Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Air Quality Issues Impacting the World Cup

Posted by Tia on June 11th, 2014

World Cup excitement continues to grow as the time grows closer and closer to the first game kickoff. I have been preparing my best “GOALLLLL!!!!!!” yell and have hung up my lucky jersey to root on team USA in one of my favorite events this summer.USA-Soccer-blog

Hosted in Brazil, this year’s World Cup is bound to be full of surprises. Hosting the World Cup comes with a price though; arguably one of the biggest price tags is not monetary but health related.

Poor air quality claims more lives in Sao Paulo Brazil than traffic fatalities, breast cancer and AIDS combined according to the a study conducted by the Institute of Health and Sustainability.

A study of the pollutants in Sao Paulo’s air determined that it has more than twice the amount of pollutants than is deemed safe by the World Health Organization. With such horrible air quality already plaguing Brazil, some people are asking how it will affect the big event—for fans and players

Here are some additional things to consider: 

  • With all of the international fans flocking the Brazil to cheer on their team, international flying will be at an all time high for Sao Paulo.
  • Travel between different stadiums during the event could double the carbon emissions of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
  • Not only will this increase the risk for Brazilian citizens to die from emission related illnesses, travelers and players exposed are at greater risk for heart disease.

To keep the smog from being a downer, FIFA and The Local Organizing Committee are trying to offset the carbon footprint visitors will create by implementing a series of low carbon development projects.Air plane/Air quality

FIFA hopes to maximize the fans’ enjoyment AND safety during the World Cup. FIFA is also encouraging travelers to offset their own carbon footprint as they enjoy the games.

  • If you have tickets to the World Cup, register your tickets on FIFA’s website and they’ll neutralize your carbon footprint for FREE! And by doing this you’ll be entered to win 2 tickets to the championship game. It doesn’t get any better than that!
  • Plane emissions are the biggest contribution to the carbon footprint! If you have to fly it is best to fly direct. Airplanes use large amounts of fuel taking-off and landing.
  • If you’re driving during the games, consider walking or biking instead. Also, use car air conditioning sparingly as it increases fuel consumption.

However World Cup organizers and fans choose to help keep air quality within safe levels, you can bet the level of noise in the air from the screaming fans will be tough to control! Go Team USA!

Ever been to Brazil? Shed some light on what the players and fans are in for by posting to our Facebook or Twitter page!

Tips for Running Outside During Allergy Season

Posted by Ivey on April 25th, 2013

Running on grass trail.Spring is finally here, and I’m ready to enjoy the nice weather with a run or bike ride outside. There’s only one problem—or maybe millions of tiny ones—pollen! If you have pollen allergies like I do, I’m sure you know how quickly a workout can be ruined by allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or even shortness of breath.

You can do more than enjoy the view from inside the gym though, so lace up your running shoes and get outside! These tips can help you keep pollen allergy symptoms at bay while exercising outdoors:

  1. Know your triggers. Most runners and cyclists take regular routes. If you notice  your symptoms flaring up at certain points on your route, there may be a large concentration of trees or other plants producing pollens that aggravate your allergies. Take notice of the plants and trees around you, and discuss them with your doctor. An allergy test can also be helpful at determining precise triggers.  You may even consider altering your route. Read more tips

Choose the Best Humidifier for Your Child’s Bedroom

Posted by Ivey on February 27th, 2013

Mother Cleans Baby's Nose Getting a restful night’s sleep is essential to your child’s health. Cold season and dry winter weather can make this difficult for your infant or toddler because of coughing, runny noses, dry skin, nasal congestion, and other uncomfortable symptoms often seen this time of year.

To help children rest easier both day and night, many parents often add a humidifier to their child’s room. Humidifiers blanket rooms with a soothing, delicate mist to help children breathe easier and get relief from flu-like symptoms. With so many people touting the effectiveness of humidifiers, including pediatricians and allergists, it’s no wonder that there are so many models available.

Here are a few tips about how to choose the best humidifier for your infant or toddler.

  • Warm versus Cool Mist Humidifiers. Although some parents choose warm mist humidifiers for perceived protection against bacteria growth, cool mist humidifiers are frequently recommended for infants and toddlers. Unlike their warm mist counterparts that can cause burn risks for children due to heated water in the tank, cool mist humidifiers offer the same benefits and no possibility of hot water coming into contact with curious hands and fingers. Cool mist is also preferred for children with asthma. Read more tips for choosing a child's humidifier

Is Your Furnace Polluting Your Indoor Air?

Posted by Kylie on December 12th, 2012

Eco-friendly heating options.Although it took a while to feel like winter in many parts of the country, there’s no doubt that cold weather has arrived. As we start turning on our furnaces and space heaters, there are a few things to keep in mind. An overload of dust can be dispersed by running your furnace, especially for the first time. Help keep your air clean and fresh (and lower your risk of feeling bad around the holidays) by completing a few small tasks around your house.

When you turn on your furnace for the first time each year, you might notice a “burnt dust” smell in the air—I know I did! During warmer months, your heating ducts accumulate a lot of dust and other allergens. When it’s time to turn it back on, your home is flooded with all that has accumulated over the last year, which can lead to allergies and other respiratory issues.

It may not seem like a huge deal, but the dust and other particles floating around can also compromise your immune system. If your body is busy fighting off the impurities in your air, you’re more vulnerable to other infections like the common cold or flu.

Fortunately there are a couple of ways you can diminish this problem:

  • Use air filters to catch the dust and debris. Clean permanent filters and use HEPA filters to catch as many unwanted allergens as possible.
  • Install eco friendly heaters that don’t spread as much dust and allergens into the air.
  • Have your heating ducts cleaned regularly, especially just before you fire them up for the year.
  • Use a humidifier if your air is dry. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and cause sore throats, so make sure your humidity is between 35% and 50%.

The best way to improve your indoor air while running your furnace or heater is to use all of these strategies. The bottom line is that it’s not the air that’s bad for you; it’s the dust and allergens that accumulate when your heater’s not in use. Be sure to have adequate filtration and cleaning processes, so you can enjoy a warm home without some of these nasty side effects.

I’ve been running my heat for more than two months now (I live in North Dakota)! When did you decide it was time to kick on the furnace?

Photo Credit: Fireplace by Travis Wiens on Flickr.

Adventures With A Neti Pot

Posted by steve on February 23rd, 2009

Bedding, air purifiers, HEPA vacuums, Loratadine – I use it all in the battle against my allergies. But a neti pot?

I must admit that even amidst positive reviews from our customers, I was very hesitant to pour water through my nose. Visions of gasping and coughing from accidentally swallowing water while swimming as a child flitted through my mind. To add insult to injury, adding salt to that very water didn’t seem like a terribly comfortable idea. Wouldn’t it burn? Read more about using a neti pot

Your Nose Is Hot For Neti Pot

Posted by Ashley on December 8th, 2008

Okay, I won’t lie. The first time I heard about a neti pot – let alone watched a video of one being used – I had to take a moment to reflect on the hilarity of it all (and maybe the “ick” factor too).

Read more about neti pots