The arrival of winter offers relief for many allergy sufferers, but setting up for the holidays can cause a host of issues for people with asthma and allergies. If the thought of Christmas brings images of festive trees and plants along with memories of sneezing and sniffling through the holidays, a few simple changes can make your holiday more enjoyable.
Here are some common triggers and how to avoid them this holiday season:
Don’t forget the decorations you love so much, the ones that give your home the holiday feel, they’ve been stored away for 11 or so months. And they’re generally kept in attics, basements, garages or other places that are known for harboring dust and mold. Wipe down seasonal ornaments and decorations with a damp cloth when you first dig them out. If you purchase live decorations or plants (more on trees below!), then be sure to toss them as soon as they start to dry out. Continue reading
Two 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.
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
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!
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. Continue reading
The 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.
It’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.
For 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.
The 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.
While 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.
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.
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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: Continue reading
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The material on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any questions or concerns you may have about your health or a medical condition.