Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


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

Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes

Posted by John on November 9th, 2008

American Profile recently interviewed Michael Vogel, director of the Montana chapter of Healthy Indoor Air for American’s Homes. He has been offering indoor air quality advice for over 20 years.

Vogel points out that “Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote an article on the importance of fresh air and ventilation back in the 1800s” – but today, experts know much more about the risks of various pollutants. Read more about indoor air quality

Got Allergies? Photos of Home May Help Your Doctor

Posted by John on November 8th, 2008

I rarely watch television (I prefer online media), but when I do watch TV, one of my favorite shows is House M.D. Dr. House always considers all potential causes of illness, including environmental factors. In fact, in several episodes, the maverick diagnostician sends his interns to break into the homes of sick patients.

While I appreciate Dr. House’s efforts, I wouldn’t want a bunch of 20-somethings dressed in white coats breaking into my home! Thankfully, US News and World Report offers an alternative: take photos of your home to show your doctor. Read more about environmental photos and allergies

Indoor Air Quality and Asthma

Posted by John on November 2nd, 2008

If you have asthma, you should be familiar with all of your asthma triggers so that you can avoid them. Get tested for allergies if you haven’t already. Most asthmatics are sensitive to at least one common household allergen.

Indoor air quality is a major concern for people with asthma. If you can manage to avoid inhaling the particles that make you sick, then you’ll feel better. Read more about air quality and asthma

Air Purifiers Reduce Need for Asthma Medication

Posted by John on October 8th, 2008

BBC reports that a new British study is putting air purifiers to the test. Air cleaners will be placed in the bedrooms of over 70 children to see if their asthma improves.

So far, preliminary results from 28 children show that air purifiers in bedrooms do indeed reduce the need for asthma medication.

“They also reported they were able to do sport better and sleep better, which was really good,” said research nurse Heather Hanna. Read more about air purifiers and asthma

Fish May Prevent Infant Eczema

Posted by John on October 5th, 2008

A new study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood suggests that infants who eat fish before the age of nine months have a decreased risk of developing eczema.

A family history of atopic disease (allergies) is the main risk factor. In recent years, however, researchers have begun to focus on environmental and dietary factors as well. Read more about fish consumption and eczema

What is Relative Humidity?

Posted by John on September 27th, 2008

Keep your indoor relative humidity below 50 percent to avoid growth of mold and dust mites. That’s standard advice for allergy sufferers. But what exactly is relative humidity?

Relative humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air expressed as a percentage of how much water vapor the air could hold. If relative humidity is 100 percent, for example, then it’s raining. Most people are comfortable with an indoor relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent. When relative humidity goes above 50 percent, the excess moisture in the air makes it easier for mold and dust mites to spread. Read more about relative humidity

Cockroaches: The Forgotten Allergens

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

Treat Child Eczema at Home

Posted by John on September 6th, 2008

Eczema affects up to 20 percent of U.S. children. Child eczema usually appears between two and six months of age and runs in families with a history of allergies and asthma. The dry, red, itchy skin patches often begin on the face and spread to other parts of the body.

There is no cure for eczema, but there are many ways to treat child eczema at home. Read more about child eczema

Anxiety and Stress Make Allergies Worse

Posted by John on August 30th, 2008

Even a slight increase in stress and anxiety can substantially worsen allergic reactions to common allergens, according to a new study from Ohio State University. Anxiety and stress also cause the allergic reaction to last longer.

Anxiety can also trigger late phase reactions which appear hours after exposure to the allergen (typically the next day).

“What’s interesting about this is that it shows that being stressed can cause a person’s allergies to worsen the next day,” explains researcher Janice Kiecolt-Glaser. “This is clinically important for patients since most of what we do to treat allergies is to take antihistimines to control the symptoms – runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, and congestion.” Read more about anxiety and allergies

Bissell Steam Mop Review

Posted by John on August 27th, 2008

If there’s one cleaning chore that I dislike more than vacuuming, it has to be mopping – at least in the conventional sense of the verb. Traditional mopping involves filling up a bucket with water and spreading chemicals across the floor with a germ-infested mop that you have to wring out with your hands. Yuck!

Bissell Steam MopsNow there’s a much more pleasant alternative to traditional mopping: the Bissell Steam Mop. This chemical-free cleaning machine works well on smooth floor surfaces like marble, ceramic, stone, vinyl, laminated, linoleum, and sealed hardwood floors.

Simply fill up the steam mop’s tank with regular tap water, and you’re ready to go. No bucket. No chemical cleaners. The Bissell mop heats up the water in just 30 seconds to produce a steam vapor that’s around 240 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to kill bacteria, mold, dust mites, viruses, and other germs on contact. Read more about Bissell steam mops

Top 10 Germ Hotspots in Your Home

Posted by John on August 26th, 2008

WebMD recently published the top 10 hideouts for germs in your home – and some of them may surprise you.

1. Kitchen Sponges – A kitchen sponge can carry over 134,000 bacteria per square inch! Most people tend to keep sponges for too long, allowing the bacteria to grow over time. Read more about hidden germs in your home

Childhood Asthma Symptoms

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

Sylvane.com President Steven Hong on Creating a Healthy Nursery

Posted by John on August 4th, 2008

Steven Hong, President of Sylvane.com, recently appeared on the syndicated radio talk show “At Home with Cheryl Gillepsie” to speak about how to create a healthy nursery. He went on to cover all the basics of making a healthy home.

Here are some great healthy home tips from the interview:

  • If you have a newborn on the way, paint the nursery well before the baby’s due date, as fresh paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause irritation, headaches, nausea, and more serious problems with high exposure. Low-VOC paints are also available.
  • Read more about how to make a healthy nursery

Kumi Kookoon Bedding Review

Posted by John on August 2nd, 2008

Kumi Kookoon Bedding If you’ve never slept on genuine silk bedding, you don’t know what you’re missing! Kumi Kookoon bedding is made from the highest quality charmeuse silk, which drapes you in silky smooth comfort.

My favorite thing about silk sheets is the way they feel. I tend to get hot when I’m sleeping, but Kumi Kookoon bedding doesn’t trap body heat. It’s very light against the skin, and it wicks moisture away from the body. Read more about Kumi Kookoon silk bedding