» Indoor Health Matters

Electrolux Pronto Vacuum Review: 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

Electrolux Pronto bagless vacuumI tried the new Electrolux Pronto stick vacuum a few weeks ago. Although I loved the entire design concept of the 2 in 1 vacuum and its actual performance, I must admit that it’s not the right vacuum for my home – but it may be the perfect vacuum for you!

The Pronto vacuum is ideal for apartments, lofts, and small houses with mostly hard floors. While it works well on low-pile carpets, it is not made for use on high-pile carpets. (I have high-pile carpet and two pet cats, which is why I need a larger vacuum made for carpet cleaning.) Continue reading

Indoor Swimming Pools Create Unique Health Problems

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

This summer my baby sister (who is 18 months old) started taking swimming lessons at an indoor swimming pool. I think that all children should take swimming lessons – you never know when they’ll need those skills, and swimming is great exercise – but parents also need to be aware of the health risks associated with indoor pools. Chlorine byproducts contaminate the air above indoor swimming pools and have been linked to lung damage, asthma, and cancer. Indoor pools also increase humidity, which can lead to mold growth. Continue reading

How to Kill Dust Mites in Your Pillow

Posted by John on July 20th, 2008

Dust MiteMost house dust mites have it made. They lounge around in your bed all day, getting fat off your dead skin and reproducing like little dust bunnies. Of course, these microscopic arachnids also go to the bathroom in your bed. Yes, that’s certainly a disgusting thought, but you need to know about this. You see, it’s the fecal matter from dust mites that causes allergies and asthma among sensitive people. Continue reading

Midwest Flood Water Damages Homes & Businesses

Posted by John on July 20th, 2008

The great floods of June 2008 ravaged the Midwest, destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Many homes are still under water, and many residents are still homeless.

FEMA employee Jim Segar has been reporting on the damage for The Barre Montpelier Times Argus. On July 7, Segar wrote, “There are 1.5 million people affected in Illinois with 18 counties declared disaster areas by FEMA. This region received over 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Many homes in the northern section of Illinois are still under water. Continue reading

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Posted by John on July 19th, 2008

Safety Siren Carbon Monoxide DetectorCarbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that kills approximately 2500 Americans each year. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is found in combustion fumes from automobiles, small engines, lanterns, stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas power generators, and gas ranges and heating systems. When these fumes build up in enclosed spaces, people can easily die from breathing CO. Continue reading

The Best Portable Air Conditioners

Posted by John on July 19th, 2008

best portable air conditionersConsumerSearch recently released its guide to the best portable air conditioners, and I’m excited to report the results. But first, let’s review the basics:

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable air conditioners, also known as spot coolers or sometimes swamp coolers, can be moved from room to room to cool and dehumidify the air. They are freestanding, mobile, and convenient – ideal for apartments and other locations where you cannot install a window unit. Continue reading

Do I Need A Radon Detector?

Posted by John on July 19th, 2008

Safety Siren Radon DetectorsYes! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), naturally occurring radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone – second only to cigarette smoking among causes of lung cancer.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that’s undetectable by humans. It forms when uranium decays, and then it seeps out from rock formations and certain building materials. Continue reading

Full Spectrum Lighting for the Office Environment

Posted by John on July 19th, 2008

Full Spectrum LightingI’m very lucky. I love my job. I love writing about healthy indoor matters and helping people to make healthy choices.

But I haven’t always been so lucky. At some previous jobs, I’ve had to work in cave-like environments, totally cut off from natural sunlight. By the end of the day, after working under eye-straining fluorescent lighting for eight-plus hours, I always had worn-out eyes and a throbbing headache.

I no longer suffer from eye strain or tension headaches, thanks to full spectrum lighting. Continue reading

EPA Finds Toxic Rocket Fuel Ingredient in Drinking Water

Posted by John on July 18th, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found a toxic rocket fuel ingredient – perchlorate – in drinking water in at least 35 states, but they have no plans to regulate this dangerous chemical.
Continue reading

Ground-Level Ozone Can Cause Asthma & Trigger Attacks

Posted by John on July 18th, 2008

Ozone is a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms that exists as an invisible gas. Ozone in the Earth’s upper atmosphere protects us from harmful solar radiation; however, ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that damages the respiratory system.

Repeated exposure to ozone can permanently scar your lung tissue and lead to asthma. Ozone inflames the lungs and makes them more responsive to allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mite allergen. Continue reading

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Scientific American Questions Fluoride in Tap Water

Posted by John on July 17th, 2008

In January 2008, Scientific American magazine shocked many members of the scientific community when it published an article that questions the practice of adding fluoride to municipal drinking water: “Second Thoughts about Fluoride.” Recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can damage teeth, bones, and the brain, particularly the thyroid gland. Continue reading

Halo Vacuum Review: UV Germ-Killing Power

Posted by John on July 16th, 2008

Halo UV vacuum cleanerI recently had the opportunity to “test-drive” a Halo UV vacuum cleaner, and I was very impressed by its design, handling, and germ-killing ability. Halo UV vacuums feature a UV-C light bulb that kills viruses, bacteria, dust mite eggs, flea eggs, mold spores, and other germs. UV-C light bulbs have been used to kill germs in water treatment plants and hospitals for many years, and more recently, some supermarkets have started using them to sterilize shopping carts. Continue reading

Indoor Health Matters Blog Launched!

Posted by steve on July 16th, 2008

Welcome to the Indoor Health Matters blog! We have launched this blog to provide the community and our customers with news, advice, and commentary on creating and maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Please check back with us often for useful tips and information from the authors, editors, and product experts of Sylvane.