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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

How Do Air Purifiers Help With Asthma?
Asthma, a chronic disease that affects 26 million Americans, is an inflammation to the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. Causing nearly 2 million emergency room visits ever year, asthma sufferers should take caution as there are many factors and triggers in your home that can cause an asthma attack.

 

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Stop, Drop and Prevention

While there are medications for asthma, the first line of defense should be identifying possible asthma triggers as prevention and environmental control can minimize asthma symptoms from the beginning. Some asthma triggers and ways to manage them are:

  • Smoke: Inhaling smoke from cigarettes and cigars can cause an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This produces an excess of mucus production, which in turn leads to cough and phlegm. Prolonged smoking can also create an irreversible narrowing of the bronchial tubes from inflammation and scarring that can cause permanent breathing problems. Smoke from wood burning and fires also contain harmful gases and small particles, so areas that are affected by fire should be avoided to prevent particles from being inhaled.
Although staying far away from a smoker is highly recommended, if someone insists on smoking indoors, have a well ventilated    room or use an air purifier with an effective Charcoal Based Activated Carbon filter to help trap harmful chemicals and toxins that can get dispersed from smoke. For those who want an extra layer of filtration against odors, the MinusA2 from Rabbit Air gives you the option of choosing an Odor Remover Customized filter option that increases the efficiency of trapping odors to 91%.
  • Dust Mites: Dust mites are tiny bugs that feed off your dead skin and can be found in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding. They thrive in moist and humid environments and peak around July and August due to the weather. If you have asthma, dust mites can trigger an asthma attack, so prevention is important to keep dust mites at bay. Put airtight plastic dust-mite covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs and wash all bedding in very hot water (over 130 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry in a hot dryer. It’s also recommended to vacuum your home with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap the microscopic dust mites.
  • Pets: Pet allergies are very common, and for the 15 to 30 percent of Americans who suffer from them, relief can be hard to obtain. Pet dander, which are dead skin cells from animals, fur, saliva, and even urine, are allergens that can be transported via clothing and other surfaces, so even if a home has never had an animal inhabitant, the allergens can still become settled into a home. Washing your hands after petting an animal, and using a HEPA vacuum cleaner or air purifier, can be beneficial in helping trap the allergens. Since pet dander can also stick to your walls, wiping down surfaces is also a good step.
  • Mold: Mold can be found both indoors and outdoors, and while everyone breathes in airborne mold spores, in some, this can trigger asthmatic symptoms. If you find that you have mold, it will have to be removed from the source, and in some cases, professionally. But once the mold has been removed, it is recommended that an air purifier or whole house air system that uses a HEPA filter be used to trap any airborne mold spores from regrouping and taking over your home again.

Technologies

While air purifiers can be an asthma sufferer’s best friend, we should not assume that they are all the same.

  • HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate air) were developed during World War II to prevent the spread of radioactive particles and are the most effective ways to trap airborne particles, such as bacteria, viruses, smoke and pollen. To qualify as a true HEPA filter, the air filter must be able to capture airborne allergens and contaminants down to 0.3 microns in size, 99.97% of the time.
  • Stay away from air purifiers that create ozone, a known respiratory irritant, such as Electrostatic Precipitators and ozone generators.
  • A whole-house air cleaner may be used if your home is heated or air-conditioned through ducts. HVAC systems include replacement filters that range from less than a dollar to about $20 and are designed to reduce the accumulation of dust and dirt in the ducts and coils of the system. Simple filters, while inexpensive, need to be replaced every month or two, and only remove large particles, not the small particles in the house that are inhaled into the lungs while the more efficient replacement filters (usually for 6 to 20 dollars each) will remove many smaller particles and are often pleated or coated with an electrostatic charge. 

Know your environment before purchasing replacement filters as some can become clogged quickly in dusty environments, reducing airflow through the system and causing a reduction in the heating or cooling efficiency.

  • Another option for your home is a permanent whole-house air cleaner, which can be added to an HVAC system, but the cost is several hundred to a few thousand dollars for the unit and the installation. Other disadvantages include frequent maintenance of the plates, the need to keep the fan running continuously (24/7) to clean the air, and the electricity cost and noise associated with the large blower fan running continuously. 

Although an air purifier can trap particles, such as dust, pollen and chemicals, it can only trap them in the general area of the air purifier and the room that they are placed in. It cannot trap particles that have already settled onto objects, such as furniture, beds, carpets, and if the source of the allergens is a pet, as animals release dander and fur continually. Depending on the air purifier and the size of your room, most room cleaners take 15-30 minutes to remove particulates in the air, and for the most effective use, it is recommended to have the air purifier operating in your room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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Is the Air in Our Homes Any Better Than it Is Outside?

Learn more about how indoor air pollution plagues your home and what you can do to get rid of it.

Home is where the heart is, but sadly, it’s also a hub for toxins. In fact, air pollution can be just as bad -- or ten times worse -- inside your home than it is outside of it.

How is this possible? After all, you spray air fresheners, light candles, and disinfect surfaces regularly. But it turns out that deceptively enough, those products and practices contribute to poor indoor air quality.

What’s Making You Sneeze?

Indoor air pollution comes from a wide range of offenders. The EPA names an expansive list of causes, including cleaning products and air fresheners, as well as combustion sources like oil, space heaters, and wood furnishing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point to even more sources, such as “bacteria, mold, viruses, animal dander, cat saliva, dust mites, cockroaches, and pollen.” That’s a pretty sizable list of pollutants.

The Frightening Effects

How dangerous are these toxins? For the most part, they’re simply a source of discomfort, causing you to sneeze here and there or suffer from itchy eyes.

But in some cases, depending on the level of toxicity, it can be much worse. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), “Some pollutants can cause diseases that show up much later, such as respiratory diseases or cancer.” Other potential long-term consequences are lung infections and asthma.

There’s Hope!

While it may require more than a weekly dusting, there are ways to greatly improve the air quality in your home. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  1. Make your home a no-smoking zone

If you smoke inside, the smell is the least of your worries. The American Lung Association states that secondhand smoke “causes an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths and up to 50,000 heart disease deaths.” And for children, secondhand smoke can lead to problems, like asthma and pneumonia. So for the sake of you and your loved ones, don’t smoke indoors.

  1. Buy fragrance-free cleaners

Your nose might love that clean linen scent of air fresheners, but the rest of your body doesn’t. According to WebMD, “synthetic fragrances in laundry products and air fresheners emit dozens of different chemicals into the air.” To rid yourself of these pollutants, transition to natural fresheners. Buy a box of baking soda, sprinkle some lavender essential oil, or crack open a window.

  1. Invest in a great air filter

What about all the other pollutants? Fight them off with an air purifier, especially one with a HEPA filter. WebMD states that HEPA filters can reduce levels of lead and other toxins in your home, plus a whole bunch of allergens like pollen and pet dander. One of the best products on the market is the BioGS 2.0 Air Purifier by Rabbit Air. The HEPA filter can trap 99.97% of allergens and pollutants in your home as small as .3 microns, which means you can stop panicking and start getting back to that much-deserved relaxation you enjoy in your home.

Sallie Koenig is a writer and actress living in Rochester, NY. She’s a wellness enthusiast, cat lover, and all around health nut.

What Is Radon?

Pollutants are everywhere these days -- even in our homes. Take measures to protect yourself and your living space.

When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke alarm? Do you own a carbon monoxide detector? Have you checked your home for radon?

Okay, don’t panic. Yes, it’s easy to push away the idea of danger in the home, our place of refuge from the outside world. But too often, we’re unprepared for situations that endanger us the most. The radioactive gas, radon, is among those hazards we should be monitoring -- according to the American Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, causing roughly 14,000 deaths per year.

The Culprit

Radon is produced when uranium, a naturally occurring element in rock and soil, decays. Outdoors, the atmosphere dilutes the gas, ensuring it poses no health risk, but the problems occur, when radon builds up in closed spaces -- the gas seeps into the home through openings in the foundation or building materials when pressure inside is lower than the soil outside. Radon can slip through even the tiniest cracks, and like carbon monoxide, its odorless, invisible, and tasteless composition makes it indiscernible to the human senses.

According to an indoor air pollution safety guide created by the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, wells less than 150 feet deep can also become contaminated by radon emissions from surrounding rocks. However, radon in the air is the most pressing danger, so any kind of home is susceptible to it. The EPA also recommends that all rooms under the third floor be tested.

Fend it Off: Simple Prevention and Detection


While difficult to completely prevent from entering the home, you can make it harder for radon to infiltrate by sealing openings in the basement with caulk and securing sump pump lids airtight. Make sure your home has ample airflow by opening windows and installing fans. Signs of  deficient ventilation include moisture condensation, stuffy air, dirty central heating/cooling systems, or mold around the house.

Fortunately, radon can easily be detected with low-cost, do-it yourself test kits, available online and in hardware stores. Look for test kits that pass EPA requirements, which should be advertised on the packaging, or alternatively, you can arrange a home visit from a qualified radon contractor by calling your state radon office. Further precautions should be taken if you are a smoker and discover that your home has high radon levels, as your chance of developing lung cancer increases dramatically.

Breathing Easy

If you’re still concerned about indoor air quality after radon-proofing your home (and you should be -- the EPA has determined that the air inside your home may be ten times more polluted than the air outside), an air purifier will bring relief to the situation as houses usually have more than one kind of pollutant.

Luckily, air purifiers from Rabbit Air trap airborne allergens, like dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander. They also trap odors and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), gases that are emitted by commonly used household items, like air fresheners. That’s right -- even our sweetest-smelling tools have dirty secrets.

So keep vigilant and check up on that list of household safeguards. The reward will be a breath of fresh air. 

Hattie McLean is a writer, student, and health fanatic living in Brooklyn

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How Air Pollution Affects Your Skin

Neil Moralee/flickr

The quality of the air around you has a surprising, potentially catastrophic effect on your complexion. Read on if you want to save your skin.

Though we often don’t think of it as such, the largest organ in the human body is the skin. Unlike interior organs, skin is constantly exposed to air, meaning it can be badly damaged by it.

Air Pollution and Your Skin

While the atmospheric conditions around us may not usually have an effect on our skin that we can actually feel, our outer layer is in fact deeply affected by air quality. According to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, exposure to chloroform on your skin is as toxic as inhaling it and the toxins on your dermis are much more harmful than we tend to assume.

Air Pollution Symptoms


Agustin Ruiz/flickr

Air pollution speeds up the body’s aging process by increasing the levels of free radicals in the skin. This generates wrinkles and a dulling of the skin’s natural glow. While everyone’s face wrinkles over time, air pollution can seriously intensify the speed of that process.

Smog and dirt are known to cause skin problems, but the air inside your home may be just as detrimental as the air outside—if not more. If you or your family are suffering from chronic acne, dry skin, rashes, or wrinkles, keep an eye out for the following culprits.

Dust

According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, studies suggest that exposure to dust may have a causal relationship with skin allergies. This common adversary of house-cleaners everywhere can be composed of many things, ranging from dead skin cells to fungal spores. In order to keep your skin healthy, make sure to wipe down dusty spots with a damp cloth.

Cleaning Products

While antibacterial cleansers may seem like a great way to keep your household germ-free, they might be doing more harm than good. Not only can they irritate your skin, but some leave behind a layer of triclosan—a skin-absorbable chemical that can cause liver damage. Look for “green” cleaners in your local grocery store as an alternative.

Air Fresheners

They may make the air in your home smell clean, but they’re actually doing more harm than good. Most air fresheners contain a slew of chemicals such as Paradichlorobenzene—a leading cause of skin lesions. Ditch these potentially toxic products to improve the quality of your skin.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Staying inside doesn’t automatically mean you’re safe from damaging sunrays. One study suggests that energy-efficient light bulbs may lead to overexposure to UV discharges. Instead, invite natural light into your room by opening the blinds.

Save Your Skin

There’s only one sure-fire way keep your home pollutant-free—buying yourself a good air purifier.

There are two types of air purifiers on the market: HEPA (High Efficient Particulate Air) purifiers and Ionic purifiers. HEPA purifiers trap 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, and unlike Ionic purifiers, they have no ozone emissions, which can cause serious lung problems.

If you’re looking for an efficient and reliable HEPA air purifier, head over to Rabbit Air. Not only are their air purifiers reasonably-priced, but the brand has received stellar reviews from publications that range from GQ to the Wall Street Journal.

Retain that youthful glow for as long as you can—check out Rabbit Air to protect your skin from air pollution.

Josh Couvares is a writer living in New York City interested in helping people everywhere live as pollutant-free as possible.

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Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

David Chao/flickr

Air purifiers seem like a great solution to the odors and dander produced by your pets. However, some purifiers can be potentially hazardous to your pet’s well-being.

Having pets are awesome. They entertain you, they provide companionship, and some of them even protect you. If they’re allowed inside, they also make for great cuddle buddies. But with all that cuteness, there’s the occasional price to pay. One of these downsides is smell. You know -- that musty cat-litter smell? That’s the last thing you want to encounter when you come home from a long day of work.

The other, of course, is allergies. Even if you’re not actually allergic to pet hair or feathers, they can still aggravate your sinuses. When birds rub their feathers together, a fine dust is emitted that can give you a serious allergic reaction.

Luckily there’s a solution for your cuddly, but stinky problem – an air purifier.

Bless you!


Gerson Leite/ flickr

Before you storm out and buy the first air purifier you see, you need to know about a few things that should influence your decision. One big no-no is purchasing a purifier that emits ozone. This can be deadly to your pet parakeet, parrot, or flying squirrel (we don’t judge what kind of pet you have).

An ozonator (also called an ionizer) is a type of air purifier that oxidizes and destroys bacteria, fungus, mold, viruses and mildew, and leaves pure oxygen in their place. Too much of this oxygen can be harmful to your bird, and according to BirdChannel.com, the FDA has set a limit of 50 parts per billion of ozone from electronic air cleaners.

So if you have a feathery friend, it’s probably best to steer clear of anything with “ozone” or “ionize” in its name, or at least to consult your veterinarian before you fork over your hard-earned cash.

Pet hair can also lead to a sneeze or two, but it’s not the hair itself that’s giving you trouble. Just like humans, animals shed dead skin cells, and these little buggers are what really wreak havoc on your sinuses.

That’s where a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can help you out. According to WebMD, a HEPA filter works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.

Aromatherapy

While avoiding the accidental death of your pets with an ionizer is an admirable step in the right direction, that’s only half the problem solved. Improving the air quality might address the allergy problem to an extent, but that odor is still lingering around the house, right?

A carbon-based filter in your air purifier can absorb odors effectively, but if you have a severe urine-odor problem that could use a little more oomph, opting for an air purifier that has an additional carbon filter is the way to go. One air purifier that has just that is the Rabbit Air MinusA2, which can be fitted with an extra Customized filter made specifically to deal with pet odors and allergens.

Also, make sure that your air filter has the capacity to run 24 hours a day -- otherwise, you won’t be able to fully reap the filter’s benefits.

Verdict

So are air purifiers safe for pets? Definitely. By doing your research, checking specifications thoroughly, and maybe having a chat with your vet, you can find the ideal air purifier to improve the air quality that you and your furry, feathery friends breathe in.

Maggie Marx is a writer from South Africa with a penchant for Labradors and hedgehogs.

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Sick of That Nasal Spray? Try These Natural Allergy Cures!
With record amounts of Americans suffering from allergies, more people will be competing for that last bottle of nasal spray on the shelves of your local pharmacy. What happens if they run out? Worse yet, what if you're like me and can't stand nasal sprays in the first place -- who really likes that burning sensation associated with an older sibling dunking your head in the swimming pool?

There are a few natural remedies that can complement -- or in some cases stand in for -- better-known allergy treatments like antihistamines and nasal sprays. And with increased levels of pollen production caused by global warming, you're going to need these extra defenses against hay fever.


Neti Pot

Joel Kramer/flickr

A neti pot resembles a small teapot and is used to rinse pollen and other irritants out of the sinuses. A bit milder than a forceful nasal spray, this device can take some getting used to. It sounds like it might be just as uncomfortable as a spray, you’ll quickly get used to it and love how it soothes your irritated nose.


To use a neti pot, fill it with warm (read: not hot) water and mix in some table salt, no more than half a teaspoon per cup of water. Leaning over a sink, tilt your head to elevate the side of your nose that you're going to put the neti pot to. Next, bring the pot up to your nostril and tilt it, allowing the solution to flow into the sinus cavity. Don't try to hold it in — allow it to flow out the other nostril, and remember to lean forward to keep the fluid from going down your throat. Pour about half of the solution before stopping and repeating on the other side.


And that's it! Oh, and wash the pot very thoroughly when you’re done, of course.

Quercetin

SuperFantastic/flickr

Okay, so you've probably heard of neti pot before, even if you've never used one. But I doubt you've heard of quercetin. It's a naturally occurring compound that works by preventing the release of histamine, the neurotransmitter involved in the body's inflammatory response to germs. For the best results, take a 1,000 mg tablet every day, starting about two months before allergy season sets in. Quercetin is unsafe for those with liver problems, so it's best to ask your doctor before taking any.

Stinging Nettle


Here's another one you might not have heard about. Taking a 300 mg tablet of stinging nettle every day will provide temporary relief of your allergy symptoms. It seems counter-intuitive, given that stinging nettle is notoriously irritating to the touch (hence the name). However, it’s actually a natural antihistamine, keeping the body from producing it rather than preventing its release, as in the case of quercetin.

Butterbur

Another unlikely supplement, butterbur, is a type of weed that works as well as Zyrtec when ingested. There are a couple of catches, though. You have to take a tedious four doses of eight milligrams a day for the best results. And, more importantly, there's a chance that taking it will actually make your symptoms worse. Try it out, but some of the other options might work better for you.

Diet

Camila Rueda López/flickr

Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and flax, to reduce the severity of allergies. Also, steer clear of anything you might be even slightly allergic to. The proteins that cause you to react to those foods are similar to the ones responsible for your seasonal allergies, meaning that any reaction you normally get from those foods will be exacerbated.

Hopefully these ideas are helpful in your search for allergy relief. Try out several of them and keep note of what works! Sadly, the tale told to us by our parents that eating local honey will help fight off allergy symptoms is a myth. Feel free to eat honey when you have allergies, but only for the sake of deliciousness.

It's an unpleasant time to be outdoors if you suffer from severe allergies. Pay attention to pollen count forecasts and stay inside when you're able to. Keep the windows shut, try not to use window fans, and purify the air inside with Rabbit Air purifiers. You need a pollen-free sanctuary if you want to get your allergies under control, and Rabbit Air is unmatched in both quality and design.

Dan Powell is a student at Columbia University who comes from a long line of allergy-shot recipients. He somehow won the hereditary lottery and escaped the miserable sniffles of the allergy-afflicted.

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Thanks to Forest Fires, Vancouver Air Quality Is Close to Beijing’s

Forest Fire.jpg/Google

If you live in Vancouver, you’re facing a serious danger that you might not be able to see: toxic air that’s floating from nearby forest fires.

While many were celebrating the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, others were too distracted by the city’s horrendous air quality to pay much attention. When Vancouver held the Winter Olympics two years later, however, it faced no such scrutiny. After all, who could believe that a place so full of lush forest life and pristine mountain air could be facing poor air quality? Ironically, it’s exactly that forest life that’s bringing these two very different cities to equally deadly levels of pollution.

What’s Choking Vancouver?

According to the Ministry of British Columbia, there were 82 active forest fires in British Columbia as of July 21, 2015. And while it’s easy to think of fire damage as a process that only affects the ground, fires release huge quantities of toxic smoke. Where forest fires are rampant, smoke is easily blown into surrounding areas, and the quality of breathable air can be drastically diminished.

Fires release small particles that, though miniscule, are dangerous in high quantities. These particles can get into your eyes and lungs, which according to the EPA, can lead to “burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses, such as bronchitis.” That’s just for the average person – if you have some kind of heart or lung disease, the situation is much worse. For people with conditions like these, forest fires have actually been connected to early death.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Pregnant women, children, and the elderly, as well as those with diabetes, heart conditions, or lung disease, need to be especially careful during this time. According to CBC News, the current air quality in parts of Vancouver is comparable to that of its heavily-polluted Chinese counterpart.

As such, air quality warnings have been sent out throughout British Columbia – and it’s important to pay attention. When the air is dangerous, there are key steps to take in order to stay safe.

The American Lung Association’s main suggestion is to limit your exposure to the outdoors: keep the windows up when driving, stay outside no longer than necessary, and avoid outdoor exercising. And if you’re inside, it’s still important to take precautions. During times of poor air quality, don’t use your fireplace – it’s counterproductive to burn things inside your house, whether it’s wood, gas from a stove, or a candle.

Don’t Wait to Breathe Freely


Smog.jpg/Google

Poor air quality is something most people would never associate with a country like Canada. When the news continually rolls in from places like Beijing, it’s hard to believe that this situation could happen so close to home.

And that’s the first thing you should protect – your home. It’s where you and your loved ones spend the most time, and the air quality inside of it counts. Preventative measures, including dust masks, can only achieve so much. For keeping the indoors truly free of dangerous particles, Rabbit Air can offer a real solution.

Since 2004, Rabbit Air has provided customers with clean and healthy living environments through their line of advanced air purifiers. For your home or office, their products keep your air clean and healthy, not just during forest fires, but year round. Ensure your house is the safe haven that it should be – not a cesspool for poor respiration.

Odeya Pinkus is a rising Junior at Binghamton University and an editor at Binghamton’s biweekly newspaper, Pipe Dream.

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Still Got Hay Fever in the Dog Days of Summer? It Could Be the Air Quality

Spring Grasses by ChrIstine

Feeling dazed by your allergies in the summer haze? Stop blaming the pollen count – it could be the air you’re breathing.

Summertime is just the time to have some sun-loving fun. But playing outside poses one never-ending annoyance – allergies. More than just irritating, allergens have turned many a pleasant afternoons into one unbearably long, bleary-eyed fits of sneezing.

Many assume that their itchy eyes and scratchy throats stem from a particular vulnerability to allergens, but it turns out that they’re only half-right -- our susceptibility to allergens and the degree of our discomfort has a lot to do with the quality of our air.

Case of the Vapors

According to MedicineNet, allergies are greatly exacerbated (and even created) by our modern living environments. They cite the example of Japan, where hay fever was relatively rare until the industrialization of cities and roadways, suggesting the modern city’s role in our sneezy suffering. To this day, Japanese residents who live in cities or near busy byways are disproportionately affected.

Perhaps the most significant contributor to this problem is, as always, tobacco smoke. As detailed by MedicineNet, tobacco has a long and storied relationship with allergies and respiratory diseases, like asthma (not to mention lung cancer). Part of the cause is that exposure to tobacco smoke actually increases the body’s production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), an allergy antibody that, in effect, causes allergic symptoms. When IgE attaches itself to allergens, like dust mites or pollen, you get that crummy feeling so many of us know so well.

Because secondhand smoke compromises your body’s respiratory system – especially among children with parental smokers – the effects of allergies are magnified. If you’ve ever been to a city and seen its smokers, you’ve probably seen this phenomenon for yourself.

Exhausted

Another significant contributor to allergies is, unsurprisingly, diesel exhaust. Like tobacco smoke, diesel exhaust increases the body’s output of IgE. And while diesel exhaust is not a specific irritant in the way tobacco smoke is, it increases the body’s susceptibility to allergens.

Granted, exhaust is a likely, but as of yet unconfirmed source of allergies, still, the trove of research indicating its truth has steadily and convincingly increased throughout past years.

If you’re looking for something else to blame, the weather is a good place to start. The more that fresh air is able to circulate through an area, the less respiratory problems a populace will have. As this report from WIAT (a local news source) states, Alabama residents in Jefferson County have suffered increased allergies due to stagnant air. A high-pressure weather system has kept air hovering in a “bowl” over the area, dirtying the atmosphere and forbidding fresh air to take its place.

The longer this occurs, the longer the dirty air is allowed to remain and compound on itself. Eventually, this can lead to a situation like that of famously polluted and mountain-encircled Mexico City, according to Canada’s IRDC. Another, more local example of this kind of geography is Los Angeles, which is known for its smog.

Easy Relief

Many people have allergies, and unfortunately, there’s really no getting around that – however, the increased suffering incurred by poor air quality is needless. Looking to a company like Rabbit Air for a professional-quality air purifier is an effective way to solve this problem. You may not be able to control the weather, but you can ensure that the air quality in your home or office is pristine. As a bonus, air purifiers have the ability to filter out those pesky allergens.

That way, if you’re out and about and feel the itch approaching, you can take a needed moment of respite in your clean, allergy-free environment.

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Breathe Easy: How to Measure Your Home's Air Quality

Mohammed J/flickr

We may breathe it everyday, but people rarely pause to consider how important the quality of our air really is. 

Each day, local governments across the country evaluate the atmospheric purity in their jurisdictions using the Air Quality Index. True to its name, the AQI assigns any area a number that places it somewhere on a spectrum between polluted and clean.

That number tells us about any health risks connected to an area’s given air quality, aiming in particular, to enlighten people about potential health risks after hours or days of exposure to polluted air. 

But how many people regularly check the AQI? Despite the potentially harmful air that surrounds us, we breathe on obliviously, exerting ourselves or spending long days outdoors without truly knowing the dangers that face us. Knowledge is power, so make the effort to learn what lurks in the air around you and how to protect yourself from contamination. 

AQI IQ

Steven Buss/flickr

The Clean Air Act requires that the EPA measure five major air pollutants: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone, and particle pollution (or particulate matter). In North America, airborne particles and ground-level ozone are the greatest threats to human health.

The EPA had to create a standardized national air quality criteria for the offending pollutants in order to guard public health. As a result, the AQI was born. 

The exact measures of the AQI range from zero to 500, zero being crystal clear air fit for a newborn’s lungs. As the AQI number rises, air pollution and health risks do as well.

The EPA has established an AQI level of 100 as the national definition of a “polluted” atmosphere, and if a reading goes above that number, the air can be harmful to sensitive immune systems. When the number reaches 200, cities are obligated to issue warnings to inhabitants. 

Inside Job

jinkazamah/flickr

Now that we know a little more about air quality at large, let’s take a look at the situation in the house. Indoor air quality is multidetermined, and it's important to keep tabs on it to avoid harmful repercussions, according to How Stuff Works.

Although the calculations that go into an AQI can be complicated, its meaning is simple: the higher the pollution, the more dangerous your air is.

So what could be the cause of your home’s dirty air? Anything from pet dander to tobacco smoke, as Colorado State University reports. If you feel significantly fresher outside, it’s probably time to scour the house for the three worst enemies of air quality. 

Mold and mildew tend to happen out of sight and out of mind, growing on building material, furniture, heating and cooling systems, and wet carpets, to name just a few suspicious spots. Although innocuous in name, these spores are not to be trusted. 

A colorless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. When incomplete combustion occurs in household items like stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces, the dangerous fume takes flight, entering your lungs and impeding the flow of oxygen into your body.

Extended exposure has lethal consequences, and only a carbon monoxide detector can alert you when the gas rises to risky levels. 

Similarly, the gas radon exists without color or odor and enters unnoticed. The gas naturally lifts from soil and penetrates the home via the drainage system, cracks in the walls, and the floors of the basement, as well as through dirt floors. The invisible gas is a major perpetrator of lung cancer. 

Catch your Breath

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Are you holding your breath yet? Even though there’s no way of knowing the exact level of pollutants in your home environment, there are ways to keep it breezy. Mold and mildew can be cleaned, and detectors can protect us from carbon monoxide and radon. 

For everything else, Rabbit Air is here to help you catch your breath amid the air quality stresses. Their air purifiers quietly remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants without further fallout. So breathe a sigh of relief: your home and office just got a little less toxic. 

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What Asbestos Looks Like

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All homeowners fear asbestos might be lurking in their home. While only an expert can identify and remove asbestos, you can still boost air quality in your home with a purifier.

Doing Asbestos We Can

Asbestos is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners everywhere. Once a common material used in construction, the discovery of severe negative health impacts led to the banning of asbestos in all new buildings. However, many structures built before the ban still contain asbestos. It’s important that homeowners know how to identify the hazardous substance, and how best to get rid of it.

Why Was Asbestos Used?

Asbestos, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a mineral fiber that occurs naturally in the earth. Its long, crystalline shape makes it flexible, allowing it to stretch without breaking. This, along with the fact that it is an extremely effective flame retardant, is what made asbestos a popular construction material.

Asbestos can be found in old building materials, like roofing shingles, wall insulation, vinyl floor tiles, wrapped around pipes as insulation, or in heat-resistant fabrics. According to Asbestos Watch, the substance is “usually entrained in some kind of substrate material, masking their normal appearance.”

Understanding the Risks

By the late 1970s, people began to realize that their favorite building material might be extremely dangerous, even deadly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer all identified asbestos as a carcinogen, which can cause cancer in anyone exposed to it.

According to the National Cancer Institute, contact with asbestos can increase your risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma, “a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen.”

The EPA banned all new uses for asbestos in the late 1980s, but applications developed before that regulation are still permitted. All schools, however, are required to test for and remove asbestos from their buildings.

What Does Asbestos Look like?

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The tricky thing about identifying asbestos is that you can’t always tell what it is by looking at it. Before it’s used in building materials, asbestos is often described as looking like “animal fur” or fuzz because of its long fibers. While commonly thought to be white, it can also be found in shades of brown or blue.

When used in construction, asbestos is typically mixed in with other materials like cement, making it harder to identify. It’s indistinguishable from fiberglass insulation, which is not dangerous to human health.

And where does one even start to look? Asbestos can be hiding anywhere -- the only way to know for sure if your home is polluted is to get it tested and, if necessary, have the asbestos removed by professionals.

What Should You Do?

Asbestos isn’t the only dangerous substance that might be lurking in your living space, and while asbestos can only be identified and removed by a professional, there are other ways to decontaminate your air and protect your home. Installing a quality air purifier will ensure your family has clean, toxin-free air to breathe.

Rabbit Air air purifiers will improve your quality of life by improving your air. With their sleek and modern design, you won’t have to worry about your purifier being an eyesore in your home. Plus, Rabbit Air’s 24/7 support line provides comprehensive assistance at all times. Don’t leave your family’s health to chance.

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