Posted by Cierra on July 15th, 2011
While long known to be a harmful substance, formaldehyde was officially declared by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) to be a known carcinogen on June 10th, 2011. Included in the 12th edition of the Report on Carcinogens, formaldehyde was noted to cause otherwise rare nasal, sinus, and throat cancers as well as myeloid leukemia. Formaldehyde had already been listed as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” in prior editions of the report since the 1980s; its updated status to “known carcinogen” was prompted by recent examinations of occupational and animal studies on the effects of prolonged exposure to the gas.
Formaldehyde, a colorless gas with many industrial applications, can be found in furniture glues, car exhaust, plywood and particle wood, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetic chemicals, and biological preservatives, among other places. It is also released during combustion and is therefore generally present in fireplaces, stoves and ovens, smog, and tobacco smoke. Traces of the chemical have been measured in food and drinking water, and our bodies naturally produce formaldehyde in small quantities.
Find out how formaldehyde can affect your overall health and what you can do to protect yourself.
Posted by Ivey on May 13th, 2011
Since adding Oransi to the Sylvane product catalog, this eco-aware company has consistently provided innovative, budget-friendly air purifiers that customers love. This week’s product spotlight is on the new Oransi v-hepa Max Air Purifier.
The Oransi v-hepa Max is a high-efficiency air purifier designed to keep your air fresh and allergen-free in spaces up to 600 square feet. Thanks to a robust three-stage filtration system, the compact v-hepa Max is well-equipped to handle a variety of air quality issues—from pollen, dust, and bacteria removal to odor control.
Read more about the new Oransi v-hepa Max Air Purifier
Posted by Ivey on May 11th, 2011
Like many women, one of my favorite things to do with girlfriends is get a mani/pedi. However, a recent study conducted by researchers at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and Asian Health Services is making me think twice about getting my nails pampered.
According to a recent WebMD article, researchers monitored the health of 80 female nail salon employees at 20 different nail salons. The participants wore monitors attached to their shirt or coat collar that would measure concentrations of toluene, ethyl acetate, and isopropyl acetate over the course of a shift. Through this monitoring, the research team found that the salon workers were exposed to toluene levels that were twice the amount recommended by the California Environmental Protection Agency for indoor air.
Read more about the study and prevention measures
Posted by Ivey on May 3rd, 2011
Today, May 3, 2011, is World Asthma Day. Organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), World Asthma Day was created to raise awareness about asthma, asthma-related issues, and asthma care around the world. The theme for 2011 is “You Can Control Your Asthma”.
Eliminating airborne pollutants in your indoor environment is a great way to gain control over your asthma symptoms.
One of the best places to start is by cleaning the surfaces in your home with a HEPA vacuum cleaner, such as the Nilfisk GM80 Residential Vacuum. Great for allergy- and asthma-sufferers, the Nilfisk GM80 was designed specifically for use in homes and effectively removes 99.97% of particles from the environment that are 0.3 microns and larger thanks to HEPA filtration. This includes the elimination of asthma-inducing particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust, dust mites, and more. Plus, the Nilfisk GM80 vacuum cleaner features a bagged design, which means that once airborne contaminants are captured, they are permanently locked away from the air that you breathe. This Nilfisk vacuum also comes with 6.5-foot tapered plastic hose, a curved steel tube, a six-inch cone attachment, a 3-inch dust brush, a 5-inch upholstery nozzle, two straight steel wands, and a 3-in-1 floor nozzle to make sure that all of your surfaces are sparkling clean.
Read more ways to control your asthma symptoms
Posted by Ivey on April 14th, 2011
While many air purifiers are designed to tackle airborne contaminants in a variety of situations, the Austin Air Baby’s Breath is one of the few created especially for nurseries. This unique air purifier is this week’s featured product.
Find out more about the Austin Air Baby's Breath Air Purifier
Posted by Ivey on April 5th, 2011
With the launch of our Sweet Dreams Nursery Contest and Sweepstakes last week, things have been a little hectic around the Sylvane office. However, now that things seem to be a little calmer, let’s move on to the third installment of our 28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality blog series.
- Leave shoes at the door to keep pesticides, dirt, and other germs out of your home. Occasionally, the quick brushing that you give your shoes on the doormat is not effective at keeping harmful irritants out of your home. If possible, leave shoes on shoe racks or or other shelves located in a garage or other area close to your door.
- Choose a green paint to reduce exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Just because the noxious odors from your latest painting project are gone doesn’t mean that your indoor air is safe. Some paints can release harmful levels of VOCs into your environment causing headaches, dizziness, respiratory ailments, and other issues. Look for paints labeled “zero VOC” and “no VOC”.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector to protect your home. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, so the best way to keep your family safe from this “silent killer” is to use a carbon monoxide detector like the Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. This gas detector samples your home’s air every 2.5 minutes for carbon monoxide. If this gas—methane and propane—is detected, visual and audible alarms will be activated.
Read more indoor air quality tips
Posted by Ivey on March 30th, 2011
Recently, we launched our Sweet Dreams Nursery Contest and Sweepstakes, which is designed to help parents, parents-to-be, and caregivers create a healthier indoor environment for their little one. To get you better acquainted with the awesome prizes up for grabs, this week’s product spotlight is on the Oransi v-hepa Plus Air Purifier, one of the great items offered by our contest’s presenting sponsor, Oransi.
The Oransi v-hepa Plus Air Purifier features three effective fan speeds and true HEPA filtration to remove up to 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns and larger from areas sized up to 400 square feet, like a nursery or your bedroom. To ensure that your baby can rest easily, the v-hepa Plus boasts whisper-quiet operation that is four times quieter than comparable units. Plus, its neutral color palette allows it blend seamlessly with any room décor.
Read more about the Oransi v-hepa Plus
Posted by Ivey on March 22nd, 2011
As a result of the devastating events in Japan, we have received several phone calls from customers concerned about radiation exposure and looking for ways to diminish this risk.
First, it’s important to note that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports no expectation for harmful levels of radiation to reach the U.S. Plus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using the existing nationwide radiation monitoring system, RadNet, to continuously monitor the nation’s air, drinking water, milk, and precipitation for environmental radiation and additional monitors have been deployed to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The EPA is also making daily data on radiation monitoring efforts readily available online.
That being said, many U.S. citizens are still interested in the relationship between air filtration and radiation exposure. These two things actually have a long history. In fact, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are some of the most effective and popular air filters on the market today, were actually developed out of the need for effective filtration of radioactive particulates.
During World War II, scientists from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom were commissioned to work on the Manhattan Project, which would ultimately lead to the development of the first atomic bomb. While this work work was taking place, the need to protect scientists from exposure to radioactive fallout became apparent. Since radioactive fallout is particulate in nature, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recognized that it could be filtered using mechanical filtration and developed HEPA filtration to protect scientists from exposure to radioactive particles.
Following World War II, HEPA filter technology was declassified and began being used in commercial and residential products. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97% to 99.99% of airborne particles that measure 0.3 microns and larger, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores. Today, these filters are commonly found in high-performance air purifiers, such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus.
The HealthPro Plus is a top-of-the-line air purifier that is consistently ranked a best buy among industry insiders. Perfect for homes of allergy- and asthma-sufferers, the IQAir HealthPro Plus features true HEPA filtration and a two-stage gas filter to remove more polluting particulates—including ultra-fine particles—from the air than conventional air purifiers. In addition to excellent filtration, this IQAir purifier also features a convenient filter life monitor, six fan speed settings, a soft-touch control panel, remote control operation, and triple-seal filter design.
For more information on air purifiers, read our Frequently Asked Questions About Air Purifiers article in the Sylvane Learning Center.
Posted by Ivey on March 9th, 2011
March 7-13 is National Sleep Awareness Week. Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, this annual event was created to bring attention to the importance of a good night’s sleep in maintaining a healthy body and mind. One of the primary ingredients for a restful sleep, according the National Sleep Foundation’s Bedroom Poll, is a comfortable and clean bedroom.
If you find yourself tossing and turning or waking up with stuffy sinuses and itchy eyes and skin, an air purifier might be just the thing you need to achieve the invigorating 7-9 hours of restful sleep that experts agree most adults need. For this week’s product spotlight, let’s take a look at the Austin Air Bedroom Machine and the many ways that it can improve your sleep and your health.
Find out more about the Austin Air Bedroom Machine
Posted by Ivey on February 28th, 2011
Last week, I woke up with a stuffy head and puffy eyes. “Surely, pollen season hasn’t already started,” I thought. Wrong. The significant jump in temperature over the last couple of weeks prompted dormant trees to wake up and shake off their pollen, which resulted in a pollen count of 742. According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, there were no high pollen days in February 2010 and the highest February pollen count in 2009 was 386. Luckily, I had my trusty air purifier ready to go.
Unfortunately, Atlanta isn’t the only U.S. city facing the early onslaught of pollen. Many towns and cities across the southern and southwestern areas of the U.S. are dealing with medium to high levels of pollen, according to Pollen.com. So what’s going on?
Find out more about controlling pollen with air purifiers
Posted by Ivey on December 22nd, 2010
Like many of you, I am dashing about trying to finish last-minute holiday shopping and preparing for holiday travel. A large part of this preparation focuses on making sure that my allergies stay under control while I visit with family. You see, this visit isn’t just full of holiday cheer, it also comes with holiday perfume, holiday dust, and holiday cigarette smoke (indoors no less).
To ensure that my allergies and I have a pleasant stay, the first two items in my suitcase are my handy Germ Guardian Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and my Air-O-Swiss Portable Travel Humidifier. The Germ Guardian portable air sanitizer plugs right into any standard wall outlet and removes a variety of airborne irritants, such as mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander, as well as odors from smoke, mildew, and foods. It even helps eliminate viruses that can cause influenza-A, staph, pneumonia, and bronchitis, which is super helpful during large family gatherings. The Air-O-Swiss travel humidifier requires just a standard water bottle to keep the air perfectly moisturized and my sinuses intact. Find out more ways to combat allergies while traveling
Posted by Ivey on December 20th, 2010
Recently, we were introduced to Oransi—a line of air treatment products that focus on effective air purification with careful attention to green performance and modern designs. In fact, I actually got the opportunity to test drive two Oransi air purifiers: the Oransi v-hepa Air Purifier and the Oransi v-hepa Pro UV Air Purifier. I must admit that I quickly fell in love with these air purifiers. Naturally, when I found out that Oransi was introducing the Oransi v-hepa Plus—an upgraded version of the original v-hepa—I couldn’t wait to find out all of the details. Read more about the Oransi V-HEPA Plus
Posted by Ivey on December 9th, 2010
Each year when I go to pick out a Christmas tree, I have a little tradition. I like to play the “Theme from Rocky” song. Not because I am determined to leave with the perfect Christmas tree (although I am a little obsessive about finding just the right one), but because I know that once that tree enters my home it is going to be a battle until the bitter end of the holiday season thanks to my allergies.
I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Why would she buy a live Christmas tree if she has allergy concerns?” One of the most common misconceptions about Christmas trees and allergies is that they are caused by the actual tree. However, since most Christmas trees do not produce pollen during the winter, the more likely culprits behind your Christmas tree allergies are mold, dust, or other allergens that have accumulated on the tree while it was in the field. In fact, some of the same allergens can collect on Christmas tree ornaments, home decorations, and even artificial trees while they are in storage. Find out tips for controlling your allergies this holiday season
Posted by Ivey on October 21st, 2010
October marks the 25th celebration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a time when countless organizations, companies, and individuals come together to donate time, products, and funding to help promote breast cancer awareness.
Two Sylvane manufacturers—Austin Air and Rabbit Air—are making it easy for you to show your support for loved ones currently battling breast cancer and breast cancer survivors, as well as to honor the lives of those whose struggle has ended. During October, Austin Air is donating $5 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every pink Austin Air Baby’s Breath Air Purifier that is sold. These Austin Air purifiers were designed specifically for nurseries, ensuring the highest level of protection from airborne contaminants and harmful allergens for your baby. Additionally, the Austin Air Baby’s Breath creates a gentle hush that resembles the familiar sound that soothed and calmed your baby in the womb. The result is a more sound sleep and the freshest air for your little bundle of joy.
When you purchase a Rabbit Air BCRF Special Edition air purifier, Rabbit Air will donate 12% of the sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which funds clinical and genetic research worldwide. This offer isn’t just good in October, though, it’s good year-round. A special pink ribbon edition of the popular Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A, this air purifier includes three effective stages of filtration to remove irritating allergens, toxic gases, and volatile organic compounds from your environment.
With these two great offers, now is a great time to add a little pink to your air!
Posted by Ivey on September 30th, 2010
Recently, my trusty Whirlpool Whispure 510 wasn’t circulating air very well and my bedroom felt stuffy. I quickly discovered the root of the problem when I removed the front cover and was greeted by two of the dirtiest filters I have ever seen. How could I have forgotten one of the simplest air purifier maintenance routines—checking and changing your air filters?
Thanks to our Better Air Program, you don’t have to suffer the same fate that I did. The Better Air Program is a free and convenient email reminder program that helps you maintain healthy indoor air by giving you a head’s up when it’s time to change the filters on your air purifiers.
Find out more about the Sylvane Better Air Program