Fresh Air News

  • Smoking during pregnancy found to affect immune system

    There have been a lot of studies on the topic of smoking during pregnancy. Most people know that smoking while pregnant can have serious effects on the unborn child, but few are aware of the extent of the problems that can arise from the act. 

    A recent study from the Leipzig Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research looked into how exposure to tobacco smoke in utero affects the development of the immune system. Results of the study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, pointed to the fact that environmental stressors such as smoke impact the development of the immune system at the molecular level. It can even impact gene regulation. 

    This is one of the first times research has focused on the processes happening at a molecular level, and it helps to explain some of the affects of smoking during pregnancy. 

    The first step toward protecting young or unborn children is ridding the air of smoke and chemicals that may cause harm. Many adults turn to professional-grade home air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas, which can clear a wide variety of irritants out of a space. 

  • Air pollution can cause problems during pregnancy

    Pregnant women will stop at nothing to ensure the health and safety of their unborn child. Unfortunately, some of the very dangers they could be trying to get away from may be in the air they breathe. A recent study conducted by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University found that air pollution, combined with maternal psychological distress, can have a significant effect on the behavioral development of the child. 

    Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study claims that air pollution from sources like vehicles, heating systems and tobacco smoke are often tied to issues such as attention problems, anxiety and aggressive behavior. Symptoms were typically found in the children of women who had some sort of emotional and psychological distress during pregnancy. 

    "This study shows that the combination of physical and psychosocial stressors during fetal development magnifies the effect of each exposure," said Dr. Frederica Perera, the lead author of the study. "The findings are of concern because attention problems and anxiety and depression have been shown to affect peer relationships, academic performance and future well-being of children." 

    Anyone concerned about pollutants affecting their home should consider investing in professional-grade air purifiers. Options like the IQAir GC MultiGas can clear the air of a wide variety of irritants. 

  • New York's air quality reaches 50-year best

    Living in a major city can have its drawbacks, especially when you have to deal with the pollution that stems from heavy traffic and a large population. New York City is taking steps to limit these problems, however, and citywide efforts have resulted in The Big Apple having its best air quality in 50 years. 

    The New York Times reported that sulfur dioxide levels have fallen 69 percent since 2008, while soot pollution has also dropped more than 23 percent since 2007. Much of this can be attributed to businesses throughout the area moving to cleaner fuels. 

    "The continued health benefits of this conversion to cleaner heating fuels will make it the single biggest step to save lives since we began our comprehensive smoking control program," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a new conference, as quoted by The New York Times. "... When you look at the results like that, at the lives being saved and the illnesses being prevented, it tells you that we're definitely doing something right." 

    Although air quality in New York is improving, there is still a lot of work that can be done to improve the environment in your own home. Many city residents use air purifiers, such as the IQAir GC MultiGas, to clear the air of a wide variety of irritants. Whether you want to reduce household odors, second-hand smoke or airborne toxins, these air filter purifiers can make a big difference. 

  • Asthma is one of the biggest barriers to learning in children

    Parents often want to put their children in the best position to succeed. However, this can be difficult if a child has a health problem that inhibits his or her ability to learn. A recent study, titled "Crisis in the Classroom: How Untreated Medical Problems Are Seen To Interfere With School," looked at just how serious and prevalent some of these issues are. 

    The study found that more than 60 percent of principals and assistant principals in New York City cited asthma as a barrier to learning. These educators believed that asthma was more detrimental to learning than vision problems or dental pain, among other health issues. 

    "As America struggles to improve the academic performance of our children, we need to focus on the reality that an alarming number of children are walking into their schools each day with significant health barriers to learning," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the Child Well-Being and Resilience Program at Columbia University. "... Many of these health problems are readily preventable, treatable or manageable, and we must do a better job of ensuring that all kids are healthy and ready to learn." 

    While parents may not be able to control every aspect of a learning environment for their child, they can take steps to improve the air quality in their own home. Investing in a home air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas can help to rid the air of ultrafine particles or noxious fumes that may interfere with a child's day-to-day life.

  • Study links air pollution to heart disease

    Many individuals who lead a healthy lifestyle may think they are taking their future into their own hands. However, a recent study found that air pollution could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, potentially undoing all of the benefits of healthy living. 

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a study that identified the common air pollutant ozone as a possible contributor to the threat of heart disease. According to The Daily Californian, exposure to ozone, which acts as a harmful smog in the lower atmosphere, could be the cause of thousands of deaths and health issues around the country. 

    These experts believe pollution hardens arteries throughout the body, which in turn reduces blood flow and makes it more difficult for the heart to do its job effectively. This can lead to heart attack, stroke or other acute cardiovascular issues, The New York Times reported. 

    Those who want to make sure their hard work is not being threatened by pollution should consider investing in a professional-grade home air purifier. The IQAir GC MultiGas is ideal for cutting down on pollution and chemicals in the home, which may help improve personal health in the long run. 

  • Life in the country may help improve allergies

    Individuals suffering from intense allergies are often willing to go through major changes to relieve pain and annoyances. But are they willing to embrace farm life? A recent study found that the immune system benefits from life in the countryside, and adults who move to farms can reap the positive health benefits of a rural setting. 

    The study, which was conducted at Aarhus University in Denmark and published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that living in the countryside may positively affect allergies. Exposure to various allergens, such as grass and pollen, may build up the immune system and reduce sensitivity to the irritants, even in those adults who grew up in different settings. The benefits were once thought to apply only to children who were raised in the country. 

    "We cannot, however, simply recommend that people who suffer from allergies and hypersensitivities move to farms," said postdoctoral researcher Grethe Elholm. "Because they may also suffer from lung diseases such as asthma and would therefore become more ill due to high concentrations of dust and particles found in stables and in agriculture in general." 

    It is not possible or practical for all individuals suffering from allergies to relocate to the countryside, but there are still steps that can be taken to improve personal health and day-to-day living. Investing in a home air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro can clear the air of many irritants and help to relieve allergies. 

  • Many Americans live near roads with high air pollution

    Individuals may take steps to keep pollution and chemicals out of your home, but the proximity of a house to major roads could be a significant factor in the amount of toxins found within it. A recent study from a researcher at the University of New Mexico, published in the journal Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, examined just how the location of a home and pollution levels are connected. 

    According to the study, almost one-fifth of the U.S. population lives within 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, of heavy traffic. That includes about 35 million people who live within 300 feet of a major roadway. While this proximity may be convenient for transportation, it exposes residents to a variety of pollutants that can cause asthma and even lung cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

    The state with the largest portion of residents living in polluted areas was California. According to the study, about 40 percent of the population in The Golden State lives close to a busy road that could be a source of pollution. Despite the number of people close to these problem areas, little is currently being done to monitor air pollution in regions across the country. 

    To cut down on the pollutants that are present in a home, invest in air purifiers. Products like the IQAir GC MultiGas can clear the air of a wide variety of irritants, making it easy to keep the atmosphere inside a home clean and safe while also decreasing the chance of suffering from certain health issues. 

  • Vacuums found to produce harmful dust

    Most homeowners think that vacuuming helps to keep their homes clean. While the action may help improve the appearance of a room, it could be causing some health issues to inhabitants. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland and Laval University found that vacuums create an aerosolized dust containing harmful bacteria and mold. 

    Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the study claims that the vacuum dust carries mold and bacteria, some of which carried antibiotic resistance genes or toxin genes. This dust can be extremely irritating for infants or people with allergies or respiratory issues, and it may even be the source of unsolved medical problems. 

    "Our results show that although vacuum operation is typically brief, vacuum emissions can release appreciable quantities of human-derived bacteria," researcher wrote in the study. "Such emissions could potentially lead to inhalation of infectious or allergenic aerosols." 

    Instead of giving up vacuuming out of fear of this dust, homeowners may want to invest in a professional-grade product that will work to clear the air of a wide variety of toxins and vapors. Air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas are an excellent option for those who want to breathe easy in their own home. 

  • Vacuums found to produce harmful dust

    Most homeowners think that vacuuming helps to keep their homes clean. While the action may help improve the appearance of a room, it could be causing some health issues to inhabitants. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland and Laval University found that vacuums create an aerosolized dust containing harmful bacteria and mold. 

    Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the study claims that the vacuum dust carries mold and bacteria, some of which carried antibiotic resistance genes or toxin genes. This dust can be extremely irritating for infants or people with allergies or respiratory issues, and it may even be the source of unsolved medical problems. 

    "Our results show that although vacuum operation is typically brief, vacuum emissions can release appreciable quantities of human-derived bacteria," researcher wrote in the study. "Such emissions could potentially lead to inhalation of infectious or allergenic aerosols." 

    Instead of giving up vacuuming out of fear of this dust, homeowners may want to invest in a professional-grade product that will work to clear the air of a wide variety of toxins and vapors. Air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas are an excellent option for those who want to breathe easy in their own home. 

  • Airborne mold spores reach dangerous levels in the Midwest

    People throughout the U.S. may be happy to be breathing in the crisp fall air, but some residents in the Midwest have to deal with unwanted toxins. The Gottlieb Allergy Count, which acts as the official allergen evaluation standard for the American Midwest, recently found that the level of mold in the air at the end of September was approaching dangerously high levels.

    "The heat, the humidity and the rains have created a dangerous concentration of mold that is a real health hazard for many in the Midwest today," said Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist who has conducted the Gottlieb Allergy Count in the region for more than 20 years. 

    On Sept. 20, the mold count reached 125,000, which is the largest so far in 2013 and considerably more than the 50,000 threshold that signals poor air quality. Individuals suffering from allergy symptoms may experience headaches, itchy throats and congestion as a result of this high mold count. The increased presence of mold also means it may be difficult for individuals to find relief. 

    This study emphasizes the need for individuals to take certain precautions to protect themselves from airborne mold spores. Those who purchase a high-end home air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will be able to breathe more freely even when the mold count is high. 

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