Saturday, May 27, 2006

Do you know what can trigger an asthma attack in your child?

As seen in previous post, asthma can be one of the biggest health concerns for children under 5. It is a “growing” concern!

It is sad to say but asthma is very common among children. In fact, 6.3 million children have asthma in America today!

Again, asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to tighten. So, an attack can occur when your lungs aren’t getting enough air to breathe.

Here are some signs of a potential asthma attack:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Wheezing

  • Coughing

  • Chest pain

  • Chest tightness

  • But… what can trigger it? Well…

    Did you know that things in the bath, blankets, or stuffed animals can trigger an asthma attack?

    Triggers are everywhere! Here is a list of potential triggers that maybe found in your home.

  • Mold

  • Dust mites

  • Secondhand smoke

  • Cockroaches

  • Cats and dogs

  • Chemical irritants

  • In the next post, we’ll look at each and every one of them. Simple tricks and tips on how you can reduce or eliminate them.

    In the mean time, if you want to start cleaning and “sanitizing” the air you breathe, reduce or eliminate some of the triggers, I suggest you start here. You’ll be surprised of what you can find!

    To have access to this “healthy information”, you’ll need this password: “guest”

    Until then…

    Be well, be healthy!


    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    What’s the biggest health concern for children under 5?

    This disease afflicts 20 million Americans, including 6.3 million children. Since 1980, the biggest growth of this life-threatening respiratory disease has been in children under five.

    For bigger kids,14 million school days are missed each year because of... ASTHMA!

    What is asthma?

    Asthma is a lung disease that can be life threatening. Asthma is a chronic, or long-term, disease that can affect you for the rest of your life. Although there is no cure for asthma yet, asthma can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers. Here are some alarming stats:

  • Asthma leads to 2 million emergency room visits and 5,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone!!!

  • Approximately 4.2 million children had an asthma attack in the last year.

  • Asthma in children is the cause of almost 5 million physicians visits and more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year.

  • What are Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers?

    According to the EPA, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors where the air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoors!

    Exposure to these indoor air contaminants can trigger asthma attacks. However, if we know what are the common indoor triggers and how to control them, we can reduce the effects of asthma! Here is a list.

    Asthma triggers commonly found indoors include:

  • Secondhand (cigarette) Smoke

  • Cockroaches and Other Pests

  • Dust Mites & House dust

  • Molds

  • Pets and Other Animals

  • Nitrogen Dioxide

  • A well ventilated, clean house (regular dust and vacuum clean-ups) controlled humidity level (between 30 and 50%) can contribute significantly to the reduction of these indoor asthma triggers.

    In addition, a good air purification system (to access,passcode: "guest")can have a serious impact on the reduction of these asthma triggers. It can also prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms if the system is equipped with a UV light. (UV light destroy microorganisms!)

    P.S. Each year, in the month of May, EPA joins international, national and local Asthma Awareness Month Activities to increase public understanding of asthma and environmental asthma triggers.

    For more information, click here!

    Until then...

    Be well, be healthy


    Sunday, April 30, 2006

    How can you minimize your exposure to chemical contaminants?

    As seen in the previous post, we are exposed to high concentrations of chemical contaminants in our indoor living spaces. May I remind you that we spend about 90% of our time there!

    May I also point out to you that: “It’s not just what you can see that is dangerous to your health; it’s also what you cannot see!”

    In fact, it’s more dangerous because those fine particles are too small to get trapped by our “nostrils little hair”. They go straight to our lungs!

    I’ve also mentioned to you that VOCs exposure cause respiratory irritation, headaches, fatigue and mental confusion.

    So, since those particles are too small, I can’t see them and they are very dangerous for me and my family’s health, then… how do I get out of this mess! How can I minimize my exposure to the VOCs?

    Well, most of the time, these pollutants are particle-borne, which means, they’re carried through the air on particles. An effective way to eliminate particles is through the process of ionization. That’s how Mother Nature does it outside, but how do I do it inside?

    Some air purification systems duplicate this process of ionization. When you put a negative or a positive charge on these particles, it causes them to fall out of the air.

    Some of these air purification systems are also equipped with ultraviolet lights. It can kill biological contaminants that are carried on the particles, like viruses, mold spores and bacteria.

    If you want to see one in action, check this out! You'll need this password to get in:

    Until then…

    Be well, be healthy


    Friday, April 28, 2006

    When the VOCs rock!

    Are the VOCs dangerous for us? You bet they are! These chemicals are everywhere in our indoor space, in high concentrations too! These indoor air pollutants pose a serious health threat.

    In fact, laboratory tests show that VOCs cause respiratory irritation even in concentrations one hundred times lower than the so-called “safe” World Health Organization Indoor Air Guidelines.

    Symptoms of VOC exposure include:

    -Mental confusion

    Here is an alarming statistic. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has identified 107 VOCs commonly found in modern offices, which are known carcinogens.

    The question is: How can I minimize my exposure to VOCs? Find out on our next post!

    Until then,

    Be well, be healthy


    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    The VOC threat!

    According to the United Nations Environmental Program, we (yes!…us, human!!!) produce approximately 1,000 new chemicals every year that we release in our atmosphere. And yes, we breathe that stuff!

    This form of pollution consists of invisible gases containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These human-made chemicals are used to produce paint, refrigerants and solvents.

    These VOCs may be given off by:

    · Adhesives
    · Carpets
    · Carpet underlay
    · Wall coverings
    · Furniture
    · Cleaning solutions

    Even office equipment, such as photocopying machines and laser printers!

    Are the VOC’s dangerous for us? Find out in our next post: When the VOCs rock!

    Until then…

    Be well, be healthy


    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    How can I reduce the amount of dust mites in my mattress? Sleeping on a bed of nails?

    As you know now, dust mites are little microscopic bugs that feed off discarded human skin cells. A single ounce of house dust can contain 42,000 of these creatures. Don’t forget that an average mattress can be home to several million of them.

    As mentioned before, dust mites feces are a common household allergen responsible for respiratory conditions in children and adults.

    So, how can I reduce the amount of dust mites in my bed?

    a) Take a baseball bat and swing at the mattress at least 20 minutes everyday??? (this would really help your average at bat you know!)

    b) Sleep on a bed of nails? Huh???

    c) Invest in a dust-mite-proof mattress and pillow covers

    Okay, that was an easy one!

    But how can I really reduce the amount of dust mites in my home? Well… by reducing the amount of dust! Make sense?

    Here is the obvious one. Keeping your home well-vacuumed.

    But, here is the one you should really investigate: Using a “filterless” air purification system with UV light (UV light destroys the microorganisms…that’s a bonus!) you know the one that the NASA is using to scrub the air in their spacecraft!

    Anyway, I invite you to start your investigation here.

    To get in you need this password: G-U-E-S-T. So, be my "guest", and… check this out!

    Until then…

    Be well, be healthy


    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    27 millions of these “little critters” visit our homes every year!

    Experts say that in an average size home, we generate approximately 40 pounds of dust annually. According to the calculation we did in the previous post, we are the host of about… 27 MILLION dust mites!

    These living organisms accumulate in household dust. They particularly like a moist atmosphere which allows them to thrive.

    What do they do? How do these mites affect us?

    These “little critters” eat and excrete constantly… they can cause:

    eye irritation,
    eye-ear, nose & throat infections,
    asthma attacks,

    Dust mites are a major cause of asthma and allergies. When some children are exposed to dust mites, they can develop asthma. If children already have asthma, mites can cause reactions.

    So, cutting down on the amount of dust mites in the home is an important step if you or your child has allergies or asthma or any other health problem that affects the respiratory system.

    House dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) and their fecal droppings have been conclusively identified as major allergens in house dust worldwide and, in many areas, are regarded as the single most important allergen associated with asthma.

    Asthma afflicts about 20 million Americans, including 6.3 million children.

    Since 1980, the biggest growth in asthma cases has been in children under five!

    Asthma is the single largest cause of hospital visits by children!

    On the next post, find out the "little secret" that can help you reduce the amount of dust in your house. This can have a significant impact on your asthma and allergy problems...! Let's kick the dust mites out!

    Until then...

    Be well, be healthy