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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

An Air Purifier May Be the Answer for Allergy Sufferers

If you suffer from allergies, you know that springtime brings more than just warm weather. It also brings air that makes you itch, sneeze, cough, and twitch. While you may not be able to combat the outdoor air, an air purifier is an easy way to clean up your indoor spaces where you spend most of your time.

What Is an Allergy?
An allergy is the body’s overreaction to an outside substance. When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system tries to fight off the foreign material, causing sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, coughing, and itching of the skin or airways.

Mild allergies can cause considerable discomfort, but serious sufferers may experience chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or sinusitis. In severe cases, allergies can even be fatal. An allergic reaction may be caused by an insect bite or a certain food, drug, or synthetic substance. However, the most common allergic reactions occur from airborne particles.

Air and Allergies
Breathable air is primarily composed of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon gases. The air is also filled with unnatural byproducts from burning fossil fuels, as well as natural substances like pollen from trees and grasses. These particles cause major discomfort for allergy sufferers. Rhinitis and sinusitis are two of the most common allergic diseases. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from one or both conditions.

The Allergic Defense
The human body naturally resists airborne particles in attempt to prevent them from entering your lungs. Your nose and trachea, for example, are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. These hairs serve to filter and trap particles before they enter your body. The walls of your airways also produce mucus in order to keep the pathways moist enough to collect particles that are passing through.

Under normal circumstances, these defense mechanisms work behind the scenes. If you suffer from allergies, however, your system goes into overdrive and mistakes natural particles for foreign substances. This triggers the release of histamine, which is the body’s natural inflammatory response. The blood vessels begin to dilate and the airways produce an excess amount of mucus. This is when the itching, coughing, and sneezing begin.

Cleaner Air Means Milder Symptoms
Allergies affect people worldwide, especially during the spring season when flowers are blooming and the pollen count is high. While there are plenty of anti-histamine medications that help slow these defenses, you may find that cleaning the air in your living spaces gives you the best relief. By filtering your air before you breathe it, you are exposed to a much lower amount of defense-triggering particles. Air purifying units draw in polluted air from indoor spaces and trap those particles and contaminates onto micro filters. Some systems even incorporate several layers to make filtration more effective.

Moreover, many air purifiers use HEPA filters, which are held to strict government standards. Made of stainless steel, a true HEPA filter traps 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers.

Buying an Air Purifier
Allergy sufferers looking for an effective air purifier should consider the following:

  • Choose a purifier that is designed to run continuously. This is the best way to ensure your air is always clean.
  • Use a HEPA filter to trap smaller particles.
  • Ensure a high CADR rating for larger areas.
  • Go for high efficiency. Most allergy suffers do best with an air exchange rate of at least 4. This means your room’s air is being cleaned every 15 minutes.

Clean air means a better way of life, especially for people with allergies. Modern air purifiers are a great way to fight these conditions before they even begin.

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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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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UC San Diego Researching Portable Air Quality Monitor

City Smog In December 2012, the University of California at San Diego discussed an exciting new advance in Air Quality monitoring. Researchers there had created a small portable device that measured air quality in real time, letting users know in the moment whether they were breathing clean air or if they had wandered into a spot of highly concentrated pollutants. This advanced technology allowed for those concerned with air quality to have more precise information about the environment around them, allowing them to make informed decisions about the air they breathed. Runners and bikers, for example, would be able to avoid areas with higher pollution, protecting their lungs as they exercised. The device could even be useful in indoor areas, as one study participant found when he realized that the air quality in his office was quite poor, prompting his company to take steps to improve the air for its employees.

We hope to see more research into this area, and look forward to the day when personal air quality monitoring is available to all. Until then, there are still steps one can take to be proactive about air quality and protected from pollutants. City-wide daily pollen and pollution counts are easily accessed on websites such as Pollen.com and AirNow.gov. These sites are great tools for learning about air pollution in your city, and can help to plan your outings during times when pollutant levels are low. When you’re in your home, you can be smart about air pollutants as well by using a HEPA air purifier such as our MinusA2 to filter out harmful pollutants and keep the air clean and fresh.

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Summer Air Quality

Smog NYWe all know that the hot summer sun can be bad for our skin, but did you know that the air quality during the summer months can pose a health risk as well?  UV rays from the sun are stronger in the summer, causing more ozone to accumulate in the atmosphere and particularly in big cities, heat can cause outdoor air quality to worsen. The calm skies of summer can cause pollutants that have been released into the air to stagnate and hover in the skies, becoming thick layers of smog. This increase in pollution can be potentially harmful to those with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, often contributing to symptoms or causing reactions.

Keep safe throughout the summer by checking air quality forecasts and planning your outings during the day when pollutants aren’t as concentrated in the air. If you usually exercise or perform strenuous activities outdoors, try something new and workout to a fun video or podcast at home. If you do decide to soak up the sun, try to steer clear of locations that are near freeways or other high-pollutant producing areas like big cities. If you relax indoors to beat the heat, use an air purifier to keep indoor air fresh and clean. Whatever you decide to do this summer, do it with clean air in mind inside your home and out.

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