Indoor Health and Productivity in Workplaces and Schools

The Indoor Health and Productivity report, a National Science and Technology Council Project, shows that indoor environments affect productivity in schools and workplaces.

Improving the indoor environment will not only decrease energy costs and healthcare costs, but also improve health, performance, and attendance.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Research suggests that low ventilation rates and less daylight can adversely affect student performance.
  • Continue reading…

Airgle Air Purifier Review

Airgle air purifiersI’ve been testing air purifiers for several years now, and most new brands are unimpressive. Airgle air purifiers, on the other hand, stand out as effective machines with novel features.

The most impressive fact about the Airgle 750 air purifier is that it received the highest possible Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). It works much better than most air purifiers because it has a 12-stage filtration process, including 4 pre-filters, 2 antimicrobial filters, 4 HEPA filters, and 2 activated carbon filters.

Don’t worry, though; you won’t have to replace all of those filters! Only the HEPA and carbon filters need to be replaced (about once a year). The other filters are washable. Continue reading…

Anxiety and Stress Make Allergies Worse

Even a slight increase in stress and anxiety can substantially worsen allergic reactions to common allergens, according to a new study from Ohio State University. Anxiety and stress also cause the allergic reaction to last longer.

Anxiety can also trigger late phase reactions which appear hours after exposure to the allergen (typically the next day).

“What’s interesting about this is that it shows that being stressed can cause a person’s allergies to worsen the next day,” explains researcher Janice Kiecolt-Glaser. “This is clinically important for patients since most of what we do to treat allergies is to take antihistimines to control the symptoms – runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, and congestion.” Continue reading…

Toxic Chemical C8 Found in Eggs

I eat a couple of eggs for breakfast nearly every morning. They’re highly nutritious and filling. Several years ago, many Americans cut back on egg consumption because of fears that eggs would raise their cholesterol. Now we know that there are different types of cholesterols and different types of fats – some good, some bad – and you don’t have to worry about having a heart attack because of moderate egg consumption. (Cardiovascular disease is more commonly brought on by lack of exercise and junk food – processed foods, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and excessive carbs.)

But now there’s another reason to worry about eggs: they may contain toxic chemicals, according to The Charleston Gazette. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked a respected scientific journal, Environmental Science & Technology, to delete from its website the results of a study which found perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in chicken eggs.

An EPA scientist says that there was a major error in the study – that the PFCs were not really PFCs but other unidentified substances that simply looked like PFCs under a microscope. Hmm… That sounds a little strange to me, especially considering the fact that other studies have found PFCs in chicken eggs (and wild bird eggs) in other countries. Continue reading…

Airborne Soot Exposure as Dangerous as Smoking Cigarettes

ScienceNews reports that daily exposure to airborne soot from car exhaust, smokestacks, and other sources of combustion is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.

Barry Dellinger of Louisiana State University says that the exposure could be the equivalent of smoking one cigarette per day – or as many as two packs a day!

Dellinger’s research team found that combustion produces free radicals that linger in the air much longer than previously thought. “To our enormous surprise, the free radicals survive hours, days, even indefinitely.” Continue reading…