Posted by John on September 22nd, 2008
As Hurricane Ike evacuees return home and begin to rebuild their communities, they will encounter various environmental health hazards including mold, contaminated soil, infections, and respiratory ills.
Speaking to Galveston County Daily News, Dr. Scott Weaver points out that organisms living in soil contaminated by human waste can be easily transmitted from hand to mouth; these germs can lead to Hepatitis A, tetanus, or other infections. He advises that people should avoid touching their mouth and eyes and wear rubber boots and gloves. Anyone involved in extensive clean up efforts should get a tetanus shot to be safe. You can also order special disinfectants to clean up areas damaged by flooding. Read more about health hazards in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike
Posted by John on September 18th, 2008
Most allergy sufferers are familiar with dust mites, pollen, mold, but did you know that cockroaches also produce powerful allergens? Cockroach allergen is also a common cause of asthma attacks. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American (AAFA) reports that 23 to 60 percent of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to cockroach allergen. In one study of inner city children, 23 percent were allergic to cats, 35 percent were allergic to dust mites, and 37 percent were allergic to cockroaches.
Cockroach allergens come from the feces, saliva, and bodies of the insects. Studies show that 78 to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches – and up to 330,000 roaches may live in a single home! If you see just one roach in a basement or kitchen, it’s safe to assume that at least 800 more roaches are hiding under sinks, in cabinets, and behind walls. Read more about cockroach allergies
Posted by John on September 16th, 2008
Earlier this year, a Harvard Medical School study found that eating oily fish may reduce asthma symptoms.
Researchers discovered that Resolvin E1, a metabolic product of the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, helps resolve and prevent respiratory distress in laboratory mice. Resolvin E1 appears to reduce airway inflammation and could be used in medicine in the future. Read more about asthma and fish oil
Posted by John on September 13th, 2008
Yahoo! Health reports that obese asthma patients are five times more likely than non-obese asthmatics to be hospitalized for asthma. Read more about asthma and obesity
Posted by John on September 5th, 2008
CBS News reports that, by the end of this year, 22 million asthmatic Americans will have to throw out their CFC inhalers for new, ozone-friendly HFA inhalers.
CFC inhalers use chlorofluorocarbons to propel the medicine; however, CFCs also damage the planet’s protective ozone layer. Beginning December 31, 2008, CFC inhalers will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States.
If you have asthma, please note that the new HFA inhalers will not work exactly the same as the old CFC inhalers. HFA inhalers may taste and feel different; for instance, the spray may feel softer. Also, most HFA inhalers require more cleaning and care to prevent clogs, and shelf life is shorter for some of the new inhalers. Read more about HFA asthma inhalers
Posted by John on September 4th, 2008
It turns out that dust mites, mold, and pet dander are not the only allergens in houshold dust…
New research reveals that endotoxins produced by bacteria in dust can inflame airways and trigger asthma, according to ScienceDaily.
What are endotoxins?
Peter Thorne, environmental toxicologist at the University of Iowa explains, “If you think of a bacterium as an orange, the endotoxin is the material that makes up the peel. It’s the outer layer. And this becomes shed from bacteria, and it’s everywhere in the environment.
“Endotoxin in the home is related to higher rates of asthma.” Read more about asthma triggers in dust
Posted by John on August 25th, 2008
Asthma affects 11% of school-age children, and it will cause them to miss some 13 million days of school this year!
The American Lung Association has released the following back to school asthma checklist to help parents ensure that their child’s asthma doesn’t interfere with academics:
Posted by John on August 24th, 2008
As the Olympics draw to a close today, many asthmatic athletes head home after facing special challenges because of the poor air quality in Beijing.
Up to 20 percent of elite athletes have some type of asthma, depending on the sport, according to the The Sacramento Bee.
With their lungs already prone spasm and irritation, asthmatic athletes had to perform at their peak in air pollution well outside international health guidelines. Haile Gebrselassie, a well-known runner from Ethiopia, decided not to compete in the marathon because the pollution could hurt his health. Read more about Olympic athletes with asthma
Posted by John on August 16th, 2008
I recently attended my grandmother’s 90th birthday party (Happy Birthday, Grandma!) at my aunt and uncle’s house. I noticed that they had an iRobot Roomba vacuum, and being in the business of indoor health products, I just had to inspect the little robot.
I remember the first time that I saw the Roomba in a magazine. An intelligent, robotic vacuum that does the work for you! What could be better? “The future has arrived,” I thought. “Before long, we’ll all be living like The Jetsons.”
Well… Not quite. Read more about Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners
Posted by John on August 15th, 2008
If you do an Internet search on how to clean grout, you’ll find all sorts of different methods involving harsh, toxic chemicals. These chemicals not only irritate asthma and allergies, but they also leave behind microorganisms in tiny cracks and crevices.
Vapor steam cleaners spray hot vapor deep inside cracks and indentions to kill all microorganisms – without any chemicals! A steam cleaner works much like an espresso machine; it heats water in a boiler to produce a “dry” steam vapor that dries in seconds. Read more about how to clean grout without chemicals
Posted by John on August 11th, 2008
Medical News Today reports that children who are given antibiotics during their first three months of life often wheeze at 15 months. However, researchers are not sure if antibiotics actually make children more prone to asthma since it’s difficult to distinguish between asthma and respiratory infections in young children. Read more and antibiotics and asthma
Posted by John on August 7th, 2008
Most people recognize wheezing as a possible sign of childhood asthma, but there are other signs that may not be so obvious.
According to the American Lung Association, common symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, chest tightness, frequent coughing, and frequent respiratory infections.
A persistent nighttime cough is a common sign of asthma, as asthma usually gets worse at night. Any child with recurrent coughing or respiratory infections should be evaluated for asthma. Read more about childhood asthma symptoms and risks
Posted by John on July 18th, 2008
Ozone is a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms that exists as an invisible gas. Ozone in the Earth’s upper atmosphere protects us from harmful solar radiation; however, ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that damages the respiratory system.
Repeated exposure to ozone can permanently scar your lung tissue and lead to asthma. Ozone inflames the lungs and makes them more responsive to allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mite allergen. Read more about ozone and asthma