Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


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

    Dyson DC25 Vacuums Offer Perfect Balance of Power and Ease

    Posted by Cierra on August 5th, 2011

    Dyson Vacuum CleanersWhile the world is currently in awe over the revolutionary design of the Dyson bladeless fan, the company’s signature product has always been the Dyson ball vacuum. Known for exceptional design and innovative technology, Dyson’s DC25 Vacuum Series is no exception. The Dyson DC25 Series includes the DC25 All Floors Vacuum Cleaner and the DC25 Animal Vacuum Cleaner, both of which are sleek, lightweight vacuums featuring HEPA filtration and bagless dirt collection for your convenience.

    I had the privilege of testing out the Dyson DC25 Animal Vacuum Cleaner and I must say it is quite an engineering feat. Designed to clean homes with pets, the Dyson DC25 Animal Vacuum comes with a mini-turbine tool to remove pet hair from furniture, fabrics, and tight spaces. The vacuum also includes two onboard accessories—a debris nozzle and a stair tool—that can be attached to the vacuum hose or the extension wand for greater functionality.

    After quickly assembling the main components, I was ready to plug the pet vacuum in and go for a test drive.

    Read more about how Dyson vacuums differ from traditional vacuum cleaners

    How Ionizers Keep Your Home Fresh

    Posted by Cierra on July 29th, 2011

    Waterfalls are good sources of negative ions.If you’ve been looking for an air purifier lately, you may have noticed several that include ionizers. Though they’re beginning to appear practically everywhere, ionizers are common features found in air purifiers, fans and air circulators, heaters, and swamp coolers. But what, exactly, is an ionizer—and why should you invest in a product with one?

    In short, ionizers emit ions—charged particles—to help an air purifier’s filters trap contaminants in your indoor environment. Many of our air purifiers, such as the Honeywell HFD-120-Q Tower air purifier, now feature ionizers to capture particles that otherwise would be too small to filter out. This is extremely helpful if you have allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities, as ionic air purifiers more effectively remove pollutants ranging from pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander to viruses, smoke, odors, and chemical toxins.

    But in addition to boosting air quality, ionic air purifiers also reduce static electricity, improve your mood, and help ward off fatigue. So how can such a simple mechanism have so many positive effects?

    Read more about how ionizers can keep your home fresh

    Save Up to $200 on Blueair Air Purifiers

    Posted by Cierra on July 22nd, 2011

    Blueair air purifiers For those of you in the market for a new air purifier, have I got great news! We have unveiled a month-long sale on Blueair air purifiers, renowned for their effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and attractive designs. Through August 15th, every Blueair air purifier we offer now ranges from $50 to $200 off the original price.

    One of the first qualities you’ll notice about Blueair purifiers is their sturdy, modern designs. That sleek appearance is the result of an award-winning Swedish aesthetic and resilient steel housing that is both environmentally-safe and smooth to the touch.  Plus, every Blueair air purifier is 100% recyclable and never releases ozone or off-gasses harmful chemicals. (That means you can breathe easier knowing that these air cleaners won’t be sitting in a landfill for the next 1,000 years refusing to decompose.) This is definitely not a product I’d be ashamed to have sitting right in my living room for everyone to see.

    Read more about the mid-summer Blueair Sale

    Dyson Bladeless Fans Offer a New Way to Cool

    Posted by Diamond on June 24th, 2011

    Dyson AM01Earlier this month, we expressed great excitement over the recent addition of two new product lines to the Sylvane catalog, including Dyson air multiplier fans. Now that we’re halfway through the first week of summer, it’s the perfect time to test these high-tech fans out.

    Since revolutionizing the way we clean our homes with the Dyson vacuum cleaner, Dyson has led the appliance industry in technology and innovation. After seeing their latest product launch up close and personal, let me be the first to say Dyson air multipliers are no exception. Be prepared to throw everything you thought you knew about fans out of the window.

    Read more about Dyson air multipliers

    Extreme Weather Can Worsen Indoor Air Quality

    Posted by Ashley on June 17th, 2011

    lightning stormEarlier this week, a string of bad storms blew through metro Atlanta, at one point leaving 100,000 homes—my entire neighborhood included—without power. Shortly after we lost electricity and realized it wasn’t coming back on anytime soon, my husband and I began lighting every candle in the house to help supplement our two lone flashlights that definitely were not making the cut. Remembering the importance of indoor air ventilation and how candle soot can damage your indoor air quality, I cracked open a few windows to help get airflow moving.

    This apparently wasn’t enough. Within a half-hour, my eyes began to feel irritated; I could feel my lungs growing tighter; and the humid, stale, un-conditioned air felt clammy and downright unhealthy. Eventually, we had to get outside for some fresh air relief. It was then that it dawned on me—we were experiencing the negative effects that extreme weather can have on your indoor air quality. It was a strange coincidence. After all, I was working on a blog about this very subject.

    Read more about how extreme weather can affect indoor air quality

    Create a Healthier Indoor Environment to Help Control Your Asthma

    Posted by Ivey on May 3rd, 2011

    World Asthma Day 2011Today, 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.
    Nilfisk GM 80 Vacuum

    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