» Indoor Health Matters

RSV Virus May Cause Asthma

Posted by John on October 31st, 2008

Nearly every child is infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) early in life. The virus usually clears up in a week or so, but in some cases, this “harmless” virus may persist and lead to chronic lung diseases like asthma, according to Reuters Health.

Researchers found that RSV can stay in the lungs of some mice and cause overactive airway symptoms associated with asthma. Previously, doctors thought that the body quickly cleared itself of this virus. Continue reading

Tags: ,
Posted in Asthma | No Comments »

Synthetic Chemicals and Cancer

Posted by John on October 31st, 2008

In our country, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight. In 1975, the risk was one in eleven. Why do cancer rates keep increasing? The Boston Globe suggests that it’s because of the continuing proliferation of synthetic chemicals:

Since World War II, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals has gone hand-in-hand with the increased incidence of breast cancer. About 80,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, and their number increases by about 1,000 each year. Only about 7 percent of them have been screened for their health effects. These chemicals can persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. According to a recent review by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, 216 chemicals and radiation sources cause breast cancer in animals. Continue reading

How Humidifiers Treat Cold Symptoms

Posted by John on October 30th, 2008

On ABC News, Dr. Melissa McNeil recently explained how humidifiers can help treat cold symptoms in children.

humidifiersA viewer asked, “Many parents use humidifiers in their young children’s rooms when they have a cold. Do they really do any good?” Continue reading

Mold Dangers in Mobile Homes

Posted by John on October 30th, 2008

Mold can invade any home, but mobile homes are at increased risk of mold problems.

Tom Riley discovered this after his family moved into a mobile home in Mississippi. Within six months of moving in, his family experienced respiratory problems, coughing, and laryngitis. At one point, his seven-year-old son collapsed in the hallway.

Riley then found mold dots sprinkled throughout the mobile home in the top of closets, according to the Clarion Ledger.

“With the mobile home industry, structure and installation is a problem. Builders are in a hurry; things get in a hurry. Who wants to step up to the plate and fix this? It will be expensive to fix. Medical issues are expensive. Environmental cleanup is expensive,” Riley said. Continue reading

Living in a Chemical-Free Bubble

Posted by John on October 27th, 2008

Elizabeth Feudale-Bowes of Pennsylvania suffers from such an extreme case of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) that she must live in a chemical-free “bubble” for ten hours a day.

She is sensitive to fabric softener, nail polish, perfume, new sneakers, and upholstery, among other items. Her symptoms include migraines, joint pain, bladder inflammation, seizures, and temporary paralysis.

She spends most of her day in a galvanized steel and porcelain shed behind her house. The inside of the shed resembles a prison cell – it contains a toilet, a metal cabinet, a box spring with the metal coils exposed, and a bunch of organic cotton blankets – but it’s her only sanctuary from a world that makes her violently ill.

“If I don’t live like this, my pain level is so severe that I can’t function, I can’t live, I can’t survive. It’s excruciating,” Feudale-Bowes, 52, told the Associated Press. Continue reading

Global Warming Increases Waterborne Pathogens

Posted by John on October 26th, 2008

While the different computer models of global warming don’t agree on everything, they do agree that warmer temperatures will lead to increased rainfall. This increase in rainfall will in turn lead to more disease-carrying agents in our drinking water.

Heavy rainfalls often trigger sewage overflows that contaminate drinking water. Consequences will be most severe in the nearly 1,000 U.S. cities (including New York, Washington DC, and Milwaukee, and Philadelphia) that have sewer systems which use the same pipes for storm water and sewage. When the pipes cannot handle heavy rain, raw sewage spills into drinking water supplies. Continue reading

Vornado Humidifier Reviews

Posted by John on October 26th, 2008

vornado humidifierVornado humidifiers not only make your environment healthier and more comfortable, but they also help to lower your heating bill (moreso than other humidifiers).

If you’ve used a Vornado fan or heater, then you’re familiar with the vornado fan technology; that’s the secret behind the efficiency of these humidifiers. Vornado humidifiers even out a room’s temperature by recovering and re-circulating lost heat from the ceiling. Once moisture is added to the dry, winter air, the air feels warmer and holds onto heat better. Continue reading

Lead and Tobacco Smoke Exposure Linked to Child ADHD

Posted by John on October 26th, 2008

Children who are exposed to lead and tobacco smoke are eight times more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Tobacco and lead exposure together seem to have a synergistic, negative effect,” said Dr. Tanya Froehlich, lead author of the Cincinnati study. Continue reading

Tags: ,
Posted in General Health | 1 Comment »

Canada Bans Gender-Bending Baby Bottles

Posted by John on October 25th, 2008

Health officials in Canada have classified bisphenol A (BPA) as toxic. The chemical, added to plastics, mimics estrogen and has been linked to birth defects in boys, heart disease in adults, and lower sperm counts and breast cancer in mammals. Continue reading

Posted in General Health | No Comments »

Atlanta Plant Agrees to Settlement over Chemical Odor

Posted by John on October 25th, 2008

I was living in Atlanta a couple of summers ago when I heard reports of the onion-like chemical odor in south Fulton County.

George Nicholson clearly remembers the odor, too, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The smell was bothering everybody,” said Nicholson. “The dogs wouldn’t go outside.” Continue reading

Should I Get A Flu Shot?

Posted by John on October 24th, 2008

Flu season starts this month and peaks in late January. You can get a flu shot anytime during flu season, but it’s best to get it early.

Who Should Get A Flu Shot? Continue reading

Discarded Batteries – Toxic Little Time Bombs

Posted by John on October 23rd, 2008

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. consumers buy over 3 billion dry cell batteries and 350 million rechargeable batteries each year. Unfortunately, most people simply toss batteries in the trash when they’re dead. According to Rod Muir of the Sierra Club, discarded batteries are “toxic little time bombs.”

Batteries often contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium, lead, chromium, and mercury. When batteries end up in a landfill, these heavy metals eventually end up in our water supply. Continue reading

How to Weatherize Your Home without Sacrificing Air Quality

Posted by John on October 23rd, 2008

With heating bills expected to be even higher than last year’s, it’s important to weatherize your home to conserve energy – but it’s also important to maintain healthy indoor air quality once you seal up your house.

Even a well-insulated home may contain several gaps and cracks that allow heat to escape. Place weather-stripping around doors and windows, and seal any gaps in building materials with caulking. Continue reading

DeLonghi Ceramic Heater Reviews

Posted by John on October 22nd, 2008

DeLonghi ceramic heaterIf you’re looking for a small, safe, reliable space heater that evenly heats a room, then you’ll love the ceramic space heaters from DeLonghi. These value-priced heaters oscillate from left to right and feature electronic control panels as well as tip-over and overheat protection.

How do ceramic heaters work?

Ceramic heaters contain ceramic plates and aluminum baffling. Electricity heats up the ceramic plates. The heat is then absorbed by the aluminum and blown into the room with a fan. Ceramic heaters are small and portable, and even though they heat up quickly, their plastic encasings remain cool to the touch. Continue reading

Nanotechnology – The Next Major Environmental Health Threat?

Posted by John on October 20th, 2008

Technology is a double-edged sword: Nanotechnology will give us the smallest machines imagineable and sheets of paper as strong as steel – but this new technology will also introduce new health threats in the indoor environment. Continue reading