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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Rabbit Air Wins "Best Air Purifier" in New York Magazine

New York magazine recently went on a quest for clean air in their article “The Best Air Purifier for Allergy Season, According to Allergists” in their May 1st issue. After consulting with allergists, they named the winner: Rabbit Air’s very own BioGS 2.0!

The allergists the editors reached out to recommended HEPA filtration over ionizers to remove even the smallest of allergens. HEPA filtration is used in all of Rabbit Air’s air purifiers and traps particles at 0.3 microns at a 99.97% efficiency.

The article dubs the BioGS 2.0 the “Mercedes of air purifiers.” We at Rabbit Air are thrilled to be compared to the top tier of quality and design. The editors go on to note how quiet and efficient it is as the air purifier seamlessly changes fan speeds when detecting particles in the air. 

Thank you New York magazine for sharing Rabbit Air with your readers! Grab yourself a copy (or read it here), cozy into your reading corner, and let New York magazine and Rabbit Air help you relax and breathe easily.

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What Is a HEPA Air Purifier?

Most everyone knows and understands that the air outside is full of pollutants that can irritate the respiratory system and make allergies and asthma worse. What many people do not realize is that the air inside their homes can be just as polluted, and cause just as many health issues, as the air in a big city. Those who suffer daily with allergies, sneezing, itchy eyes, or chronic coughing know just how frustrating it can be to live in an environment that keeps them from feeling 100 percent. As a result, many are on the lookout for a way to improve the air quality inside their homes in order to find a little relief. A HEPA air purifier can be that relief if used properly and if the right one is chosen.

What Is HEPA?
A HEPA filter is also called a high-efficiency particulate air filter. The United States Department of Energy has certain standards in place that an air filter has to meet in order to be qualified as a true HEPA filter. According to those government standards, an air purifier must remove 99.97 percent of particulates at an incredibly small size (0.3 microns) from the air that passes through it to earn a true HEPA standing. These small particles include pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen. Larger particulates are usually filtered even more efficiently, being almost completely removed from the air.

Who Uses HEPA Filters?
While many people like to have a HEPA air purifier in their homes to ensure that their air quality is at the best level possible, there are many other uses for these filters in different industries. Some of the other applications include:

  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Aircraft
  • Cars

When HEPA filters are used in places such as medical facilities, many incorporate UV light to help kill off any live bacteria that could be a threat to the health of patients.

How do HEPA Filters Work?
Removing particles from the air inside your home is the main job of a HEPA air purifier. These machines do so with the help of filter mats that are inside the purifier. The mats are composed of fibers arranged in a random pattern that trap the particulates, keeping them from getting back out into the air. In order to function properly, a HEPA filter uses three mechanisms to ensure that particles are caught when travelling through the mats:

  • Impaction: Where particles stick to any fibers that close to
  • Interception: Where large particles run into the fibers directly
  • Diffusion: Where the smallest particles collide with gas molecules, impeding their way through the filter.

By forcing the air in your home through these fine mesh traps, you are able to get rid of the majority of the pollutants that are causing you problems.

Choosing a HEPA Filter
These days, there are many knock-off air purifiers that do not meet HEPA standards. Some products claim to be “HEPA-like” or even “99 Percent HEPA.” Unfortunately, if a filter does not meet the Department of Energy’s standards, it will not provide the air-cleaning power that a true HEPA filter will. When choosing a HEPA filter, watch out for phrases that suggest that the purifier does not actually meet HEPA requirements. Make sure that whatever product you choose to buy is up to par and will do the job that you need it to do. Some of the other factors you should consider before you make a purchase include the following:

  • Is the purifier large enough for the room where you intend to use it?
  • Does the purifier emit any unhealthy byproducts, such as ozone?
  • Do you need professional installation?

Doing a little research beforehand can leave you with a purchase that you feel comfortable with and that you will be happier about in the long run.

Whole Home Versus Single Room Filters
There are a few ways that you can use a HEPA air purifier in your home, but two of the most common include filtering the air in a single room with a small machine or filtering all of the air in your home with a whole-house filter. Deciding which option is right for you depends on your budget and your specific needs.

A single room filter is best used in the room or rooms where you spend most of your time. Many people prefer to install purifiers in their bedrooms, since a huge portion of their time is spent sleeping. Others would rather use the purifier in their home’s living spaces so that all residents can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air.

A whole-home system can be used in conjunction with an HVAC system, but requires installation by a professional. However, having all of the air in your entire home purified from the particles that negatively affect your health can be a huge benefit that many homeowners enjoy.

No matter which HEPA air purifier you choose to have in your home, you can reap the benefits of cleaner air and reduced respiratory irritation caused by common household pollutants.

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Outdoor Air Pollution Linked to Increased Hypertension Risk for Pregnant Women

Hypertension, which is an increase in blood pressure, can be dangerous for pregnant women and for their developing babies.  Increased blood pressure can contribute to the development of conditions, such as preeclampsia in some mothers, and while these conditions are relatively rare, occurring in less than 10% of pregnancies, researchers are trying to understand how environmental factors may play a role in a woman’s risk of developing these conditions.  Recent research focused on outdoor air quality, particularly in the types of air pollution released from forest fires, car exhaust, power plants, and other industrial sources.  These pollutants, when found in high concentration, can cause a number of health related issues, from allergy like symptoms, to more serious heart and lung problems.  The study found that pregnant women exposed to these outdoor air pollutants had a greater risk of developing hypertensive disorders.  More research is needed to determine how great a role environmental factors have, but for now, researchers are calling for tighter air pollution controls.

It is always a good idea to limit exposure to outdoor air pollutants, not only for expectant mothers but for us all, particularly those in cities or industrial areas.  One of the easiest and best tools to use is a local air quality forecast, such as Air Now.  By monitoring air quality in your city, you can plan the best times to venture outside, and the best times to stay indoors.  At home, keep your indoor air quality pristine by keeping humidity levels low, using low VOC emitting paints and cleaners, and running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter, such as our BioGS 2.0, to filter out particle and chemical pollutants and keep air fresh and clean. 

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Green Roofs Help Improve City Air Quality
Popular in Europe for some time now, green roofs are becoming more and more common in the United States; good news for those concerned with city air quality.  A green roof is a roof that has been covered with vegetation rather than left bare, and there are two main types that are used. “Intensive” roofs, which are thick, green, and lush with deep soil, usually are intended to be used by people in much the same way as an ordinary garden, and will often have benches and walkways for people who live or work in the building to enjoy.  “Extensive” roofs, on the other hand, tend to have shallower soil and are used for the benefits that the plants provide while being generally off-limits to human visitors.  Scientists are studying the benefits of both kinds of green roofs, and have found that they not only can they contribute to reducing air pollution, but they can help with things like water management and can even last longer than traditional roofing.   One exciting benefit of having green roofs is in the reduction of carbon from the air, which helps to improve air quality and make local air better to breathe.  One 2009 study found that in the right conditions, using green roofs throughout an urban area with a population of around a million people could remove as much carbon from the air as one would get from taking 10,000 SUVs off of the road.

The spread of green roofs should be exciting news for those who live in areas with higher density populations.  Smog and other increases in air pollutants, caused by traffic or industry, can have quite a negative impact on health, from allergy-like symptoms, such as itchy eyes and congestion, to more serious ailments, such as heart or lung disease. It is hoped that widespread use of green roofs could significantly improve air quality, and that could mean a significant improvement in health as well.  In the meantime, for those wanting to breathe better air at home, adding an air purifier with a charcoal based activated carbon filter, like our MinusA2 and BioGS models, can help to filter out the toxins from smog and other airborne chemical pollutants to keep indoor air quality high.

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Secondhand Smoke Facts and Statistics Infographic

The Negative Health Effects of Secondhand Smoking

A “passive” smoker is someone who inhales the secondhand tobacco smoke generated by others. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the residual smoke that comes from burning tobacco and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Exposure to secondhand smoke is thought to be more harmful than smoking a cigarette directly for the same amount of time. The below infographic details statistics about the negative health effects of secondhand smoke.

You are welcome to use this infographic about secondhand smoke statistics on your own website, please link back to this page or www.rabbitair.com as the source.

All of Rabbit Air’s air purifiers are excellent for smoke removal, secondhand smoke, and the odor from smoke. Cigar Aficionado rated Rabbit Air a top air purifier for smokers,  you can read the article on our site. Choosing the best smoke air purifier for your home is a matter of many factors including room size, filtration needs, unit cost, filter replacement cost, etc. Visit our website to learn more about the air purifier models we offer.

Secondhand and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Facts

Mainstream Smoke is the smoke in the air that is exhaled by a smoker.
Sidesteam Smoke is the smoke in the air from a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar.
Secondhand Smoke (SHS) is a mixture of the 2 above forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco. This is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

SHS worsens asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1,000,000 asthmatic children.

The immediate effects of SHS may include: headache, dizziness, eye irritation, cough, sore throat, nausea

Long term effects may include: stroke, asthma, dementia, cognitive impairment, lung cancer, breast cancer, cardiovascular problems

About 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer each year as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

SHS effects on children may include: allergies, olfactory diseases (nasal), circulatory problems, asthma, respiratory problems, behavioral problems, Crohn’s disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

An estimated 35,000-62,000 deaths occur annually from heart disease in people who are not current smokers, but who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

11% of children 6 years and under are exposed to ETS in their homes on a regular basis (4 or more days per week)

SHS contains thousands of toxic chemicals including: ammonia, butane, chromium, lead, carbon monoxide, cyanide, polonium, formaldehyde

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Fun Facts About HEPA Filters

BioGS HEPA Filter When you want to get dust, mold, and other particulates out of your air, there is nothing better than an air purifier with a true HEPA filter. HEPA filters – short for High Efficiency Particulate Air – use special fibers, commonly made of paper or glass, to trap airborne particles. Rabbit Air’s BioGS HEPA filters go a step further by using an advanced fiber material, which reduce allergens over time to increase efficiency.  While these filters are important tools for keeping the air in our homes clean and fresh, did you know that HEPA filters were originally designed with much more dangerous particles in mind?  Developed in the 1940s, HEPA filters were an important part of the Manhattan project. Radioactive particulates used in the project could become airborne, and scientists needed a filter that could clean the air while keeping them safe. It wasn’t until a decade later that HEPA filters began to be used commercially in homes, hospitals, and other areas where having clean air was essential.

Though it is common to find HEPA filters in households across the world in everyday appliances, like air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, HEPA filters are also used in all sorts of surprising places! Airlines use HEPA technology to filter the air flowing through the passenger cabins in order to reduce the spread of airborne germs, and hospitals even have special HEPA face masks that are used to help keep doctors and patients safe. Animals can benefit from having their air filtered too, and HEPA technology is sometimes used in zoos and aquariums to keep our furry and feathered friends breathing better.  Amazingly, HEPA filters have even gone into space, where they are used to purify the air on the International Space Station!

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