Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Chemical Air Freshening: Pleasant Smells, Harmful Side Effects

Posted by Ivey on March 19th, 2014

96513194Two of my favorite things in life are cooking and spending time with my pets. Unfortunately (and despite my best efforts), they both can cause pretty pungent odors in my home. For years, plug-in and aerosol air fresheners were my go-to solution. But after a while I noticed these “fresh smells” often coincided with headaches and allergy flare-ups. I dug a little deeper and didn’t like what I read—luckily I found better ways to keep my home healthy and odor-free.

Read more about great alternatives to air fresheners!

Sylvane’s Labor Day Sale: 20% Off Dehumidifiers, Air Conditioners, and More!

Posted by Tony on August 26th, 2013

email-Labor-Day-2013

Labor Day is an interesting time of year—in some areas it still feels like summer, while in others fall and even winter is clearly on the horizon. At Sylvane, we’re here to make sure your indoor air feels fresh regardless of the weather in your area.

To celebrate Labor Day and the end of our rainy summer here at Sylvane HQ, we’re having a huge Labor Day sale from August 27-Sepemteber 2. The sale offers 20% off select brands of dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and swamp coolers, and also features deals on some of our most popular products like Alen air purifiers and Dyson fans and vacuums.

With deals on so many top products and brands, now may be the best time to buy. Keep reading to see some of our featured products:  Continue reading

Choosing Healthier Candles and Incense

Posted by Kylie on January 17th, 2013

Candles 1 Many people love burning candles and incense in their homes for the scent and atmosphere they create. Unfortunately, research shows that this isn’t the healthiest practice for your indoor air. According to a recent environmental study, candles and incense give off a high level
of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), damaging indoor air quality. This is due to the ingredients in many of them, particularly petroleum and fragrance.

Fortunately, there are less harmful ways to replace your habit of burning candles and incense—in fact, you can even improve your indoor air with some of these healthier alternatives!

Read on for healthy alternatives to candles and incense.

Indoor Air Quality Featured on the TODAY Show!

Posted by Tony on November 29th, 2012

Since Americans across the country are spending most of their time indoors this winter, healthy indoor air is more important than ever. This morning the TODAY show mentioned 7 easy tips to improve the air quality in your home.

There are several easy, inexpensive ways to improve your indoor air quality—it can be anything from adding more fresh air to using air purifiers for multiple chemicals or large room humidifiers. Check out the video to hear their tips, and click the links below to see a few of our product offerings that may assist you this winter.

As they mention in the video, adding an air purifier with HEPA filtration is one of the easiest ways to remove unwanted particles and allergens from your home. We offer a number of HEPA air purifiers, so see if one is right for you. Get More Tips!

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.

Dye Easter Eggs Naturally Without Chemicals

Posted by Allison on April 6th, 2012

Easter Egg Natural Dye KitFor those of you planning to dye Easter eggs this weekend, you may be concerned about what kind of dye to use. While most conventional dyes are labeled non-toxic, many FDA-approved dyes are made with toxins like coal, tar, and other petroleum-based products. This can be an issue for those of us with sensitivities or parents who prefer to raise their children in an eco-friendly home.

Instead of buying store-bought chemical dyes this year, make your own Easter egg dyes using fresh produce. This natural dyeing method protects your children from chemical exposure, and you probably have many of these ingredients lying around your house.

Learn how to make your own chemical-free Easter egg dyes!

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

Protect Yourself from Formaldehyde Exposure with Air Treatment

Posted by Cierra on July 15th, 2011

Flowers with Poison Flask in MiddleWhile 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.

May Is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and MCS Awareness Month

Posted by Ivey on May 5th, 2010

May Is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and MCS Awareness MonthMay is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, as well as MCS Awareness Month. That means it’s time to test your knowledge of asthma, allergies, and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS):

  • Did you know that an estimated 60 million people are affected by allergies and asthma? That’s more than Parkinson’s, coronary heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes combined.
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  • Did you know that asthma is one of the most common serious chronic childhood diseases and the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15?
  •   Find out how you can raise awareness of asthma, allergy, and MCS

The Green Movement – Good for Environmental Health

Posted by John on November 9th, 2008

Environmental medicine is a relatively new field of study. Once regarded with skepticism by some, environmental medicine has recently gained more attention and prestige, thanks in part to the green movement.

As more people learn about environmental chemicals, they’re realizing that these chemicals can indeed cause environmental illness, also known as sick building syndrome. Indoor mold, for example, can cause all sorts of illnesses – from allergies and asthma to neurotoxic poisoning. Read more about green environmental health

Living in a Chemical-Free Bubble

Posted by John on October 27th, 2008

Elizabeth Feudale-Bowes of Pennsylvania suffers from such an extreme case of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) that she must live in a chemical-free “bubble” for ten hours a day.

She is sensitive to fabric softener, nail polish, perfume, new sneakers, and upholstery, among other items. Her symptoms include migraines, joint pain, bladder inflammation, seizures, and temporary paralysis.

She spends most of her day in a galvanized steel and porcelain shed behind her house. The inside of the shed resembles a prison cell – it contains a toilet, a metal cabinet, a box spring with the metal coils exposed, and a bunch of organic cotton blankets – but it’s her only sanctuary from a world that makes her violently ill.

“If I don’t live like this, my pain level is so severe that I can’t function, I can’t live, I can’t survive. It’s excruciating,” Feudale-Bowes, 52, told the Associated Press. Read more about MCS

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Avoid Toxins

Posted by John on September 24th, 2008

Nurse Diane Waddell has been studying environmental health and holistic care for 30 years, and she recently told St. Joseph News that simple lifestyle changes can lead to great gains in overall health.

Toxins are everywhere in our modern world – in the air, water, food, and even in cleaning products that claim to clean up toxins. Waddell offers the following tips to avoid toxins: Read more about how to avoid toxins

Hazardous Household Chemicals

Posted by John on September 13th, 2008

Are you aware of the dangers lurking in your cabinets? I found an informative list of the most hazardous household chemicals at consumerlawpage.com:

Air Fresheners – Many air fresheners actually release a nerve deadening chemical agent! Others interfere with the ability to smell by coating nasal passages with an oil film. Air fresheners may include formaldehyde, a highly toxic known carcinogen, as well as phenol, an irritant that could lead to death.

air purifiers for odorsTip: Instead of air fresheners, use odor control air purifiers that will not only deodorize but also clean the air. Read more about hazardous household chemicals