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July Air Quality Evangelists

Posted by Allison on July 31st, 2012

Air Quality EvangelistsDo you ever come across a blog or website that makes you feel validated? One that answers the questions that have been burning in your head for a while, and some you hadn’t even considered? Us too.

Occasionally, we stumble upon a new website and think, “Wow…these guys get it.”

That’s why we started the Air Quality Evangelists award program. Each month, we share our favorite websites with you, including the best articles written during that month (in our opinion). These sites may focus on green living, energy efficient design, allergies – anything, really – and they show a clear appreciation for indoor air quality.

Check out the latest Air Quality Evangelists!

See this month's Air Quality Evangelists.

Can Dogs Prevent Childhood Asthma?

Posted by Vivian on July 24th, 2012

Dogs are beloved members of many families. They offer unconditional love, reduce stress levels, encourage exercise, and even lower blood pressure. And now, research has shown they might also reduce cases of childhood asthma.

According to research presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, children who live in homes with dogs may be less likely to develop asthma. In the study, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco fed house dust from homes with dogs to mice. Compared to a control group, the mice exposed to this dust had increased immunity to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is associated with childhood asthma.

While still in its early stages, the research suggests that children who spend time around dogs might have a similar immunity to this virus. This is exciting news for dog-lovers, especially since a study last year proved there’s no such thing as hypoallergenic dogs.

Read on to discover tips for healthy living with dogs.

What NOT to Clean with Steam Cleaners

Posted by Vivian on July 18th, 2012

what not to steam cleanSteam cleaners are wonderful, since they can clean just about anything without the use of harsh chemicals – car exteriors, sealed hardwood floors, leather upholstery, most kitchen appliances, windows, mirrors, and showers.

There are some surfaces, however, that aren’t ideal for steam cleaners.

Let’s look at how steam cleaners work. Essentially, they turn ordinary tap water into deep-cleaning steam vapor. They do this with heat – lots of it. In order to kill germs, they need to heat water to at least 225 degrees F. In fact, the most powerful steam cleaners, like Ladybug steam cleaners, heat the water as high as 325 degrees F.

Read more about surfaces that can't be steam cleaned and non-chemical alternatives to steam.

Wildfires Create Unhealthy Air in Colorado & Beyond

Posted by Vivian on July 12th, 2012

Colorado Wildfire Air QualityThe Colorado fires have affected more than just homes, forests and livestock. They’ve also impacted many people throughout the state and beyond who live downwind from them. Toxic smoke has filled the air around Colorado for weeks, and people with a sensitivity to smoke have had little relief from the fumes.

Forest fire smoke contains a soup of nasty chemicals, including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and more. When these fires start burning houses the chemicals get even more toxic. The air was rated as “unhealthy” for days throughout Colorado this summer by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to AIRNow, this smoke can cause an increase in asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders among those exposed to it even for short periods, and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of negative health effects. Those with heart or lung diseases, the elderly, and children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of smoke exposure.

Read more about how you can protect the respiratory health of you and your family in case of a wildfire.

Fireworks and Air Quality

Posted by Vivian on July 3rd, 2012

FireworksIt’s that time of year again, when we celebrate 4th of July by watching fireworks displays and setting off backyard fireworks. It’s a time of fun, family and happiness, and fireworks have come to symbolize all of those good things we associate with the holiday.

Unfortunately, though, all the chemicals and smoke associated with fireworks contribute to unhealthy air conditions. The fine toxic dust created by fireworks can enter our sensitive nose and lung tissues and cause health problems. The dust, in particular, threatens those people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or asthma. In addition to the dust, firework smoke contains a toxic mixture of chemicals, gasses, heavy metals and sulfur.

Keep reading for safe firework alternatives you can try on Independence Day.