Clean Air In Your Life

It is vital to think about the quality of the air we breathe and to think of ways we can protect ourselves from the harmful airborne pollutants that surround us every day. So in honor of Clean Air Month, let’s do just that. Below are six ways to clean the air in your homes in addition to ways of protecting yourselves from the many airborne pollutants.

1.)  Pay attention to the outdoor air quality. Outdoor air pollution is obviously a big concern and while we can’t always control the amount of air pollution outdoors, we can be wiser about when and how often we plan outdoor activities. A simple picnic outdoors when the air quality is deemed “very unhealthy” can have serious and detrimental effects. Plan wisely and attempt to plan your activities on days where the air quality is deemed “good”. Suggestion: Air quality is lowest when the heat is highest. Plan outdoor activity or physical activity in the morning or evening.

2.) Change your car filters. In many cities around the world, your car is the greatest polluter. We all are familiar with the smells of exhaust fumes and other nasty odors while driving down the road or highway. Not pleasant at all huh? Fortunately, your car’s cabin air filter is designed to remove the harmful outside air pollutants before they reach the inside of your car. Purolator also offers a list of other car filters that will help to filter the air you breathe and keep you safe. Suggestion: The Purolator C35533 Cabin Air Filter Replacement is easy to install and will provide a clean flow of air free of airborne contaminants.

3.)  Listen to your body. Dizziness and fatigue are all symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome and should not be ignored. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you feel as if you need to change your air filters or may need to invest in an air purifier, then do so. If these symptoms persist, contact your doctor.

4.)  Use an air purifier. Whether you find yourself at home or at your office, an air purifier will do just what its name suggests—purifies your air. And honestly, who doesn’t want purified air to breathe in? Suggestion: A Holmes True HEPA Air Purifier will allow you to save space and purify your air by removing 99.97% of airborne particles.

5.) Change your filters regularly. Do not neglect to change your filters as not changing them will not only put you at increased risks of certain sicknesses but will also hamper your HVACs efficiency. Upgrading from your standard 1 inch filter may be useful if you find that you are still experiencing air quality issues. The standard 1 inch filter cannot protect you from all of the contaminants in your home. Suggestion: Filters Fast MERV 13 Return Air Grille  filters will help rid of all contaminants in the air by removing dust, bacteria and all other airborne pollutants.

6.) Eat right.  No that is not a typo and yes there is a correlation between the food you eat and air pollution. How? The answer is in antioxidants. They are the “good guys” in your body that help strengthen the immune system, slow down the aging process (who couldn’t use that). Most importantly, they fight off free radicals who are the “bad guys” in your body by helping the harmful airborne pollutants damage your body. Suggestion: Eat foods that are high in antioxidants like cherries, kale, tomatoes and strawberries.

Now that you know how to protect yourself, it is time to take action. Don’t fall victim to sickness caused by air pollution. Protect yourself, your body and your family from the harmful pollutants.

IMAGE CREDITS:

endurancebuzz.com

naturelivings.blogspot.com

Sick Building Syndrome: There’s Something in the Air

Imagine this: you’re at work. You’re coughing, tired, dizzy and have a nasty headache on top of that. The thing is, after you leave, you feel better. Why is that? It may not always be that you’re just happy to leave the workplace. In fact, those are classic symptoms for Sick Building Syndrome (or SBS). SBS is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience health effects that appear to be linked to time spent inside a building, but no specific cause or illness can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or may be widespread throughout the building.

According to numerous studies, SBS is an increasing problem in the US and around the world. The main culprit behind SBS is inadequate ventilation, which could also occur if heating, ventilation and HVAC systems do not effectively distribute air in the building. With this problem increasing, and with allergy season in full swing, we can’t forget that we have a weapon to fight with – Air Purifiers. Air purifiers will help to reduce the spread of viruses, bacteria and other airborne contaminants that could seriously affect air quality. We have spotlighted two air purifiers that will help you fight off SBS and seasonal allergies.

The Virus Zero Portable Air Purifier (SP-PA4) is a lightweight purifier that neutralizes airborne allergies such as pet dander, tobacco smoke and dust mites. This small and lightweight purifier can sit on a desktop or even fit in your car’s cup holder. The Virus Zero Purifier treats up to 231 square feet of space and only uses 4 watts of power.

The 3M Filtrete Air Cleaner Purifier helps to purify the air in your office, by reducing airborne particles such as mold spores and pet dander. The 3M Filtrete Air Cleaner will reduce odor and captures microscopic allergens such as smoke, dust, smog particles and pollen. The 3M Filtrete Air Purifier releases filtered air from the top of the unit to increase air circulation.

With levels of indoor air pollution rising, we cannot underestimate the value of an air purifier. Consider this: air purifiers can also help you obtain a better night’s sleep by removing many of the allergens that keep us awake all night with an itchy or sore throat. Who wouldn’t want a better night’s sleep?

Is Your Building Sick?

Sick building syndrome or SBS refers to situations where “building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified,” according to the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality website. This can occur either in a specific room or area, or throughout the building.

Symptoms can include:

  • headache
  • eye, nose, or throat  irritation
  • dry cough
  • dry or itchy skin
  • dizziness and nausea
  • difficulty in concentrating
  • fatigue
  • sensitivity to odors

Although the cause of the symptoms is usually not known, sufferers usually report feeling better soon after they leave the building. Poor ventilation, as well as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) not effectively distributing air throughout the building, seems to be a major contributing factor in SBS.

Indoor and outdoor pollution sources can also contribute to SBS. Indoor air pollution sources include:

  • adhesives
  • carpeting
  • upholstery
  • manufactured wood products
  • copy machines
  • pesticides
  • cleaning agents

These sources can emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde.  Tobacco smoke emits high levels of VOCs, as well as other toxic compounds, and breathable particulate matter. The products of combustion, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and breathable particles come from burning sources like unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces and gas stoves.

Outdoor pollution sources such as motor vehicle exhausts, plumbing vents, and bathroom and kitchen exhausts can contribute to indoor air pollution. Also, biological contaminants including bacteria, molds, pollens, and viruses may breed in standing or stagnant water in various locations throughout a building.

Removing or modifying the pollutant source when it is known and controllable is perhaps the best way to resolve an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problem. Also increasing ventilation and air distribution can help the problem.  Another method is to use air cleaners. Finally, using furnace or air filters, especially high performance filters that capture smaller, breathable particles is a great way to alleviate SBS.