Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Don’t Let Allergies (or Airplane Air Quality) Ruin Your Holiday Travel Plans

Posted by Tony on November 20th, 2012

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, and millions of Americans are flying to visit friends and family. In addition to Thanksgiving, a growing number of people are vacationing over the holiday weekend. Between the close quarters, air quality issues, and peanuts being tossed around, airplanes have long been a concern for people with all types of allergies.

The Issues

People believe air quality on planes is an issue because the air is recirculated and windows can’t be opened for ventilation. Stagnant air only gets worse when air circulators are turned off as passengers board or when planes sit for long periods of time. This reused, dry air can cause problems for passengers.

General illness can easily be spread on planes because of a lack of air circulation and confined space. Airplane toilets, soap dispensers, and tray tables can also harbor infectious germs.

Peanut and other food allergies are a concern since reactions can be as extreme as death (although it’s rare). Allergic reactions to food can be triggered by touch, so the close quarters make airplanes a worry for some travelers. Find Out What Airlines Are Doing, What You Can Do, and What Cites You Should Consider Visiting!

The Best Hotels for Allergy Sufferers

Posted by Tony on November 14th, 2012

Traveling around the holidays is unavoidable for people across the US. Some travelers are lucky (or unlucky?) enough to stay with relatives, but others don’t have that option or prefer to stay in a hotel.

The problem with hotels is that you never know what you’re walking into. Several chains don’t clean their rooms properly let alone have allergen controls in place. This can mean a less than enjoyable experience for people like me who suffer from allergies. So what are our options? Are we doomed to the basement couch this holiday season? Based on our research, the answer is no. See the Top 5 Hotel Chains for Allergy-Sufferers!

The Miele S8 Series: A Vacuum Without Limits

Posted by Jenna on October 24th, 2012

miele s8 line

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love when I went to the Miele S8 premiere party in Atlanta last month, where I rubbed elbows with the Southeast’s most avid vacuum aficionados and Miele ambassadors. And then, from across the room, I locked eyes with the Alize.

This vacuum is everything I ever wanted: artisanal quality, check. Next-level filtration, check. Criminally cute design? Yeah buddy. We just received the S8 line at our corporate headquarters, and before I run away to Reno with my Alize, let me tell you what makes these vacuums so cool. Read more about the S8 line!

Mold: Evicting the Unwelcome Houseguest

Posted by Ivey on September 10th, 2012

Woman Cleaning MoldHave you noticed a strange pungent odor in your home lately? Perhaps you have been coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other allergy-related symptoms and can’t find the trigger? These can all be signs that your home has a mold problem. Before you condemn your home and call a demolition crew, here are a few tips for identifying a mold problem, treating it, and avoiding future issues.

Most mold experts agree that small amounts of mold are present in every home. However, large amounts of mold can cause hay fever symptoms and be particularly irritating to people with allergies, immune suppression, and asthma, according to the CDC.

Find out where to look for mold, how to remove it, and more

Asthma Won’t Stop Future Olympians From Going for the Gold

Posted by Allison on August 13th, 2012

Olympic Gold Medal“Your child has asthma.” Four little words that have struck fear into the hearts of parents for decades. As a parent, your one wish for your child is to make his dreams a reality. Will asthma keep him from reaching his goals?

Ask Amy Van Dyken, Kristi Yamaguchi, or Laura Trott.

Amy Van Dyken was the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympic games. Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic figure skater and two-time World Champion. Laura Trott is the reigning double European, World, and Olympic champion in track cycling.

All three women are diagnosed with asthma.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among Olympic athletes. About 8% of Olympians have diagnosed asthma or airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), according to a study by the University of Western Australia.

The study goes on to say that, despite their condition, athletes with asthma historically perform better in the Olympics than those who don’t suffer from it.

Find out how to prepare for the Games without jeopardizing your respiratory health.

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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.

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.

The Truth About Chlorinated Pools and Asthma

Posted by Allison on June 1st, 2012

Swimming in Chlorinated PoolSwimming is my favorite form of exercise. To feel so weightless while working every muscle in your body is invigorating to me. I’ve been on swim teams since I was twelve, and as an adult I try to swim three times a week; and almost every pool I have used has been indoors.

Is it a miracle I haven’t developed asthma?

For years, studies have shown that children who spend a lot of time in indoor pools have a higher risk of developing asthma than non-swimmers. This is traditionally attributed to the addition of chlorine to the water.

Actually, the problem with chlorinated pools isn’t the chlorine itself, but the gases produced when it combines with organic chemicals like sweat and saliva.

Learn more about the link between chlorinated pools and lung damage.

3 Ways Dehumidifiers Help Relieve Allergies and Asthma

Posted by Ashley on May 18th, 2012

Allergy and Asthma Awareness MonthMay is the peak of spring allergy season and it also marks an important event, National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. This month is a great time to educate yourself on the best ways to relieve your symptoms and eliminate common triggers from your home. You probably already know that HEPA air purifiers and HEPA vacuums remove sniffle-causing allergens in your space. Did you also know that portable dehumidifiers can help you conquer your symptoms even further? The key is controlling your humidity.

Here are 3 ways these popular basement appliances keep your symptoms in check.

    1. Dehumidifiers stop mold growth.

    Damp, humid air in your home (above 50% humidity) creates the ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can  trigger the same symptoms as outdoor pollen. Using a dehumidifier stops mold growth by reducing the moisture content of your air and keeping your home’s overall humidity under control. To eliminate and prevent mold indoors, use your dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level between 45 and 50%.
    Read more on how dehumidifiers curb your symptoms

    March Air Quality Evangelists

    Posted by Allison on March 26th, 2012

    Air Quality EvangelistsLast month, we announced the launch of our new Air Quality Evangelist program. The goal of this project is to celebrate other blogs and websites that appreciate good air quality and provide insight on how you can improve yours.

    Now it’s time to announce this month’s Air Quality Evangelists!

    SafeMama SafeMama

    Kathy Scoleri is a web designer, author, and mother of two boys. When she was expecting her first child in 2007 – and spending hours researching Bisphenol-A, hormone mimicking chemicals, and toy recalls – she knew she couldn’t be the only parent scouring the web for this information. So she created SafeMama to keep it all in one place.

    Winning Post: There are many choices you can make to Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Your Home. In this article, SafeMama hits some major points – from losing the shoes while inside to using HEPA-filtered vacuums.

    See March's Air Quality Evangelists!

    10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Air Quality

    Posted by Allison on March 19th, 2012

    Spring Cleaning Cleaning SuppliesThe beginning of spring is the one time of year that I get super jazzed about cleaning, so I always make sure to take it seriously. I leave no blind un-dusted and no pillow cover un-washed. Dust, dirt and allergens don’t stand a chance in my home.

    This spring, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a clean that’s more than dirt-deep. I’m talking allergen-deep. Dust mite-deep. Get down to the nitty gritty and really tackle what’s lurking in your home’s air. With the help of these 10 spring cleaning tips, you can do it without making yourself crazy.

    1. Make a schedule. If you have a basement, start there – this room usually has the worst air quality. The next day, tackle germs and bacteria in the bathroom. Move onto the living room on day three, and so on. Even if you live in a 600 square foot apartment like mine, this method helps you stay focused on the task at hand and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of you.

    bissell steam mop 2. Ditch the store-bought cleaners for a vapor steam cleaner. Typical household cleaners often contain harsh toxic chemicals that can aggravate allergies and ultimately cause health complications. Steam cleaners use pure vapor steam to naturally disinfect and deodorize counter tops, windows, appliances, and upholstery.

    Keep reading for more spring cleaning tips.

    Heat up the Winter with a Dyson Hot Fan

    Posted by Diamond on December 29th, 2011

    Dyson AM04For many, the winter season means delicious baked goods, holiday time with family, and perfect weather for a cup of apple cider or a bowl of chili. For others it means months of unpleasant frosty weather, the constant hassle of layers and layers of clothes, and an ever-increasing electric bill.

    Although there isn’t much we can do about the weather outside, we can keep warm inside while saving on heating costs with the new Dyson heater. The Dyson Hot is an innovative tower heater designed to quickly heat your space without distributing unhealthy allergens.

    Read more about the bladeless Dyson Hot personal heater

    Go Pink With Rabbit Air Purifiers!

    Posted by Ashley on October 14th, 2011

    rabbit air biogs special edition model 421aTake one look around your favorite store this month and you’ll be dazzled by scores of pretty pink products that incorporate the iconic pink ribbon symbol. That’s because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time when individuals and organizations come together to promote awareness and education about the disease and raise funds for research, prevention, and finding a cure. This month, while you’re perusing these products and raising awareness in other ways, remember you can also shop pink and show your support with Rabbit air purifiers.

    California-based Rabbit Air will donate 5% of each sale of the Rabbit Air BioGS Special Edition Air Purifier to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The money raised will go toward funding genetic and clinical research at medical centers worldwide as well as to increasing public awareness and educating individuals about prevention and early detection. To date, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised more than $330 million for breast cancer research, awareness, and the search for a cure, with more than 90 cents of every dollar donated going directly to awareness programs and research grants.

    Read more about the Rabbit Air Special Edition BCRF Air Purifier

    Steam Cleaners: The Healthy Way to Clean

    Posted by Diamond on September 9th, 2011

    Steam CleanerThe only thing more disgusting than walking on a grimy floor is “cleaning” it with the same old dirty mop and filthy pail of water. Sure the bucket of water starts out smelling fresh and looking soapy, but by the time you reach the middle of the floor, what was once a bucket of fresh suds has become a cold, gray bacteria fest. And to think we actually dip a spongy mop into that “water” and smear it all over our tile or hardwood floors. Yuck!

    It’s ok, we’re all guilty. But there is a better way. A chemical-free, eco-conscious, allergy- and asthma-friendly way. More hygienic than a traditional floor mop and more cost-effective and durable than disposable Swiffer sweepers, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to truly clean your floors of dirt and grime without releasing pollutants from chemical detergents into your indoor environment.

    Learn more about cleaning your home with a steam cleaner