» Indoor Health Matters

Resolve to Breathe Better Air This Year

Posted by Ivey on December 29th, 2010

New Year's Celebration and a ClockAs 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

Going Postal Over Respiratory Problems

Posted by John on November 13th, 2008

ABC reports that current and former postal workers across the nation are battling severe respiratory problems. Many postal employees blame the paper dust produced by the letter-sorting machines in post offices.

“I began to have breathing problems, asthma symptoms, bronchitis,” says former post office employee Betty Booker. Continue reading

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Construction Sites Pose Health Hazards for Those Nearby

Posted by John on October 12th, 2008

If you live or work near a construction site, your health may be at risk – even if you never enter the “hard hat zone.”

Construction dust pollutes the air surrounding the site, and the increase in diesel traffic to construction sites further deteriorates air quality. Children living near such pollution face an increased risk of asthma. Continue reading

10 Easy Pollution Solutions

Posted by John on September 22nd, 2008

Toxins abound in our world. Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group recently released 10 everyday pollution solutions:

1. Use cast iron pans instead of nonstick. Chemicals in Teflon pose many health hazards. Continue reading

Endotoxins in Dust – Asthma Triggers

Posted by John on September 4th, 2008

It turns out that dust mites, mold, and pet dander are not the only allergens in houshold dust…

New research reveals that endotoxins produced by bacteria in dust can inflame airways and trigger asthma, according to ScienceDaily.

What are endotoxins?

Peter Thorne, environmental toxicologist at the University of Iowa explains, “If you think of a bacterium as an orange, the endotoxin is the material that makes up the peel. It’s the outer layer. And this becomes shed from bacteria, and it’s everywhere in the environment.

“Endotoxin in the home is related to higher rates of asthma.” Continue reading

Rachel Carson’s Legacy – The Silent Spring Institute

Posted by John on August 22nd, 2008

Rachel CarsonI first learned of Rachel Carson’s work when I read her book Silent Spring in my high school biology class. The book, published in 1962, shed light on the toxic effects of pesticides on nature, especially birds. Silent Spring inspired many people to join the modern environmental movement. Rachel Carson died of breast cancer less than two years after the publication of Silent Spring.

The Silent Spring Institute was founded in 1993 to investigate links between environmental toxins and women’s health issues – breast cancer in particular.

The Richmond Times Dispatch recently published advice from the Silent Spring Institute about dealing with indoor air contamination.

“It ends up being part of your environment,” says Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute. “You end up breathing it, and it gets on your hands.” Continue reading

Wyndham Hotels Offer Allergy Friendly Rooms

Posted by John on August 10th, 2008

Wyndham hotels now offer allergy friendly rooms designed by PURE Solutions. Dubbed “CleanAir Rooms,” they feature hypoallergenic bedding and medical-grade HEPA air purifiers. states: “The state of the art air purification system operates continuously, eliminating up to 98-100% of viruses and bacteria. In gest rooms, you’ll sleep on PURE mattress and pillow covers that are resistant to mold and dust mites.” Continue reading

Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums Lower Plant Operating Costs

Posted by John on July 29th, 2008

When you have to clean a dusty 48-acre plant full of machinery, even the best household vacuum won’t get the job done. In this case, you need a specialized industrial vacuum.

Jim Ford, CEO of Harris Woolf Almonds, is in charge of a 48-acre almond processing plant in California. The plant packages 45 million pounds of almonds per year. But before the almonds can be packaged, they must be shelled and cleaned – and this creates a lot of dust.

“It’s a very fine dust,” explains Ford, “and it’s very difficult to sweep.”

Almond dust is problematic because it attracts insects, creates a fire hazard, and can interfere with the functioning of machinery. In the past, a team of sweepers had to work around the clock to keep the plant dust-free.

To combat the dust problem, Ford sought help from Nilfisk, the world’s leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment. Continue reading