Posted by Ashley on November 19th, 2008
As I write this, areas in southern California are starting to recover from a string of dangerous wildfires that first sparked last Thursday and have burned at least 42,000 acres to date. These 3 fires – the Montecito Tea Fire, the Sayre Fire, and the Freeway Complex Fire – spawned thousands of evacuations and mobilized handfuls of fire crews to help contain their violent flames. They are now at least 70% contained (the Montecito Tea Fire is 100% contained), but not without destroying at least 400 houses, 500 mobile homes, scores of commercial properties, and causing at least 10 injuries.
As residents begin trickling back to their neighborhoods and homes – for some, to what is left of their homes – clean-up is top of mind. One important aspect of recovering from a wildfire, or any type of fire, is restoring the quality of the air, both outside and inside the home or office. An air purifier designed to remove smoke can expedite this process. Continue reading
Posted by John on November 16th, 2008
Communities across the country are banning the tradition of burning autumn leaves – and for good reason. That pile of burning leaves could trigger a serious asthma attack. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Posted by John on October 26th, 2008
Children who are exposed to lead and tobacco smoke are eight times more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“Tobacco and lead exposure together seem to have a synergistic, negative effect,” said Dr. Tanya Froehlich, lead author of the Cincinnati study. Continue reading
Posted by John on October 13th, 2008
This summer, with heating bills expected to rise 20% from last year, many people will turn to wood heating in an attempt to save money; however, wood burning poses serious health concerns.
The American Lung Association has expressed concern about wood heating, especially for people with asthma and other pulmonary diseases. Continue reading
Posted by John on September 15th, 2008
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that a couple in an Upper West Side apartment building had sued their neighbor for polluting the indoor air with cigarette smoke.
Plantiffs Jonathen Selbin and his wife Jenny said that they sued their neighbor Galila Huff because Huff’s smoke was seeping into their condo and jeopardizing the health of their young son.
Because of this story’s publicity, Electrolux decided to donate air filters in hopes of settling the dispute. Indeed, the donated air quality equipment was instrumental in settling the case. Huff agreed to use the Electrolux air cleaner, and they soon settled out of court.
Posted by John on July 28th, 2008
If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, you may wonder how the air there could get any dirtier. Well, it has… In Orange County, CA, wildfire smoke has caused fine particulate pollution to reach levels that are up to 100 times higher than those on the smoggiest days. This is a serious health threat that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
If you live near a wildfire, you should stay indoors and keep windows closed. However, even these precautions won’t keep the smoke out. The tiny particles in smoke pollution are small enough to make their way through cracks and gaps in buildings. Continue reading
Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) causes cancer, warns the National Cancer Institute. Often called second-hand smoke, ETS also causes developmental defects, heart disease, and respiratory diseases like asthma.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and many of them are known carcinogens. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that ETS causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in non-smokers. Continue reading