Archive for BPA News

Recent Studies Show Links Between Air Pollution And Infant Death

Do you have a new baby or small child in your home?  Are you aware that several different researchers have discovered a correlation between respiratory illness, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and air pollution?  Did you know that scientists and health care professionals’ consistently rank indoor air pollution among the top environmental health risks in the United States?

The August 2006 issue of the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that researchers in California have recently found another link between air pollution and respiratory illness and death in infants.  Research showed that infants recently exposed to high levels of air pollution were likely to become ill or die and that they faced a somewhat higher likelihood of dying from SIDS.  Study co-author Michelle Wilhelm, an adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology at UCLA, reflected that "It just adds to the body of evidence showing that exposure to high (levels) of air pollution can lead to infant death."  The research also showed that pollutants inhaled by pregnant mothers can reach fetuses via the umbilical cord.

Air PollutionAccording to the Environmental Working Group, nearly one in every five SIDS cases in major metropolitan areas is associated with airborne particle pollution.  There is a substantial body of evidence showing that short-term increases of particulate air pollution, even at exposure levels below the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, increase mortality and morbidity rates.  Data from historic air pollution episodes in London during the 1950′s and in Mexico City during the 1990′s led to acute increases in infant mortality.

Another study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Basel in Switzerland revealed that almost 3,000 infant deaths per year in the United States may be the result of microscopic airborne particles.  The study also concluded that as particulate matter in the air increased, infant mortality rates rose between ten to forty percent.  The researchers at UCLA warn parents to be careful about exposing infants and young children to both indoor and outdoor air pollution.  They caution that while we breathe in gallons of air each day, infants and children are particularly vulnerable to ambient air pollution because their lungs and immune systems are not fully developed and the lungs have a small capacity.

The link between air pollution and infant death has caught the attention of government officials.  Just recently, the District of Columbia joined thirteen other states in suing the EPA to strengthen the restrictions on the amount of pollution released into the air.  The states complain that the EPA has ignored scientific evidence and the advice of its own experts about illness and premature death caused by microscopic air pollution, also known as fine particulate matter.  The EPA’s own analysis revealed that even a relatively small reduction in yearly fine particulate matter emissions could reduce chronic respiratory illnesses and prevent thousands of deaths in the United States each year.

The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development research has found that more babies survive when the air around them is clean.  Although there is still some debate as to how much air pollution actually causes specific diseases in adults, scientists agree that people who live in places with polluted air are likely to have more health problems.

Did you know that most people spend over ninety percent of their time indoors?!  Being inside doesn’t make you safer.  Although many individuals feel safe from air pollution when they are indoors, pollutant levels of indoor air may be two to five times higher than outdoor air according to the EPA.

home air purifierYou can protect the health of infants, toddlers and everyone in your home with Airpura residential air purifiers.  The Airpura features an innovative round filter design that is similar to the latest cartridge filter used in high powered industrial air cleaners.  The Airpura uses a smartly designed 3 stage filtration system to remove airborne contaminates from your home.  The Airpura’s true HEPA filter traps particles 0.3um and larger.  Even smaller gaseous particles are absorbed by its hefty 18 pounds of activated carbon.  

For even more protection, the Airpura UV offers the same features of the standard unit, along with a high output germicidal UV.  This advanced home air purifier captures germs and bacteria and kills them on contact.  

Polluted air is a major concern for all of us; it is especially alarming when infants and young children are involved.  Give them clean, fresh smelling air with the Airpura home air purifier.

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Beware of Poor Air Quality During a Heat Wave!

Heat WaveWhen it’s blazing hot during summer months, does it seem to you like the quality of air you’re breathing is not very good? Well, that’s because it’s true. During extreme summer heat, the sun simmers the air and all of the chemical compounds it contains. This helps create a smog effect making the air uncomfortable for healthy persons and difficult and dangerous for those already experiencing breathing  difficulties. Regions with high smog levels show increased hospital and emergency room visitsor  respiratory problems.

The non-profit organization Clean Air Watch recently reported that a record heat wave in July 2006 caused a blanket of smog reaching from coast to coast. More than 30 states reported more unhealthy air quality days in July2006 than in July 2005. 2005 is the hottest year on record. Public health ozone standards were exceeded more than 1,000 times in July 2006.

Often during a heat wave, electricity is either scarce or unavailable.This causes many people to use generators to create electricity, which further exacerbates the problem. Diesel generators produce more pollution per watt of power output than power plants do. They produce upto 20 times as much particulate pollution as modern, natural gas fired power plants.

Asthma, Air Pollution and Respiratory IllnessOne of the biggest concerns involving heat and air pollution is ozone. Ozone is associated with increased asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing, and complications of other respiratory illnesses. Ozone is a colorless to pale blue gas and one of the most toxic inorganic compounds known.

Higher air temperatures increase the concentration of ozone at ground level.The natural layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth’s surface. Ozone in the lower atmosphere however, is a very harmful pollutant. Ozone damages lung tissue and causes problems for those suffering from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Even modest exposure to ozone can cause healthy individuals to experience breathing problems such as chest pains and pulmonary congestion.

The federal government uses a measurement called the Air Quality Index to determine pollution levels. Index numbers around the country were at unhealthy levels in July of this year throughout much of the country. The stagnant atmospheric conditions of a heat wave trap pollutants in urban area’s, increasing the already dangerous stress of extremely hot weather by creating respiratory issues for the sick and healthy alike.

Unfortunately, the problem of heat waves and their effecton air quality may get worse before it gets better. There are several warning signs that this issue of extreme heat will not go away soon:

  • No state in the lower 48 experienced below average temperatures in 2002.
  • Since 1980, the earth has experienced 19 of its 20 hottest years on record.
  • Eight of the 10 warmest years since 1860 have occurred in the last decade.
  • 2005 was the hottest year ever recorded while the summer of 2006 set high temperature records in a great number of cities and towns across America.

These are numbers to be seriously concerned about when you consider that reliable weather record keeping began in the 1860’s. Even without heatwaves, air pollution remains a serious issue in this country and the world. Although the US Clean Air Act is among the most powerful air quality laws in the world, it is estimated that as many as 50,000 Americans die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution.

Air quality experts have been issuing warnings that the advancements we have made in controlling air pollution may be negated by global warming.

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BPA News

Airpura Air CleanersOne of our most popular residential product lines, Airpura has undergone a few recent changes. A new Swiss built motor will now be used in place of the German motor we have previously used. The new motor features the same high output CFM rating but runs much quieter. Some customers had reported a buzzing sound while operating the unit on lower speed settings, we have replaced these units with new units featuring the Swiss motor and all shipments starting at the beginning of this week and all future units will sport the new Swiss motor.

While the cost of this motor is markedly higher that it’s predecessor, we are expecting to hold the current pricing through 2006. The new motor is so quiet we’ve been hearing feedback from customers claiming that the only sound you hear is the air moving through the machine. We will be re-testing the units very soon and posting new decibel levels, but our current observations conclude that this is one of the quietest air cleaners on the market for CFM vs. sound levels.

All Airpura air purifiers will feature this new Swiss motor as will our BPA Smoke Muncher XL and BPA Smoke Muncher XL Deluxe line of residential smoke eaters.

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