60 minutes recently ran a segment on the health risks associated with laminate floors with high levels of formaldehyde. The report opened people’s eyes to what we’ve known for a long time–formaldehyde is a dangerous gas with potentially serious health risks. It turns out hundreds of thousands of Americans may be impacted, and news outlets have run with the story ever since. Read the entire 60 Minutes report on formaldehyde here.
For a summary of the findings and what’s happening now, check out the video below. And keep reading to learn more about formaldehyde, formaldehyde testing, how to get rid of it. Continue reading
Nobody wants to worry about bad air quality in their home. Indoor air, particularly in cold winters like this year, can really take a hit since our homes are sealed shut during this time. Even worse, you don’t want your indoor air quality to suffer while you’re spending so much time indoors.
This bitterly cold winter seems to be on its last leg (we hope), but here are 5 ways to improve your air quality and stay healthy even during winter months. While there are a lot of effective methods for improving it, these are the 5 easiest and most effective options. Continue reading
Spring has finally arrived! After a tough winter, we’re excited to welcome the new season and get through one last hurdle: spring cleaning. It can be pretty painless if you do it right and we’re here to help!
For a limited time receive 10% off select vacuums, steam cleaners, air purifiers and 15% off all allergy bedding.
Also going on now: Get 2 free boxes of vacuum bags with the purchase of any Miele vacuum! Continue reading
If you have an air purifier, clean air is important to you. But maybe not so important that you feel compelled to buy new filters every 6 months, or whatever the manufacturer recommends. No big deal, right? It still cleans the air, doesn’t it? 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.
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
Just in time to help you manage your symptoms through a pretty trying pollen season, a leading consumer reporting magazine has released its 2012 list of top consumer-rated air purifiers. Four of Sylvane’s bestselling models round out the top 5, with impressive ratings in allergen removal and noise level. If you’re in the market for a room air purifier, be sure to check out these picks as you shop.
Best Buy – Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier
Receiving the highest ratings out of 33 tested air purifiers, the Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier continues its streak as a Best Buy and best bang for your buck. Equipped with a true HEPA filter and a light carbon filter, the Whirlpool 510 received Excellent and Very Good ratings for allergen, pollen, and smoke removal on its highest and lowest speeds, respectively.
As noise level goes, at 40 decibels on its lowest speed, the 510 is just about as quiet as gentle falling rain—great for the overnight hours when you need a soothing sound to lull you to sleep. The Whirlpool Whispure 510 is designed to remove dust, allergens, and other particles from rooms up to 500 square feet.
Are you battling a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a seemingly endless bout of sneezing? Don’t be so sure it’s just a cold. It could be spring allergies—in February. Strange, right?
Doctors think so too. For the past month, allergists across the country have been treating a new wave of patients suffering from spring allergy symptoms early, more than a month before the season typically begins. The reason, reports a recent WebMD article, is an uncharacteristically mild winter in many cities in the U.S.
Experts say that warmer-than-average winter temperatures around the country have triggered early tree pollination and led to higher pollen counts than normal for this time of year. As a result, we’re experiencing an early start to allergy season. And if you suffer from tree pollen allergies, you’re likely among the first to feel the effects.
Scientists have a hunch that an early allergy season could mean we’re in for a longer-than-average season. But because rainfall amounts have a bearing on how long trees and flowers pollinate; it’s too early to predict for sure. Whatever the outcome, if you are prone to seasonal allergies, now is a great time to get prepared.
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?
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.
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.
With the launch of our Sweet Dreams Nursery Contest and Sweepstakes last week, things have been a little hectic around the Sylvane office. However, now that things seem to be a little calmer, let’s move on to the third installment of our 28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality blog series.
Leave shoes at the door to keep pesticides, dirt, and other germs out of your home. Occasionally, the quick brushing that you give your shoes on the doormat is not effective at keeping harmful irritants out of your home. If possible, leave shoes on shoe racks or or other shelves located in a garage or other area close to your door.
Choose a green paint to reduce exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Just because the noxious odors from your latest painting project are gone doesn’t mean that your indoor air is safe. Some paints can release harmful levels of VOCs into your environment causing headaches, dizziness, respiratory ailments, and other issues. Look for paints labeled “zero VOC” and “no VOC”.
Use a carbon monoxide detector to protect your home. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, so the best way to keep your family safe from this “silent killer” is to use a carbon monoxide detector like the Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. This gas detector samples your home’s air every 2.5 minutes for carbon monoxide. If this gas—methane and propane—is detected, visual and audible alarms will be activated.
As a result of the devastating events in Japan, we have received several phone calls from customers concerned about radiation exposure and looking for ways to diminish this risk.
First, it’s important to note that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports no expectation for harmful levels of radiation to reach the U.S. Plus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using the existing nationwide radiation monitoring system, RadNet, to continuously monitor the nation’s air, drinking water, milk, and precipitation for environmental radiation and additional monitors have been deployed to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The EPA is also making daily data on radiation monitoring efforts readily available online.
That being said, many U.S. citizens are still interested in the relationship between air filtration and radiation exposure. These two things actually have a long history. In fact, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are some of the most effective and popular air filters on the market today, were actually developed out of the need for effective filtration of radioactive particulates.
During World War II, scientists from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom were commissioned to work on the Manhattan Project, which would ultimately lead to the development of the first atomic bomb. While this work work was taking place, the need to protect scientists from exposure to radioactive fallout became apparent. Since radioactive fallout is particulate in nature, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recognized that it could be filtered using mechanical filtration and developed HEPA filtration to protect scientists from exposure to radioactive particles.
Following World War II, HEPA filter technology was declassified and began being used in commercial and residential products. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.97% to 99.99% of airborne particles that measure 0.3 microns and larger, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores. Today, these filters are commonly found in high-performance air purifiers, such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus.
The HealthPro Plus is a top-of-the-line air purifier that is consistently ranked a best buy among industry insiders. Perfect for homes of allergy- and asthma-sufferers, the IQAir HealthPro Plus features true HEPA filtration and a two-stage gas filter to remove more polluting particulates—including ultra-fine particles—from the air than conventional air purifiers. In addition to excellent filtration, this IQAir purifier also features a convenient filter life monitor, six fan speed settings, a soft-touch control panel, remote control operation, and triple-seal filter design.
Last week, I woke up with a stuffy head and puffy eyes. “Surely, pollen season hasn’t already started,” I thought. Wrong. The significant jump in temperature over the last couple of weeks prompted dormant trees to wake up and shake off their pollen, which resulted in a pollen count of 742. According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, there were no high pollen days in February 2010 and the highest February pollen count in 2009 was 386. Luckily, I had my trusty air purifier ready to go.
Unfortunately, Atlanta isn’t the only U.S. city facing the early onslaught of pollen. Many towns and cities across the southern and southwestern areas of the U.S. are dealing with medium to high levels of pollen, according to Pollen.com. So what’s going on? Continue reading
As the year draws close, most of us are reflecting on the past year and assessing what we would like to change or improve in the upcoming year. Most of the time, these changes focus on ways to be healthier and improve your quality of life, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or going to the gym more often. Instead of making the same resolutions year after year, try something new for 2011—improving the quality of your indoor air!
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution levels can be two to five times higher than pollution levels outdoors. This increase in indoor pollution levels is even more shocking when you consider that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time doors. The good thing about indoor air quality is that it is absolutely within your ability to dramatically improve it. Continue reading
This blog is maintained by Sylvane.com, a leading provider of air treatment products.
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.