Fight Obesity with Cleaner Air

Air Pollution Linked to ObesityA recent study by Ohio State researchers has concluded that air pollution may be one of the causes of obesity. A few months ago, we wrote about the link between soot and diabetes; Since obesity often leads to diabetes, this finding comes as no surprise.

The study found that young mice exposed to air pollution had higher blood sugar levels, larger fat cells, and more fat cells in their abdominal area than a control group of young mice on the same diet, who were not exposed to air pollution. Inflammation and changes in fat cells both increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Even more frightening is the finding that air pollution may also increase the risk of autism…

At first glance, the results of this study seem to discount personal responsibility as a factor. After all, we can try to eat healthy and exercise, but if air pollution turns out to be the main culprit, then in the end, there’s not much we can do, right?

Wrong.

The majority of Americans spend most of their time indoors. Protecting the air you breathe starts in the home and office environments. You can help fight obesity by eating healthy, exercising, and changing your AC filters regularly. Make sure you use high-efficiency furnace filters to capture those really small particles circulating through your HVAC system. The best place to buy air filters? Why, Filters Fast, of course. ;)

Cause of Diabetes – Common Air Pollution Particulates & Soot

soot pollution Causes Diabetes

We all know how harmful soot and other particulates in the air can be to your lungs, but a new study suggests that these small particles of soot may be linked to diabetes — even when these particles are within levels the EPA has deemed safe or acceptable.

The study, published in this month’s issue of Diabetes Care, showed a correlation between particulate matter in the air and diabetes, even when considering other causes of diabetes, like ethnicity or obesity.

The EPA considers a yearly average of 15 micrograms or less of PM2.5 in the air safe (PM2.5 includes fine particles in the air smaller than 2.5 micrometers in size). The study suggests, however, that a city’s prevalance for diabetes increases 1 percent for every additional 10 micrograms of particulates.

Much of this soot and particulate matter comes from industrial factories and automobiles, so it’s no surprise that its more common in metropolitan areas. Though you’re not likely to find a plume of smoke like the one pictured above in your living room, you should still take precautions against soot and other airborne contaminants in your own home.

Back in June, we wrote about “ghosting,” a process in which very small soot particles can electrostatically stick to walls and ceilings. Those black and brown smudges are proof-positive that soot and other particles can collect in your home. In many ways, indoor air pollution can be more dangerous than its outdoor counterpart: after all, there’s nowhere for these contaminants to go except through your HVAC system. If you’re using a filter that doesn’t capture particles this small, they will continue to recirculate throughout your home and possibly throughout your body.

We carry many furnace air filters that feature electrostatic charges to capture these small particulates. Our odor air filters are unique in that they use carbon to capture odor and gases that may be circulating through your AC system.  These air filters will also capture Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been linked to Sick Building Syndrome.