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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

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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Do Air Purifiers Kill Dust Mites

 

Dust mites, a common cause of allergies and asthma world-wide, are tiny, microscopic creatures related to the spider. Although they can survive in all climates, they thrive in warm, humid places and prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Favoring humidity levels of 75-80, they feed on dead human and animal skin cells and are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture.

Since these organisms are 0.25–0.3 millimeters in length, which is invisible to the naked eye, they float into the air when anyone vacuums, walks on carpet, or disturbs bedding. Once airborne they can easily be inhaled, ingested and trapped on your body. Although some people do not have a reaction to dust mites and their feces, as many as 20 million people in the United States suffer from allergies or asthma; so many have asked: Can you get rid of dust mites, and if so, how?

Health Concerns

Some signs that you might be allergic to dust mites are:

•    Runny nose
•    Itchy eyes
•    Watery or red eyes

•    Sneezing

•    Congestion of the nose
•    Coughing
•    Post nasal drip
•    Pain and pressure in the face
•    Itchy nose and throat
•    Difficulty sleeping
•    Swollen eyes
•    Puffy, bluish skin under the eyes
•    Rubbing of the nose, typically in children

If a dust mite allergy persists and triggers asthma, a person may also experience:

•    Tightness or pain in the chest
•    Trouble breathing
•    Wheezing
•    Shortness of breath and coughing that interferes with sleep

How to Control Dust Mites and Manage Your Symptoms

By following a few precautionary steps, you can reduce your symptoms and minimize your exposure to these unwanted guests in your home. Here are a few solutions:

1.    Dust mite covers are recommended to help prevent the spreading of dust mites in your home. To keep them out of the bedding, you can cover your mattress, pillows, and box spring with a fabric that has pores small enough to keep dust mites and their waste products out.

2.    Wash your bedding, as well as the pillows, comforters and mattress pads with hot water, preferably over 130 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill dust mites. Once a week is recommended, and if hot water is not available, using a special laundry detergent that can kill dust mites at any temperature is recommended.

3.    If washing your items is not feasible, i.e pillows, delicate fabrics and stuffed animals, place them in a large plastic bag and in the freezer for up to 48 hours. This extreme temperature will kill dust mites.

4.    Since dust mites are fond of humid environments, operating a humidifier to keep your humidity levels at 50 percent or less will help stop them from multiplying. It’s ideal to keep your humidity at 35 percent, although very low humidity may be uncomfortable for some people.    

5.    Clear your home of clutter. This could mean the corner with your childhood stuffed animals, or your blanket fort, complete with a pillow pyramid. Areas that are not well maintained can become a breeding ground for dust mites, so keeping your home, especially those areas that are carpeted, as neat as possible can help keep dust mites under control.

6.    Vacuuming properly is crucial to keeping dust mite populations down in each room, especially those that have carpeting. The problem with most vacuums is that they cannot capture particles as small as dust mites, so after sucking them out of the carpet, they quickly and easily, return back into your environment. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will not only trap dust mites, but it will actually pick up their waste and eggs as well.

7.    Dust mites and their waste products are weightless, so they can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. Operating an air purifier with a true HEPA filter will pull in the microscopic particles into the filters so that they are no longer airborne. For an extra added oomph, the MinusA2 has a Customized filter, called the Germ Defense, that’s been specially designed to trap and reduce dust mites, as well as mold spores and other particles.

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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Improve Your Home and Your Health

For many proud homeowners across the country, home improvement is top priority on their to-do list. There are several aspects to improving your house such as routine maintenance, renovations, redecoration, upgrades, and other enhancements and accommodations. There are also a variety of reasons homeowners decide to make these changes: they could be health-related, the desire for a change of scenery, a need to be more economical, or simply the urge to take on another engaging project. All of these changes will contribute to an improved quality of life in and around the home – and investing in the right projects and products can be an excellent way to achieve this while saving money.

How Your Home Can Impact Your Health

As homeowners become savvier about the kind of lifestyles which improve health, there are several ways to upgrade the home to make increased well being possible. One way is to improve the cleanliness of the home while reducing germs and pollutants, a critical factor not only for the young and the elderly, but everyone. “Sick house syndrome,” or “sick building syndrome,” is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a situation in which “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.” It is an illness experienced by Americans across the country who are exposed to various chemicals and sub-par living conditions which are prevalent, yet not always visible, in older buildings or buildings which are not structured to meet basic health standards. The result is that non-suspecting occupants may be exposed to unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide and radon, combustion particles or gases, toxicity from household cleaners, interior mold, and old lead-based paint. Even incense, air fresheners and candles can contribute to potential problems.

Solutions for a Healthier Home Environment

Fortunately, in most cases there are solutions to these problems. Household cleaners can be replaced by homemade, environmentally friendly ones which are cheap and easy to make using basic ingredients like baking soda, tea tree oil, vinegar, alcohol, lemon and toothpaste. Homeowners can also plug in carbon monoxide detectors and have their houses checked for other gases. Qualified professionals can remove asbestos and other toxic materials from the home. There are other simple upgrades which are also effective. Eco-friendly air purifiers can reduce pollutants and other chemicals, as well as improve air quality for people with allergies to dust or animal dander, and those who experience sensitivity to dry or damp air. Natural air purifiers like bamboo, yucca, and other plants are excellent enhancements which also provide an aesthetic appeal. Homeowners may wish to go even further, however, making their homes more green as an approach to improving their immediate environment. This can be effective for a variety of reasons; energy efficiency means effective natural lighting, which provides natural detoxification; energy efficient windows not only insulate well but can be opened to improve air quality and provide coolness; the use of sustainable materials which are non-toxic; and many other improvements add to the overall health factor of the home.

Financial Benefits

The financial benefits of making these changes can be substantial. While initial upgrades at first may seem costly when implemented on a large scale (like installing solar panels for instance), the long-term pay-off more than compensates for the funds initially spent. Homeowners can also enjoy the immediate effects of an improved quality of life due to a healthier environment, which will ultimately save money on trips to the hospital and doctor visits. Smaller improvements – such as investing in Eco-friendly cleaners – will save homeowners on the money spent on more expensive brand names. Making your home a safe, healthy place to live, will not only increase its value on the housing market, but, depending on what aspects of your home you have improved (like upgrading old features and securing safety measures), your insurance premiums can improve. And, of course, it’s important to make sure that the contents of your home are covered too, especially if they are upgrades which are contributing to the overall quality of the home. This means money saved in the long-run, a consideration which often takes its toll on health.

Most importantly, an improved home which is maximized for healthy living will play a hugely positive role, and become a major factor in the health and well being of the homeowners and tenants. A home is, after all, more than a place to stop between commutes – it’s the center of family, the place where memories are made, and where we ultimately spend most of our time. It is a place where we cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to our health and the health of our loved ones.

By volunteer contributor Gemma Hunt

[i] RabbitAir.com. “The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.rabbitair.com/blogs/air-purifier

[ii] EPA.gov. “Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised) Sick Building Syndrome”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pdfs/sick_building_factsheet.pdf

[iii] ConsumerReports.org. “Is poor indoor air quality making you sick? Protect yourself against six hidden hazards in your home”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/06/is-poor-indoor-air-quality-making-you-sick/index.htm

[iv] GoodHousekeeping.com. “9 Cleaners You Can Make Yourself The key ingredients you need just might be hiding in your pantry” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/make-at-home-cleaners

[v] EarthEasy.com. “The Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-top-10-plants-for-removing-indoor-toxins/

[vi] EnvironmentalLeader.com. “Sick Building Syndrome: Is Greening Your Building a Cure?” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/05/02/sick-building-syndrome-is-greening-your-building-a-cure/

[vii] Realtor.com. “What Homeowners’ Insurance Discounts Are You Missing?” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/what-homeowners-insurance-discounts-are-you-missing/

[viii] QuoteZone. “Compare contents insurance quotes now”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.quotezone.co.uk/content-insurance.htm

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The 8 Best Ways to Use Air Purifiers

Using an air purifier can do much more than just improve your indoor air quality; it can also improve the quality of your life. There are many reasons that people find themselves searching for a quality air purifying product, ranging from allergies to eliminating food odors. Here are seven ways you can put an air purifier to good use.

  1. Help Your Health

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, your indoor air quality has a direct impact on your health. The agency lists the following as common side effects of exposure to pollutants:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Eye, nose and throat irritability
  • Headaches

The EPA notes that these issues can show up immediately or even within years of exposure.

An air purifier works to do just that: purify the air you breathe. Millions of particles can float throughout your home or business' air, such as mold spores and dust mites, causing the problems that the EPA outlines. The right kind of purifier will filter out these contaminants and eradicate them from your indoor air.

  1. Battle Your Allergies

If you are someone who regularly suffers from seasonal allergies, air purifiers can greatly help reduce your symptoms. While a purifier may not be able to prevent pollen or mold counts from jumping outside, it can keep the condition indoors much more pleasant. These products fight the airborne allergens that are typical in spring and fall.

  1. Cut Down on Dusting

There are likely few people who actually enjoy dusting their homes. Good news for the rest of the population: air purifiers can capture airborne dust particles, preventing them from settling on your television, bookshelves and tables. This will greatly reduce the amount of dust that collects, meaning that you have even less cleaning to do.

  1. Make Your Home Fido-Friendly

You love your pet, but you may not love some of the issues that having a pet can cause. For example, every time your dog wags his tail, he is probably spreading dander, which can trigger allergies and even lead to breathing problems. Additionally, pets can cause unwelcome odors in your home. You can use an air purifier in rooms where your pet spends the most time especially where he or she sleeps. This can help to reduce the amount of hair, dander and odors that circulate throughout your house.

  1. Get Rid of Odors

Cooking fish is a healthy alternative to some of your favorite foods, but it can leave an unpleasant odor hanging around your kitchen or dining room. Aside from cooking, there may be guests, pets, or even your own children who create smells that you wish you could remove with just the wave of a magic wand. Scented candles may work well temporarily, but you are essentially just covering up one smell with another.

Fortunately, an air purifier is up to the challenge. You can combat cooking odors, diaper pail smells and more with just the push of a button. A purifier will actually eliminate the particles in the air that are causing the odor, rather than just covering up the problem.

  1. Fight Germs in the Office

Most people have found themselves in this situation before: You go into work one morning to find that a co-worker is sick but refuses to go home. This means that those germs are circulating through the office and resting on door handles and shared equipment. Check with your supervisor to see if you could add an air purifier to your workspace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that having a proper filtration system plays a key role in protecting not only office buildings themselves, but also the people inside. In addition to having clean HVAC systems, it is important to have purifiers to eliminate airborne germs.

  1. Clean the Classroom

Children have a way of bringing home every germ known to man. When they are in school, kids are exposed to a variety of illnesses because they interact so closely with each other. A purifier cannot prevent your child from ever getting sick, but it can greatly reduce the number of airborne particles in the classroom. You can check with the school or the teacher to see if you could donate a purifier to be used in your child’s room.  Air purifiers are also beneficial in the classroom for students that suffer from asthma and allergies. When kids come in from outdoor play, they bring allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dust along with them on their clothes and the soles of their shoes.  Using an air purifier in the classroom can help remove these allergens from the air, helping to reduce allergic triggers and allowing kids to focus more on their schoolwork.

  1. Reduce the Effects of Natural Disasters

A flood or a wildfire can cause major damage and destruction. Even when the situation appears isolated, there are byproducts that stem from these events, including toxins that are released into the air. Flooding can often result in dangerous mold growth, and wildfires emit a host of smoky substances that can make it hard for residents nearby to breathe easy. An air purifier will help to combat the potentially harmful mold spores or smoke particles that could be in your house.

If you are not sure which type of purifier to get, it is best to consult with a professional. He or she can help you to understand which product has the features you need.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency, “Indoor Air Pollution and Health,” 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Indoor Environmental Quality,” 2014

Let us help you pick the precise air purifier that fits your lifestyle. 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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The Best Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

It’s no secret that vehicle and industrial emissions negatively impact air quality outdoors. However, when it comes to purifying the air that you breathe at home, don’t forget to think inside the box. While today’s energy-efficient homes are great at reducing heat transfer and lowering energy costs, they also trap in airborne toxins that are produced by synthetic building materials, cleaning supplies, and other chemicals used inside. This is sometimes referred to as Sick Building Syndrome. Indeed, the toxins in your home can be quite harmful, especially to those who may be suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions. In fact, some cases of indoor air pollution may be far worse than any corresponding outdoor conditions. Fortunately, there is a solution for purifying your indoor space, one that will save money and the environment at the same time – houseplants.

A Special Thanks to NASA
Plants are essential to human life; they convert carbon dioxide into useable oxygen. As a bonus, they also remove dangerous elements from the air. These toxins are either metabolized into harmless byproducts or simply absorbed into a plant’s tissues. It was NASA who first began researching houseplants during the late 1980s in an effort to maintain healthier air for astronauts who were on extended missions in orbit. They found that some botanical species are just as adept at filtering interior spaces as they are at cleaning outside air.

Most common houseplants come from tropical regions where they have adapted to low light under thick canopy ceilings. As a result, these species are expert photosynthisizers and can also absorb some of the most common and toxic airborne pollutants, including:

  • Formaldehyde –Released from cleaners and building materials like plywood and foam insulation.
  • Benzene –Emitted from paints, oils, and synthetic plastics.
  • Trichloroethylene –Found in adhesives, varnishes and paints.
  • Toluene –A common byproduct of nail polish and glue.

Seven Effective Houseplants
NASA scientists studied 19 different species over the course of two years. Here are some houseplants that are highly effective at purifying indoor air:

  1. Weeping figFicus benjamina2 –Also known as a ficus tree, the Ficus benjamina is a popular evergreen plant that helps rid your home of formaldehyde, toluene, and even xylene. It grows best under bright indirect light, with frequent watering, and at higher temperatures. Unfortunately, it is poisonous to animals, so you want to make sure to place it in an area that your dog or cat cannot access.

 

  1. Bamboo palmChamaedorea costaricana –As its common name suggests, the Chamaedorea sefritzii is a cross between bamboo and a palm. Due to its bamboo-like stalk, it is sometimes referred to as a bamboo reed plant. This is one of most popular houseplants all over the world. Not only do you get the lavish look of a palm, but you also get that ancient tranquility provided by bamboo. Perhaps this is because it is one of the best species on NASA’s list of formaldehyde-cleansing plants. This makes it a good choice for today’s synthetic-based homes. Try to mimic its natural environment with moist soil and low light.

 

  1. Snake plantSnake plant –The Sansevieria tifasciata is also famously called the mother-in-law plant. This African native is great at absorbing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, and nitrogen oxide. This is a hardy beginner plant that requires little attention. While it grows well under bright light, it can easily adapt to darker corners as well.

 

  1. Peace lilySpathiphyllum cochlearispathum RTBGSpathiphyllum includes many species that all share similar features. It is known in Hawaii as the Mauna Loa. This is a highly popular choice due to its beautiful white flowers and dark green foliage. It is highly effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Moreover, it tends to prefer low light and little water, so it’s fairly easy to maintain. The peace lily is moderately toxic, so avoid ingesting the leaves or flowers. More than anything, however, it’s just plain intoxicating.

 

  1. Hedera helix 'Buttercup' Urn 2000pxEnglish Ivy –The Hera helix is an outdoor vine that has been a vital part of the European landscape for centuries. Its invasive nature can be tamed by keeping it indoors. Here, it helps to remove formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. As a bonus, it even reduces airborne mold. When it comes to care, it generally grows best under direct light at a constant temperature. Make sure to provide plenty of water in addition to well-drained soil.

 

  1. Gerbera daisy –This is one of two species from the NASA study that is not considered a true houseplant; however, the Gerbera jamesonii is the most effective for treating benzene-contaminated air. Many common tobacco products on the market contain significant amounts of benzene. Therefore, smokers may want to consider the hidden benefits of this showy piece; it’s known for its stunning, brightly-colored flowers. Just make sure to give it plenty of direct sunlight.

 

Maximizing the Air Purification Benefits of Your Plants
When taking advantage of the cleansing power of plants, don’t narrow in on the leaves alone. According to NASA, the root zone is where the action happens. In order to encourage maximum absorption, you need make sure that your soil is exposed to air. It helps to use pots that are at least six inches wide. You can even go one step further by incorporating an activated carbon filter near the plant’s base.

As another general rule of thumb, avoid overwatering these in-home cleansers. Not only does this kill most roots, but it also creates excess moisture, which can lead to further problems like mold. In addition, it is helpful to try to create the dense, low-light conditions that most of these jungle-dwellers prefer.

Ultimately, the more houseplants you have, the cleaner the air in your home. In fact, NASA suggests using one plant for every 100 feet of living space. With all the chemicals, detergents, and synthetics that may be used in your home on a daily basis, don’t you think it is important to keep an eye on those hidden health risks? Why not let nature take some of the responsibility? Get in touch with your local nursery for more tips and suggestions. Ultimately, houseplants are a great way to improve the look of your home and the well being of your family.

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Indoor Air Quality Impacting Employee Productivity

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the smoggy atmosphere outside. Most people pay attention to the pollution warnings on their local news channels, even staying inside their homes or office buildings in order to stay “safe.” Unfortunately, these individuals may be breathing even more contaminants while spending time in their houses and offices.

 

Chatting Around the Water Cooler

At work, employees might be sniffling, coughing, and even wheezing, but they might not suspect that their office buildings are to blame. Instead, they may gather around the water cooler and blame the weather, the flu, or whatever seasonal plant is blooming outdoors. Some of the symptoms that occur include:

In addition to these ailments, individuals who are inhaling in polluted air-spaces might suffer from limited attention spans and low productivity on the job. This can cost companies that are housed in airtight buildings some big dollars. In fact, OSHA estimates that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) costs employers in the neighborhood of $15 billion in sick leave and poor work performance each year.

 

Employers Take Action

Today, companies are taking action to create a healthier workforce, but their tactics are often missing the mark. Ignoring their indoor air as a cause of employee ailments, employers are focusing on the home life of their employees and instituting wellness programs. These encourage workers to:

  • Eat more nutritious cuisine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice stress management

While these practices are certainly beneficial and generally good advice to help improve quality of life, they won’t help to relieve symptoms caused by poor IAQ. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s performed research that showed that an employee’s performance at work can be improved by 10 percent if air quality is cleaned up.

 

Reasons for Indoor Air Pollution

Why is the air inside office buildings so polluted? For one thing, workers are spending much more time indoors than they did in previous eras. Today, an American spends 90 percent of his or her time inside, and there are hazardous pollutants looming in the air, such as:

  • Chemicals in a Work Space: There are chemicals emanating from technological hardware, cleaning products, furniture, and construction materials.
  • Copiers and Printers: Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are emitted from printers and copy machines.
  • Floor and Wall Coverings: Ozone and tiny particulates are released from flooring materials and wall coverings.
  • Paints and Furnishings: Formaldehyde and toluene are just a couple of the hundreds of VOCs being released from furniture and the paint in a building.
  • Computers and Electronics: These products send emissions into the environment from adhesive, circuits, and plastics. Because computers and electronic gadgetry heat up, the effects are magnified.
  • Pest Control: Most commercial facilities have some sort of weekly or monthly pest control service to kill bugs, and while employees may deeply appreciate a pest-free workplace, these treatments send toxins into the air.

What Can Be Done

Although The World Health Organization estimates the nearly a third of all renovated or new construction has problems with IAQ, steps can be taken to improve the situation. After smoking was banned in American offices, for example, air quality drastically improved. Changes can be made to curtail other pollutants as well, for example:

  • Bring outdoor air in with proper ventilation.
  • Confine networked printers in well-ventilated areas.
  • Use slower print speeds on personal printers.
  • Install an air purifier.
  • Purchase green, low-chemical office products, furniture, and paints.
  • Maintain a stable temperature to discourage condensation and mold growth.

Every step employers take to create a healthier environment for workers can lead to increased productivity and a healthier bottom line. Employees will feel more comfortable and well, which may help prevent them from calling in sick. Small steps can lead to big results, allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.

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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How Indoor Air Quality is Affecting Asthma Sufferers

With industrial waste and the ever increasing amount of car emissions contaminating our air, it is easy to blame external air pollution for asthma issues. However, poor indoor air quality is now being pin pointed as having a huge impact on increased asthmatic problems as well. Here are a few ways the air inside your home can have an impact.

Secondhand Smoke
It is no secret that smoke is dangerous to the smoker, but to those around them there is also serious risk. Secondhand smoke places hundreds of poisons into the air including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde and can be instrumental in the development of asthma. Secondhand smoke affects the severity of attacks as well as the amount suffered by 200,000 plus children, with that number possibly being as high as a million. While being near a smoker who is currently puffing away is a large factor, being around a person who has smoked (but is not smoking at that particular moment) or in a room or household where smoking has happened is also a factor. The chemical residue that is left behind even after the cigarette is put out is still an asthmatic hazard.

Combustion Pollutants
Combustion pollutants are the byproduct of appliances that utilize fuel such as gas, coal or wood to operate. This includes water heaters, fireplaces, gas heaters and furnaces. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can increase asthma issues by displacing the amount of oxygen that the body would otherwise receive. Maintenance and attention is needed for these appliances and a home monitoring system is helpful in signaling leaks or issues.

Radon
The natural breakdown of uranium found within soil, water, or rocks causes the radioactive gas known as radon to be released. Unfortunately, this natural gas can seep into a home through openings or cracks in its structure. When found in concentration, this pollutant can result in increased respiratory issues, including asthma. Unfortunately, it is not easily identifiable and an indoor air quality test is instrumental in locating issues.

Biological Pollutants
One of the biggest biological pollutants to keep watch for is mold, which can often result from having high humidity or areas covered with prolonged moisture in the household. If there is a crack in the structure, a leaky plumbing issue or flooding that was not properly taken care of, mold and bacteria can quickly set up shop and begin spreading, allowing dangerous spores to infiltrate your air and trigger allergic reactions and asthmatic episodes. Keep an eye out for any wet breeding grounds and keep potential trouble spots dry and well ventilated.

Other biological pollutants can include seasonal pollen, which can make its way in through open windows and doors, as well as dust mites or hidden excrement left behind from uninvited pests. Dander, which is lightweight and the result of shed skin cells or bodily fluids from pets and other animals, can also increase asthmatic attacks and affect the severity of them. Air filtration can assist in keeping biological pollutants to a minimum in your home.

Household Cleaners
Common household cleaners are often used in the hopes of removing triggers when, in fact, they can add pollutants to the air. Anti-bacterial mixtures, surface cleaners and furniture wipes are just a few of the perpetrators that leave dangerous chemicals behind that can irritate the respiratory system and result in inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Try instead to use more natural bases in your cleaning supplies such as vinegars, essential oils and other plant based items.

Building Supplies
Chemicals such as formaldehyde are often found in building supplies like adhesives and other agents used to bond materials such as carpets, paneling and upholstery. Formaldehyde can cause severe irritation triggering asthmatic episodes and increasing the number of attacks and severity over time. Check into the ingredients of building materials when doing any work on your home to avoid the inclusion of such items.

While it may not be possible to create a perfect indoor environment, it is possible to greatly reduce pollutants responsible for decreasing indoor air quality. Reducing these toxins can result in easier breathing for asthma sufferers.

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

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Longevity and Air Purifiers

Most people try to take action to live longer, healthier lives. Often, a few simple investments go a long way. Just reaching for fresh fruit instead of fast food can help ward off health complications associated with obesity, or even going for a walk every evening instead of watching television can make a substantial impact over time. Just like with these simple changes, the benefits of using an air purifiers can be much more than just making the air in your home cleaner. The right air purifier can actually help you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Get Rid of Human Carcinogens While You Sleep
Almost everyone is aware of how dangerous cancer can be. Different indoor pollutants such as wood dust and leather dust can act as human carcinogens. Additionally, harsh cleaning products are also labeled probable carcinogens by the American Cancer Society. Cancer is a leading killer of Americans, and a few simple measures can help to reduce the risk of getting the disease. Taking a few preemptive measures to stay healthy now can help reduce the likelihood that you will need more serious treatments later on. Although nothing can prevent cancer completely,  you can tip the odds in your favor by wearing sunscreen every day, eating healthy food, exercising, and ensuring that your home has good air quality.
    1. Cleaning Products Can Be Part of the Problem

    It is easy to get caught in a Catch-22 when keeping your home clean. Harsh cleaning agents can get rid of harmful pollutants indoors. However, cleaning agents can be just as harmful, if not more harmful, if they are allowed to become concentrated in the air without proper ventilation. An air purifier is an easy way to get rid of the majority of harmful indoor pollutants without harsh cleaning regimens. Natural cleaners are not as strong as some counterparts, but they can be just as effective at combating indoor pollutants when used in conjunction with an air purifier.

    1. Know How Serious Allergies Can Be

    Millions of Americans suffer from allergies, though when the symptoms are mild it is easy to brush them off as mere annoyances. However, indoor allergies can escalate. Instead of just occasional sneezing and watery eyes, indoor allergies can cause more serious conditions such as hay fever or to respiratory ailments. Simple sinus problems such as mild nasal drip can also lead to more serious conditions over time. Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid all allergens. However, it is possible to get numerous allergens out of your home without using harsh chemicals. Breathing easier may help to get you feeling better, and both are essential for good physical and emotional well-being.

    1. Respiratory Problems Lead to More Serious Issues

    Chronic respiratory illness due to poor air quality is more than a pain to deal with. It can actually shorten your lifespan even if it is not deadly. Often, a seemingly mild respiratory illness such as chronic nasal drip can diminish quality of life to the point where your health is at risk. Frequently, people who chronically feel lousy develop a host of other issues. Chronic illness and allergies can impact sleep, exercise patterns, and eating patterns. In the end, a simple issue can be the root of major health problems.

    1. Debt, Depression, and Longevity

    One crucial item that is easy to overlook when you want to live longer is your financial situation. Debt has been linked to depression, and depression is an illness that can shorten your lifespan in more ways than one. Poor eating habits and sleeping habits are key indicators of clinical depression, and both can diminish your overall quality of life. Additionally, mental illness is often prompted by chronic discomfort and chronic pain, even if the pain is mild. Clinical depression is treatable. However, it can be preventable in some cases. Often, it is a good idea to identify long-term solutions to the root of the underlying problem before things get out of hand.

    Other symptoms associated with debt from medical bills and hospital visits include high blood pressure and heart problems. Additionally, about half of adults in debt report symptoms of severe depression. Living long and living well are linked. Sometimes, it is important to think of easy things you can invest in to boost your quality of life before bills start piling up and depression sets in.

    1. Feeling Healthy and Active Without a Large Time Commitment

    It is not realistic for everyone to dedicate hours every day to working out. Life can easily get in the way of the best wellness plans. However, there are some easy ways to promote good health without a large financial investment or time commitment. An indoor air purifier can help solve numerous problems including lack of sleep, poor quality sleep, chronic illness, and depression. Ironically, health plans that are too much to handle can cause more stress and actually adversely impact your health.

    Think of different ways to make your home a healthier place to live without having to embrace a major lifestyle change. Almost no one wants to replace a living room set with a stationary exercise bike. Similarly, you might not be ready to ban certain foods from your pantry at all times. However, breathing easier and living better will not interfere with your lifestyle.

    1. The Secret to Living Longer

    Prevention is crucial when living a longer, healthier life. One of the most important things to think about is actually preventing disease and distress. Instead of waiting until a problem arises, take reasonable measures to reduce risk. Disease can happen to anyone. However, you can do a few simple things to put the odds in your favor.

    Investing in a quality air purifier for your home can help to improve your quality of life, and to help reduce allergies, asthma, and other respiratory complaints. Instead of driving yourself and your family crazy, take simple, easy measures to live a longer and healthier life. Live your life to the fullest, and do not let the pursuit of health take over. Invest in a few simple changes, and enjoy a long and happy life.

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

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    How Heat Waves Hurt Air Quality

    http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1397489While everyone loves a little summer sunshine, when temperatures keep rising dangerous conditions may occur.  Heat waves are more than mere annoyances; they can increase the risk of health concerns from mild conditions such as heat rash to more serious problems such as strokes.  Even when limiting one’s exposure to the sun and heat, heat waves can still create health risks in areas one might not expect.  Air quality can worsen during a heat wave, to the point of becoming deadly in extreme circumstances. When the air is heated, chemicals compounds such as the fumes from our cars combine with the already present nitrogen oxide in the air to create thick layers of smog. The risk for this is particularly strong in urban areas, where there is already a greater concentration of chemical compounds in the air due to larger populations and more industry.

    Smog is never healthy to breathe in, and during a heat wave when smog is found in higher concentrations it can cause lung tissue to become inflamed which over time can cause more serious complications. The increase in smog during a heat wave is especially dangerous for those who are suffering from respiratory illness, such as asthma, as it can increase or induce symptoms. During a heat wave, keep your lungs as healthy as possible by avoiding spending time outdoors in highly populated areas.  While in your home, keep an air purifier running that can trap the harmful VOCs from smog, such as our MinusA2 with the Toxin Absorber Customized Filter.  Stay cool, breathe clean air, and avoid direct sun exposure to stay as healthy as you can during a heat wave.

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    Remove Mold Successfully with Your Air Purifier

    Did you know that you can remove mold successfully with your air purifier? Surprisingly, not everyone knows this important fact. Removing mold is critical, especially for those with asthma and allergies. But even if those living in your home do not have allergies or asthma you’ll still want to remove mold from the air with your air purifier. Mold can be quite troublesome, and in some cases, cause mild to more severe health problems.

    Mold Most of us know that mold grows under damp conditions. You can often see and smell mold as it grows, and it sure isn’t pretty! But there can also be mold spores in the air sometimes before it has appeared in your home, or even after you think you have removed it. These tiny spores can get into your lungs and cause irritations. For some, this means feeling like you have a cold or a sinus problem. If you have asthma it can aggravate your symptoms. For those with mold allergies it can cause mild to severe reactions, depending on the type of allergy you have. Even those without allergies or asthma often feel the effects of mold. They may sniff and sneeze, or feel like they are coming down with a cold. It is irritating and uncomfortable.  No one wants their family and friends to feel this way, especially if it can be avoided. But what is the most important thing about mold? It loves to grow! So if you do not take care of the problem, it probably will continue to grow and spread, lingering in your home until it is removed.

    Your air filter can help to purify the air, removing tiny mold spores. This can be a tremendous help, and soon you’ll start to feel more comfortable. Note that not every air purifier can remove and purify mold; you should check to make sure that your air purifier can do the job. Rabbit Air’s MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier has an optional Customized Filter called the Germ Defense that will effectively trap and reduce airborne mold spores and particles that can carry viruses.

    Help your air purifier do the best job it can, and tackle your mold problem hands on. Once you’ve targeted the areas that have mold, place the air purifier next to the locations to stop the spread of mold spores. If you don’t see mold right away, take your time and search through each room patiently. Try especially to check rooms that have the potential to be damp and wet, like the laundry room and bathrooms. If you really can’t find the source of the mold, you may need to call a mold specialist to help solve the problem.

    Your air purifier can clean the air and remove the tiny particles of mold from the air, but remember that if you do not remove the source of the mold, it will continue to grow and you will continue to have a mold problem. Worst of all, your symptoms may increase as time goes on if the source is not removed. No one wants their family and friends to suffer, so it is important to act quickly!

    Mold most often is a problem that can be solved. With the help of your air purifier, your family and friends will be quite comfortable in no time!

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