as possible is no less serious. Concerned individuals may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system for their home, particularly if they or their family members suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma.

  • Obama evaluating environmental impact of Keystone pipeline

    Although the issue of creating jobs and promoting economic growth is never far from the headlines, the controversy surrounding the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline has proven particularly divisive. In his latest comments on the matter, President Barack Obama reiterated that the environmental impact of the project remains a top priority for his administration, reports The New York Times.

    The key issue at stake is the amount of carbon that will be deposited into the atmosphere if construction of the pipeline proceeds. Recognizing the fact that atmospheric carbon pollution is already a serious problem in many parts of the U.S., Obama said he would only authorize the project if the pipeline does not "significantly exacerbate" levels of carbon in the air. He added that Canada, where the Keystone XL Pipeline originates, could "potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release."

    According to Politico, Obama's remarks follow a series of comments on the accuracy of projected levels of airborne carbon that could be created by the pipeline. Speaking to Congressional Republicans, Obama said that some analyses of the project's environmental impact had been exaggerated.

    Regardless of whether the pipeline will raise existing levels of carbon, there is little doubt about the need for families to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution. Investing in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system is an excellent way for concerned individuals to ensure their domestic air quality is as high as it possibly can be.

  • Obama evaluating environmental impact of Keystone pipeline

    Although the issue of creating jobs and promoting economic growth is never far from the headlines, the controversy surrounding the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline has proven particularly divisive. In his latest comments on the matter, President Barack Obama reiterated that the environmental impact of the project remains a top priority for his administration, reports The New York Times.

    The key issue at stake is the amount of carbon that will be deposited into the atmosphere if construction of the pipeline proceeds. Recognizing the fact that atmospheric carbon pollution is already a serious problem in many parts of the U.S., Obama said he would only authorize the project if the pipeline does not "significantly exacerbate" levels of carbon in the air. He added that Canada, where the Keystone XL Pipeline originates, could "potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release."

    According to Politico, Obama's remarks follow a series of comments on the accuracy of projected levels of airborne carbon that could be created by the pipeline. Speaking to Congressional Republicans, Obama said that some analyses of the project's environmental impact had been exaggerated.

    Regardless of whether the pipeline will raise existing levels of carbon, there is little doubt about the need for families to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution. Investing in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system is an excellent way for concerned individuals to ensure their domestic air quality is as high as it possibly can be.

  • Research indicates single gene responsible for asthma, allergies

    When children are diagnosed with respiratory ailments like asthma, environmental conditions are often one of the first things physicians look at as a determining cause. While there is little doubt that air quality can play a role in a child's likelihood of developing asthma, scientists believe that a single genetic abnormality may be predominantly responsible for the illness, reports Time magazine.

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine recently discovered that the same genetic aberration that causes Marfan and Loeys-Dietz syndromes, two highly rare tissue disorders, could also be responsible for virtually all allergy-related conditions, including asthma. Individuals with Marfan and Loeys-Dietz syndromes tend to have a much higher sensitivity to environmental allergens, which led the researchers to investigate the possible link.

    "We found that these patients had a very high risk of developing not just one allergy, but all forms of allergic disease," said Pamela Frischmeyer-Guerrerio, an immunologist and lead author of the study, as quoted by HealthDay. 

    Further research will ultimately determine whether genetics plays a definitive role in people's likelihood of developing asthma and other allergic diseases. Regardless, individuals who want to minimize their exposure to airborne irritants may want to invest in an IQAir HealthPro Plus medical-grade air filtration system.

  • Ozone regulations upheld by federal court judge

    Environmental policy can be notoriously difficult to draft and even harder to enforce, as evidenced by a recent legal decision in Washington, D.C. A federal court judge recently upheld the ozone regulations set forth by former President George W. Bush in 2008, reports The Associated Press. 

    The air pollution standard in question refers to a mandate signed into law by Bush governing acceptable levels of ozone in the atmosphere. During his initial presidential campaign, President Barack Obama vowed to strengthen the law to protect public health, but eventually decided against it due to pressure from Republicans who argued that any tightening of the laws would have a negative economic impact.

    Many environmental advocates and public health officials were disappointed by the ruling that the standards are sufficient. However, some states, such as Missouri, which had challenged the EPA's research, agreed with the decision, claiming the regulations promised by Obama would be too stringent, according to E&E News.

    Ozone is one of the most harmful chemical elements present in smog, and can be a powerful irritant, especially to individuals with respiratory ailments like asthma. Parents who want to protect themselves and their children from the effects of smog and ozone may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to ensure the air in their homes is clean.

  • Ozone regulations upheld by federal court judge

    Environmental policy can be notoriously difficult to draft and even harder to enforce, as evidenced by a recent legal decision in Washington, D.C. A federal court judge recently upheld the ozone regulations set forth by former President George W. Bush in 2008, reports The Associated Press. 

    The air pollution standard in question refers to a mandate signed into law by Bush governing acceptable levels of ozone in the atmosphere. During his initial presidential campaign, President Barack Obama vowed to strengthen the law to protect public health, but eventually decided against it due to pressure from Republicans who argued that any tightening of the laws would have a negative economic impact.

    Many environmental advocates and public health officials were disappointed by the ruling that the standards are sufficient. However, some states, such as Missouri, which had challenged the EPA's research, agreed with the decision, claiming the regulations promised by Obama would be too stringent, according to E&E News.

    Ozone is one of the most harmful chemical elements present in smog, and can be a powerful irritant, especially to individuals with respiratory ailments like asthma. Parents who want to protect themselves and their children from the effects of smog and ozone may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to ensure the air in their homes is clean.

  • Strong public support for greater smoking bans around children

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of respiratory illness and preventable death in the U.S. However, the health risks associated with tobacco smoke are not limited to the smoker, as second-hand smoke has also been proven to be extremely hazardous to health. According to a recent survey, many adults strongly support the introduction of additional measures intended to limit children's exposure to tobacco smoke.

    The National Poll on Children's Health, conducted by researchers at Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan, suggests many adults firmly oppose exposing children to tobacco smoke and support legislation designed to prohibit smoking around children. Approximately 87 percent of respondents indicated they agreed with proposals for laws banning smoking in businesses where children could be exposed to second-hand smoke. An additional 75 percent supported measures that would ban smoking in homes with children suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions.

    Even adults who do not smoke may be concerned about their children's respiratory health. These individuals may want to consider investing in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to ensure the quality of the air in their home is as high as it possibly can be.

  • Researchers examining link between pollution, severe asthma

    Although the connection may seem obvious, researchers in Pennsylvania are hoping to definitively prove the link between levels of airborne pollutants and severe cases of asthma, reports CBS News.

    Scientists at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh are seeking participants for a new study into how levels of air pollution affect the severity of asthma symptoms. Doctors also hope to determine whether seasonal temperatures play a significant role in asthma attacks.

    "We're at a time of the year where there's increased levels of air pollution," Deborah Gentile with Allegheny General's Asthma and Immunology Department, told the news source. "We're looking to see in the study if increases in air pollution are triggering asthma attacks that cause patients to go to the ER."

    According to Medical Daily, a separate study has drawn strong conclusions that exposure to increased levels of airborne pollutants can have a direct impact on a child's likelihood of developing asthma. 

    Individuals who are concerned about air pollution and its effects on respiratory conditions may want to invest in an IQAir GC MultiGas medical-grade air filtration system to ensure the air quality in their home is as good as it possibly can be.

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