» Indoor Health Matters

Wyndham Hotels Offer Allergy Friendly Rooms

Posted by John on August 10th, 2008

Wyndham hotels now offer allergy friendly rooms designed by PURE Solutions. Dubbed “CleanAir Rooms,” they feature hypoallergenic bedding and medical-grade HEPA air purifiers. states: “The state of the art air purification system operates continuously, eliminating up to 98-100% of viruses and bacteria. In gest rooms, you’ll sleep on PURE mattress and pillow covers that are resistant to mold and dust mites.” Continue reading

Can Concrete Purify the Air?

Posted by John on August 9th, 2008

That’s the question on the minds of citizens in the Dutch town of Hengelo, where officials are paving a road with a special type of air purifying concrete to curb nitrogen oxide pollution from vehicle exhaust.

Engadget reports that the concrete bricks contain a titanium dioxide additive which, when exposed to sunlight, binds with nitrogen oxide particles and breaks them down into “harmless nitrates” that wash away with water. Continue reading

Best Antihistamines for Allergies

Posted by John on August 8th, 2008

WebMD allergies and asthma expert Dr.Paul Enright, MD, recently blogged about the best antihistamines for allergies. With ragweed season just days away, Dr. Enright’s expert advice couldn’t come at a better time.

Like one in five Americans, Dr. Enright suffers from hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis. As a child, Dr. Enright took first generation antihistamines such as Benadryl. The problem with these older antihistamines is that they cause drowsiness; the same drugs are actually sold as over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills. Continue reading

Childhood Asthma Symptoms

Posted by John on August 7th, 2008

Most people recognize wheezing as a possible sign of childhood asthma, but there are other signs that may not be so obvious.

According to the American Lung Association, common symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, chest tightness, frequent coughing, and frequent respiratory infections.

A persistent nighttime cough is a common sign of asthma, as asthma usually gets worse at night. Any child with recurrent coughing or respiratory infections should be evaluated for asthma. Continue reading

Ragweed Season – Allergy Relief Tips

Posted by John on August 7th, 2008

It’s back . . . Ragweed season starts in August and runs through October. Ragweed pollen is the top cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Nearly 40 million Americans experience allergic symptoms during ragweed season.

Ragweed grows almost everywhere in the United States, in rural and urban areas alike. To make matters worse, the lightweight pollen grains can travel hundreds of miles in the air. Continue reading

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Healthy Homes Make a Healthy Planet

Posted by John on August 6th, 2008

Last week in the Ithica Journal, indoor air quality expert Jackie Mouillesseaux-Grube wrote about the connection between indoor air quality and human health: “Daily behavior impacts indoor air quality, so we can minimize our exposure to harmful substances and manage the overall impact air quality has on our health by considering ventilation, excessive moisture and common pollutants.”

In the article, Mouillesseaux-Grube addressed two common indoor air pollutants: household chemicals and mold. Continue reading

Sebo X4 Vacuum Review

Posted by John on August 5th, 2008

Sebo X4 vacuum cleanerI’ll admit it: As an allergy sufferer, I don’t vacuum as well as I should. When it comes to vacuuming, I like to get it over with as soon as possible. That’s what I enjoyed most about testing out the Sebo X4 vacuum: I was able to get my floors extremely clean with minimal effort. This upright vac is a powerhouse with an S-class filtration system (the British equivalent of HEPA). I knew that the carpet was clean without having to go over the same spot twice.

I prefer upright vacuums, and I can tell you that few upright vacuums match the cleaning power of the Sebo upright. The Sebo X4 contains two fans for twice the suction power. (Be warned: don’t get this vacuum near a frayed rug because it’ll suck the edges right up!) Continue reading

Bottled Water and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Posted by John on August 5th, 2008

Have you seen those “eco-friendly” plastic water bottles? How ironic! Plastic bottles are anything but eco-friendly. In the past decade or so, as more people have become aware of the adverse health effects associated with soft drinks, bottled water has become enormously popular. But there’s a big problem: Plastic does not decompose quickly; in fact, in can take hundreds of years to degrade. In our quest for better health, we’re polluting our grandchildren’s planet with plastic bottles.

How big is this problem? It’s likely much bigger than you think. It’s actually bigger than the United States – literally.

Earlier this year, The Independent reported on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a “plastic soup” trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean that now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States. 90% of the waste consists of plastic, and the patch is growing at an alarming rate. Continue reading President Steven Hong on Creating a Healthy Nursery

Posted by John on August 4th, 2008

Steven Hong, President of, recently appeared on the syndicated radio talk show “At Home with Cheryl Gillepsie” to speak about how to create a healthy nursery. He went on to cover all the basics of making a healthy home.

Here are some great healthy home tips from the interview:

  • If you have a newborn on the way, paint the nursery well before the baby’s due date, as fresh paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause irritation, headaches, nausea, and more serious problems with high exposure. Low-VOC paints are also available.
  • Continue reading

IQAir Provides Clean Air for U.S. Olympic Athletes

Posted by John on August 4th, 2008

IQAir air purification systems in Beijing
Amidst concerns over air quality in Beijing, IQAir has announced that they are providing the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) with ultra high efficiency air cleaners for athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

“We are very proud to be able to support the performance efforts of the USOC in Beijing,” says Frank Hammes, President of IQAir. “The USOC is always looking for new and innovative ways to assist their athletes. This project will be the first time ultra high efficiency air cleaning is used on a large scale to provide performance enhancement at an athletic event.” Continue reading

Royal Pedic Latex Mattress Review

Posted by John on August 3rd, 2008

Royal Pedic Latex MattressFirst, a quick trivia question: What do the following celebrities have in common?

Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Wilt Chamberlain

Answer: They all demanded Royal Pedic mattresses. (JFK actually insisted on a Royal Pedic mattress wherever he went!) Continue reading

Kumi Kookoon Bedding Review

Posted by John on August 2nd, 2008

Kumi Kookoon Bedding If you’ve never slept on genuine silk bedding, you don’t know what you’re missing! Kumi Kookoon bedding is made from the highest quality charmeuse silk, which drapes you in silky smooth comfort.

My favorite thing about silk sheets is the way they feel. I tend to get hot when I’m sleeping, but Kumi Kookoon bedding doesn’t trap body heat. It’s very light against the skin, and it wicks moisture away from the body. Continue reading

Condensation on Windows – Not A Good Sign

Posted by John on August 1st, 2008

I recently moved, and I’ve noticed some condensation on windows in my new place. This concerns me because it’s a sure sign of excess humidity.

When indoor humidity is too high, water droplets typically show up on windows since the glass is cooler than the air; when warm, humid air touches a window, the air cools down and releases moisture – condensation.

High humidity sets the stage for the growth of mold and dust mites, and it can also damage household materials. Since I have allergies, I like to keep the humidity under control. Continue reading