You are what you breathe. It is estimated that we inhale about a pint of air fifteen times a minute. That means we breathe in 22,000 pints a day.Contents of our air: chemicals, industrial toxins and gases, bacteria and other particles, including: nature's own pollens, grasses and dusts.
Pollutants not only damage the body; they make us vulnerable and sensitive to all sorts of illnesses. Sick air is a leading cause of disease in the home and office and a harbinger of bacteria, allergens, molds, toxins, polluting chemicals. Deaths attributed to air pollution are now almost in league withcancer deaths.
Isn't it about time we pay close attention to this major health crisis. Purifying your indoor air is a major step in combating sick indoor air in ourlives. You can breathe easier while protecting your indoor environment foryou, your family and co-workers.
In a recent report, the Environment Protection Agency ranks indoor pollutionamong the top five environmental health threats. Indoor air is usually fiveto one hundred times more polluted than outdoor air. And, we bring out contaminated air indoors through improper ventilation, poor filtration, anddirty air conditioning.
In fact, indoor air pollution can be up to ten times worse than outdoorpollution, according to results of a study of New York City's inner-city children in 1996.
Bad Air Makes Children Sick!
Got Allergies, Asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder, Respiratory Infections,Headaches and more? Yes, they do.
A growing number of doctors and educators are claiming that polluted or "sick"air is partly responsible for Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) and Asthma.A recent study of one school district in South Carolina, showed that the inside air is stagnant and hot. Noxious fumes are leaking out of the janitor'scloset into the hallway. This is a typical case. Poor ventilation from the computer rooms in schools is potential hazards.
The company claims that that nearly 60 percent of the teachers, students and other school personnel experienced symptoms they believe are related to theschool's air quality.
Air conditioning is the "lungs of a building," according to one environmental investigation company consultant. The EPA says that mold, dust mites and other air pollutants can cause infections and even harm people's immune systems. As a result, we are more susceptible to diseases and the toxiceffects of chemicals.
Children, Asthma and Allergies. It's an epidemic!
According to the American Lung Association, estimates that 3.7 million children have Asthma, a dangerous increase of 200 percent over the last 20 years. Teachers claim that the rise in health problems is overwhelming. Arecent survey by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicated that over 70percent of their students have more health problems now.
New York pediatric allergist and best-selling author, Doris Rapp says that upto two-thirds of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)also have un-diagnosed allergic reactions. In her new book, "Is this YourChild's World?" she points out a number of cases of children who show definitesigns of nervousness, fatigue, distraction and hostility after being exposedto chemicals or mold.
Are these symptoms of just allergies, instead of being lumped into an ADHDdiagnosis?
Allergic reactions to pollen, dust, mold and toxic chemicals can triggers inusitis, bronchitis and respiratory infections, according to one South Carolina physician.
Breathing Sick Air in Your Home and Office?
Do you have an oasis in your home? How many hours do you spend indoors?
Dust mites live in carpeting and bedding. Vacuums can actually stir up dustand molds. Synthetic fibers in upholstery to electric devices to shower curtains can also harbor formaldehyde gases which can worsen allergies and asthma. Heating systems can blow molds, bacteria and pet dander back into theair.
What could be more important than the air we breathe? Your home or officecould be major sources of allergens and toxic fumes. Many household cleanersgive off toxic fumes. Air conditioning can harbor molds that can grow veryfast when not in use and then turned on. Poor ventilation, dirty filters arealso major culprits.
What's the Cure for Sick Air?(Or Get Solutions for Indoor Pollution.)
Doctors and leading experts in the field of environmental health recommend that it is important to take an evaluation of your ownpersonal environment. It makes good sense to reduce or eliminate the causes for so many illnesses such as asthma and allergies in children,for instance. Toxins build up in the body on the cellular level, causing immune deficiencies and sensitivities.
Look Out for These Common Airborne Toxins in the Home or Office:
2. Pressed wood in furniture and flooring
3. Dry cleaning
4. Dust mites
7. Gas stove
8. Household cleaning products
10. Smoke from fireplace or wood stove
11. Tobacco smoke/second-hand smoke
14. Wall coverings
15. Paints and solvents
16. Fuels and chemicals
l7. Pet dander and animal hair
l8. Auto exhaust
l9. Asbestos; house repairs, pipes
20. Radon from underground
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO ELIMINATE INDOOR POLLUTION:
(1) Evaluate Your Home or Office. Are you suffering from formal dehydeoutgassing? Check your synthetic fibers, carpeting, upholstery fabric,plastics, shower curtains and other polyurethane materials.
(2) Check Your Furniture. You can also check fiberboard and particle board which is often used beneath plywood and wood veneers in furniture. You can replace it with solid wood furniture. Check with anexpert first, however.
(3) Wash and groom pets to keep dander down. Change linens morefrequently.
(4) Check for carbon monoxide leakage from gas appliances.
(5) Check for lead dust.
(6) Use non-toxic, natural paints for your home.
(7) Check your home for molds and make sure your humidity is BELOW 50%.
(8) Replace carpeting with washable rugs if you're allergic to dustmites.
(9) Install An Air Filter. At the office, check or have your employercheck the heating and cooling systems. You can install a portable airfilter in your work space.
(10) Use a vacuum cleaner with the best H.E.P.A. or U.L.P.A. filter that does not stir up settled dust and molds.
(11) Drinking Dirty Water? You can test your water. Install a waterfilter for all of your drinking needs.
(12) How do you feel after taking a shower? Does your shower leak chlorine gas? Buy a shower filter that eliminates the problem. Alsocheck for signs of mildew in the bathroom.
Besides, ridding your indoor environment of all chemicals and breeding groundsfor dust mites, molds, bacteria, dander and toxic fumes, the easiest and mostimmediate action you can take to stop indoorpollution is to install a good air filtration cleaning system and waterpurification system for your home.
There are several leading brands and many types of air filtering systems,which are highly recommended and are effective and skillfully designed for both home, industrial and commercial use.
You can choose from portable room filtration units, depending on your specifications for size and capacity. Other models can be directly installedinto your existing heating/ventilation system.
Got Too Much Smoke?
There are highly effective filtration commercial models that can be installedin a residence or in commercial establishments such as a restaurant, bar,club, etc.) It can alleviate the pollutants when and where needed on amassive and effective scale.
The size and capacity of air filters can vary to fit any need, fromportable units that fit inside your automobile or sit on the top of yourdesk. From small rooms to huge office complexes and commercialbuildings, both portable and built-in units can be accommodated withvery effective air filtering systems.
There are many air filtering systems on the market to meet your special needs.Some of the major brands include: Austin HealthMate, AmAirCare and NorthernAir make special air filters for the home, office and retail establishment.There's one called the Boston Cigar which removes smoke in restaurants andclubs.
There are a full range of prices to fit every budget. Most companiesoffer excellent warranties AND prices. You can compare features andoffers, based on the published ratings for each system.
The best partnership in cleaning up your air means cleaning your surfaces,while keeping your air filtered too. High powered, industrial strength andvacuum cleaning systems with H.E.P.A. and U.L.P.A. filters are ideal helpmatesto air filtering units. The best one is based on the system that is used by NASA scientists and cleans up the tiniest particles of airborne matter.
VACUUM AWAY AIR CONTAMINANTS.
Does your vacuum cleaner really do a serious job? One of the most highlyrated vacuum cleaning systems is a NILFISK Model GS 90. Thiscleaner uses four filters to eliminate 99.999% of all particles down to0.12 microns. NILFISK is used by NASA to eliminate microscopic particlesin the space shuttle's cargo bay.
According to reviews from such magazines as "Prevention", Allergy andAsthma and American Review of Respiratory Diseases, a HEPA or ULPA-filteredvacuum cleaner AND a good room air filter is the only way to trap particles,to reduce pet allergens, and to eliminate dust miteparticles.
TYPES OF AIR FILTERS
First in the process, PRE-FILTERS trap large dust particles.
H.E.P.A. (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters will remove 99.97% of particulate of 0.3 microns and larger plus smoke, odors and chemical gases. They are l00% sealed air cleaning devices or cartridges.
V.O.C. filters (Volatile Organic Compound), often composed of Activated Carbon & Zeolite, remove dangerous householdchemical gases from things like household cleaners, paints, solvents,carpets, furniture and other materials containing toxic substances.
It takes vision and planning to make a home a healthy haven. Learning thebasics about the conditions surrounding you in everyday life is the first stepin making a significant difference. From an initial evaluation to setting upan action plan including installing the best possible appliances or systems tohelp you do the job are key factors for success. It's like taking aninsurance policy of preventative measures. Why take health risks, when you caneasily make changes to reduce the dangers of breathing unhealthy air. Just asdecor, furniture, layout and where you live play important roles in theprocess of setting up your home, so does the internal environment become vitalto your living arrangements.
Understanding of the nature of your personal environment, and doing something about it is that ounce prevention that can help you prevent costly personal cures.
Got questions? Need guidance?
Written by: Arthur Dworin,
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