Getting An eBook Reader May Be A Healthy Choice

The new iPad from Apple adds to the growing selection of eBook readers on the market. Kindle, by Amazon, is probably the most used but the new Nook by Barnes and Noble and the eReader by Sony are catching up. The new iPad is not only a tablet computer but an eBook reader as well. While there are opinions on both side of the isle as to whether the new eBook technology will supplant the common paper book, the eBook does offer some significant health benefits.

Paper books have been around forever and have been the most popular method of providing information, stories, education and business information around the world. Libraries are built to house the books and some of these buildings are massive. There -in lies the problem.

Paper is a cellulose based product that will wear when handled and can deteriorate when e to sunlight over long periods of time. When the pages of the book are turned tiny particles of paper come off and become airborne. As the books age, the paper becomes more brittle and more “paper dust” is generated. In addition, if the paper books get wet or are exposed to high concentrations of moisture you can actually have mold growing on the books. The paper is a great food source for mold spores.

In addition all books are assembled using some type of adhesive. This what keeps the pages from falling out of the book. These glues can off gas over time and again are released into the air. Often when a new book is purchased, especially hard bound books, they produce a distinct smell. It is a “new book” smell so to speak. These are the chemicals in the adhesives and treated paper that you are smelling.

Libraries, both public, private and school have had indoor air quality issues for many years. When you have a large collection of books and large number of people reading and leafing through the book pages at one time, you release a lot of paper dust into the air. People who tend to have respiratory issues ( asthmatics, severe allergies, chemical sensitivities) have a real challenge being in an environment with books.

The paper dust issue is such a problem in libraries that many of them use HEPA based air filtration systems to ensure the capture of the fine, small, airborne paper dust particles.

Companies such as Pure Air Systems, offer small, medium and large HEPA fan powered air filtration systems that can be used either as stand alone units to handle specific areas or as part of the main heating/cooling systems. In either case, the ability to move air throughout the area is essential in keeping the paper dust particles airborne and then pulled into the air filtration systems. Pure Air Systems also incorporates carbon in many of its systems which would be used to remove the chemicals being off gassed from the books themselves.

The process of providing reading material continues to move in the digital direction which at some point will start to reduce the number of paper books in circulation. If you have some allergy issues and are an avid book reader and collector, we might suggest you consider getting one of the new eBook reading devices now available. This could be a healthy choice for you.

For more information regarding the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems offered by Pure Air Systems please go to their website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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New Gentle Cleaning Products May Be Hazardous To Your Health

It seems like everyday there is a new cleaning product being introduced on TV or in the mail or on the internet. Each one designed to make your life easier and all of them are now safer and more “green” than ever.

In addition to the new cleaning fluids, gels and cleansers, you now have a wide variety of deodorizers or odor maskers. These are introduced either by spray bottle or use of scented stick or compound that is heated or moved by air to wash the room with one of three thousand scents…( maybe more).

Individually most of these cleaning products are relatively safe when used as directed. The real issue is what happens when you use more than one of these products at the same time?

When these products are tested they are used individually and in an enclosed room that is monitored. The “independent” testing agencies attempt to determine if there is anything in the product or that the product produces that could pose a health problem..be it respiratory or skin issues.

Appropriate warning labels are put on each product; even for green, biodegradable items. These labels provide information on what to do if you ingest or get this material in you eyes but they seldom mention anything about the problems of using this product with other products.

Many people will use some of the odor masking products; in either the spray bottle form and/or the candle or plug-in versions. Then they will use any other combination of cleaning products at the same time.  Again, individually these products are safe, however, when combined with other chemicals they can create significant problems.

Here is the well known example of mixing two common chemical products together. Ammonia is a well know, well used cleaning chemical. Moth balls are common products. When mixed together the resultant chemical gas can kill you….quickly. There are many other dangerous combinations using household chemicals out there.

Just because the product is advertised as a “green” or “kids safe” product, is only valid when it is used by itself. Again, when these products are tested the process does not include combining the chemical make-up of the product with any other chemical from any other cleaning product.

It is interesting to note, that some of the most green, safe cleaning chemicals are already in your pantry and refrigerator. Vinegar and ketchup are two products that can actually be used for almost all of your household cleaning needs.

Vinegar and water are great for cleaning any solid kitchen surface, glass, mirrors, etc. Ketchup has enough acidity to remove stains from silver ware and some other surfaces. Toothpaste with grit is a great abrasive with some cleaning power.

In essence, be careful when using any cleaning product and especially careful when using two or more at the same time.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems since 1985 and has a lot of experience in removing and reducing odors and gases in both the residential and commercial markets. For more information on the complete line of air and gas filter systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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Are You Allergic To Pollen & Ragweed? Then Remove Clothes Before Entering

Of all the environmental processes that can create allergic reactions in humans, nature’s own products:  pollen and ragweed, are among the most prolific. While most people avoid close proximity to known, man-made allergy producing substances and effluents, it is impossible ( unless you never go outside) to avoid contact with these two allergens.

With the exception of living 11,000 feet above sea level, there are flowering plants, grasses, trees, and crops everywhere you go. Pollen and ragweed and other airborne particles are most prominent during the Spring and Summer months but can be an issue all year long in some parts of the US.

Once the flowers, grasses, trees and crops start to grow you can, during some times of the day, actually see the pollen floating in the air or deposited on the surface of a car parked outside. These particles ( 20 microns in size or larger) are more prominent since they can be seen with the naked eye. However, these airborne allergens can also be in the 5 to 10 micron range which would make them invisible to the naked eye.

These airborne particles are easily carried by light winds and on especially dry days they can travel for miles. In addition, these pollen and ragweed particles have a rough surface and will cling to or stick to almost any type of clothing and also your hair and skin.

If you are one of those people that suffer from allergic reactions to pollen and ragweed then you need to make sure you practice the following preventative measures.

First. If you are wearing a jacket or sweater or any type of outdoor protective clothing remove them outside before entering your home or residence. You may want to brush them off (keep you mouth closed and try not to breathe when doing this) and or shake gently. This will remove most of the particles from the clothing.

Second. DO NOT BRING THE CLOTHES INSIDE! Find a place outside in your garage or outside entry way wear you can store these clothes. Brushing or shaking the clothes will not remove all the pollen or ragweed. This can only be accomplished by washing or dry cleaning the items.

Third. If you do bring the clothes inside don’t hang them or place them next to other jackets or clothing. The pollen will easily transfer to the clean clothes.  Anytime you move, shake or hang these clothes some of the particles will fall off and either fall to the floor or become airborne again.

Fourth. Get a good air filtration system for your home or bedroom and make sure your furnace air filters are replaced often.

Pure Air Systems offers a complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems for both whole-house filtration or single room applications. These filters are designed to remove all the airborne particles that may cause respiratory issues or allergies. In addition, PAS has a complete line of furnace filters that are specifically designed to capture the smaller particles without challenging the performance of your HVAC system.

For more information our product line please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm…E.I…E.I…AUH O! ….Farming used to be the backbone of the US. And in many places around the country it still is. However, the farming process itself can be a real environmental challenge for both the farmers and the people who live within a 3 to 10 mile radius of these farming communities.

Todays farmers use much more sophisticated farming methods, chemicals, hybrid seeds and equipment than the farmers of yesteryear. With the new fast growing seeds, that are impervious to many bugs and diseases and crop rotation, they can get better yields from a smaller farming area. In addition, they can now get two plantings of crops per year. So the actual tilling of the soil is done twice in each growing season.

This stirring of the soil creates some environmental issues. First, every time the soil is stirred up it releases tiny pieces of earth, mold, fungus and what ever else is in the soil into the air. And, farmers use a wet spray manure for fertilizer which is fecal material that can become airborne as it drys. If you live near a farm you know when they are applying this as the “ripe” odor is rather significant and lasts for a few days.

In addition to the particulate from the soil and the fertilizers you also have the pollen and other airborne plants particles that are released into the air during various growing stages of the crops. When you add all these up you have a “cornucopia” of airborne particulate that can be a cause for concern for those people who suffer from allergies and asthma or other respiratory issues.

Farmers who spend days in the field know these allergens can be a problem and that is why many of them wear respirators when on open farm equipment. The newer farm tractors and combines all have enclosed cabs with air conditioning and air filtration devices. This keeps the exposure of the farmers to the outside air to a minimum when tilling the soil or applying chemicals.

For those of you who live near or around these farming communities you need to understand that you are exposed to high concentrations of these airborne particles for extended periods of time. Many people who were healthy and had no allergies have developed significant allergies after months or years of exposure to these farming areas.

Pure Air Systems manufactures a line of HEPA based air filtration systems since 1985. Over the years PAS has provided its air filtration units as well as various air filtration products for the farmers homes as well as many of the residents who live in close proximity to these farms. Even people who live as far as 10 miles from these farms are susceptible to this “farming” dust as winds will carry these light airborne particles for miles. This is especially true on days when it is warm and dry and windy.

The HEPA filters used in the PAS systems are specifically designed to remove small, sub-micron, respirable sized particles. The units themselves offer the ability to both filter the air as well as allow for the introduction of small amounts of outside filtered fresh air.

For more information on the complete line of air filtration systems offered by Pure Air Systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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When Buying A New Home Look At The Road System First

It is always interesting to view homes when driving. Whether its a county dirt road or a major highway you are always within close proximity to someones place of residence. I’m sure that the people that live close to the roads enjoy the quick access and associated short drives to their destination. But are they sacrificing health for a quick trip to the store?

When cars and trucks  travel down any road tiny bits of dirt, dust and tire debris are thrown into the air. In addition, the amount of NO2 and NOX that is released from the exhausts can exceed the OSHA and ASHRAE limits when you are in close proximity to these effluents.

On a hot, dry, windless day you can often see the layers of dirt or dust hanging in the air close to a highway or dirt road. These layers of “hanging” dust obviously include particles that you can see ( usually larger than 20 microns in size) but this layer of dust also includes almost twice as many sub-micron particles ( usually less than 10 microns) that you can’t see.

When you combine the small, respirable sized particles along with the exhaust gases you have a fairly toxic chemical soup. While most homes along major highways are usually 200 to 400 feet or more from the road, a large number of homes rest within 50 t0 100 feet from secondary and dirt roads.  The air currents from the traffic alone will push the airborne pollution away from the roads and toward the homes. Add some wind and you could  have a pollution cloud around your house 12 to 24 hours a day.

On mild days many people open their windows or doors and allow the “fresh” air to come into the homes. If your home is in a low traffic zone you will notice a little outside dust on the furniture and flat surfaces. However, for those people living close to or near roads that are heavily used, you may find that after only a few hours there is a layer of dust and dirt every where. In fact many of these “close to the road” homeowners may not be able to open their windows at all at anytime of the year.

This issue is not limited to just the summer months. Since most homes use forced air ducted heating/cooling systems they employ a series of supply and return air grills located throughout the house.  Often times the systems are not properly balanced and there is more return air than supply air pulled through the HVAC system. This creates a negative pressure in the house as the additional return air is pulled from the outside through small openings and communication points in the shell of the house.

Since the air outside has a large amount of this airborne particulate, some of that will be pulled into the house. This is why you can have a substantial amount of dust in the house even though the house is buttoned up.

Pure Air Systems offers a complete line of whole-house HEPA based air filtration systems that attach to the return air side of your HVAC systems. These unit have carbon media as well so they can effectively remove both the small airborne particles as well as the gaseous contaminants. In addition, the PAS units can assist in keeping the home pressurized to eliminate the negative air issue.

For more information go to their website at: www.pureairsystems.com.

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Finding The Best Air Filtration System

Years ago the most often used resource to get information on a product or process was to go to your best friend, associate or family member. They would recommend a product or contact or store and you would consider their comments as gospel. You didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else for information since this process has always served you well. Or did it?

Getting information from one source on a product or service that is important to you is no longer the best path to success. The internet now offers you the opportunity to obtain information on any product, process or service from thousands of resources; some reliable some not.

You now have the ability to gather information from a wide range of resources including; published articles from journals, universities, government, business and end users. You also can access clubs or groups that specialize in working with or using a specific type of product or service with excellent feedback on the validity of the products performance.

So when it comes to finding the best type of air filtration systems, air purifier or furnace filter for your residential or commercial application, this same information gathering process is available.

Most companies that offer air filtration systems have websites that offer both technical information as well as the ability to purchase their equipment on the site. When viewing these sites it is important that you look at the information on the product, how it works, the overall efficiency of the systems and the length of time the company has been in business.

As with any competitive business, the filter industry has its share of products that are more gimmick than performance. This is especially true of the filtration industry where some technologies such as ozone generators or electronic air cleaners are rated as efficient as HEPA filters.

Your first step is to determine your specific filtration needs; be it a single room filter device, home, office, laboratory etc. Then the overall effectiveness required. Are you looking to just remove some of the larger airborne particles? Are you an allergy sufferer? Do you also have an odor problem? Is this a clean room type application?

Once you have determined your needs, you want to find the types of filter companies that sell those specific systems or filters and start gathering information. Secondly, you want to go to the informational sites where there are published articles that discuss that specific type of filter mechanism or media.

Third, and this is very important, you want to find some third party references that have used or are using that specific type of filter device or media.  Once you gather all this information you can now be more objective in your filter selection process.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems since 1985 and has systems installed around the world. Their website has a lot of technical information on their systems as well as the competition for your review. For more information on the PAS line of filtration systems and media please go to: www.pureairsystems. com

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Healthy, Environmental Room Design

When discussing quality of life issues the issue of good health is always one of the primary discussion points. Most of us are aware of the health challenges when we don’t eat the proper foods or too much food and we always are striving to exercise more to keep our bodies and hearts in better shape. Yet when it comes to the environments in which we live and breathe and spend most of our waking hours we often don’t think about them as a quality of life issue.

The quality of indoor air, whether it pertains to your home, office or place of work, is fast becoming a major quality of life issue. And the condition of the work or living environment has a huge impact on your health.

Because most of us spend a good portion of our lives breathing the air in some type of indoor environment it is essential that the air we breathe indoors is as clean and contaminant free as possible. In addition, the rate of fresh air exchange ndoors is necessary to minimize CO2 build-up.

To minimize the entry of airborne particles in the indoor environment it is necessary to first look at the types of furniture and electrical devices that are used in the specific indoor environment.

Less expensive wood laminates tend to off-gas and can create some respiratory issues. The collection of paper, books and paper products produce tiny particles every time they are opened or leafed through. The use of laser printers, copiers and fax machines all produce some  type of ozone when running.

Carpeting can act as a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens whereas hard wood floors or tile create fewer of those issues. The use of indirect lighting can also provide for less glare and eye strain when looking at computer screens for extended periods of time.

One of the major challenges with maintaining a healthy indoor environment is the heating/cooling and air exchange issue. Maintaining a comfortable air temperature and humidity level in the environment is essential to proper indoor air quality. Most importantly is the ability to have at least 2 to 4 air changes per hour in a occupied environment.

Even with a minimum number of occupants in any room or office environment, the combination of airborne contaminants being produced from all the furniture and equipment plus the CO2 being produced from the individuals themselves, the level of indoor air quality and its affect on the human body can be significant.

Pure Air Systems offers a complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems designed to be used in conjunction with the central heating/cooling systems or as stand alone units for individual areas. These units will remove the harmful airborne particulate as well as reduce the level of gases and odors and offer the ability to introduce fresh, filtered outside air to reduce the level of CO2 in a room and provide for a significant number of fresh air changes.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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Why Is It So Difficult To Test The Air In My House?

The term “IAQ” or Indoor Air Quality has been used to relate to the condition of the indoor environment in which we live and work. Often times this term is used in conjunction with companies trying to sell a device or filtering system to help you improve your indoor air quality.

But what is in my indoor air that creates this “quality” problem? And, more importantly, how do I get my indoor air tested to determine the “quality” of the air I breathe?

In a number of TV commercials that promote various types of air filters they show (graphically) the types of potential airborne contaminants that may be in your air including dust mite feces, bacteria, dust particles, pollen, etc.  These specific particles are usually from less than 1 micron to 10 microns in size so they are invisible to the naked eye. We can see particles that are about 25 microns in size.

In addition to these particles there are also gaseous molecules that are released into the air from things such as household cleaning fluids, appliances, cooking odors and off-gassing from furniture and carpets. All of these particles and gaseous molecules make up the environmental “soup” that affects IAQ.

Testing  for the specific types of particles and gases in a home, office or any environment is not a simple process.  For example, to test for the types and levels of bacteria in an environment requires some special petri dishes and sampling devices. Once the samples are taken, it is then necessary to have these plates incubated at a certain temperature for a certain time and then evaluated for species and quantity by a  trained, degreed scientist.

Testing for particles in the air is even more difficult. This is where the “CSI” type of equipment is required. To ascertain the specific type of particulate requires very expensive equipment and highly trained technicians.

To determine the specific type of gas or odor requires a very expensive ( usually $25K or more) Trace Gas Analyzer and the ability to understand how to use it.

If you used the above referenced testing protocol and equipment and had to pay for the readings and report, you would probably have to spend upwards of $2,500 to $4,000. And that may be low. So, when someone says they can test the air in your house using one simple device and do it for under $200.00, you need to seriously question this process.

Rather than testing the indoor air, we suggest you do two things. First, make sure your home is properly heated and cooled and that you have no condensation on the windows or free moisture in the house. This creates mold and bacteria problems. Second, use the best available air filter technology available to ensure the capture of these small, micron sized particles.

Pure Air Systems offers the finest HEPA based, commercial grade air filtration systems on the market today. In addition, these filtration systems include carbon media for the adsorption of gases and odors. HEPA filters are the most effective means of removing and reducing the levels of harmful airborne particles. For more information on indoor air quality and the HEPA air filtration systems, go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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No Bacteria – Big Problem

Bacteria is your friend…almost 99% of them h helpful. Really? While certain bacteria exist that are malignant to the human body, there are many more bacteria that are benign.

Bacteria are an important group of living organisms. Most of them are microscopic and have a tough protective layer that encloses the bacteria.  Bacteria can be categorized as living cells unlike viruses and are found everywhere. From the tallest mountains to the deepest oceans the world is full of bacteria.

As stated earlier almost 99% of bacteria or helpful, disease is only caused by a few of them. There are a number of helpful bacteria. Some of these are:

* Certain types of bacteria live in the intestines of human beings. They help in the digestion and in destroying the harmful organisms. Intestinal bacteria also produce some vitamins required by the human body.

* Certain bacteria help break down lactose in the digestive tract.

* Saccharomyces boulardi is found to reduce risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children.

* Some bacteria present on the skin protect us from the spread of certain fungus.

* There are many types of bacteria that live inside the mouth, nose, throat and intestines of humans. These bacteria get a place to live and feed while keeping other harmful microbes from taking up residence.

*There are some friendly bacteria such as intestinal flora or micro flora which are good for human health. These healthy stomach bacteria are helpful to release many useful vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin K.

Obviously there are also some harmful bacteria such as those that act as pathogens and cause tetanus, typhoid fever, pneumonia, cholera and tuberculosis. Harmful bacteria in food cause botulism. And, there are now some strains of bacteria that are resistant most anti-biotics.

While washing hands with antiseptic soap will kill bacteria, many bacteria are airborne and require some form of highly efficient air filtration media to be removed effectively. In the hospital and medical facilities, HEPA filters are the standard media used to ensure the removal of harmful airborne bacteria and pathogens.

Pure Air Systems has been making commercial grade HEPA based air filtration systems since 1985. These certified HEPA systems are used in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities around the world and have been used by thousands of homeowners. For more information on these systems and their abilities to remove harmful bacteria please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

One should realize that while good bacteria can survive without us, we cannot survive without good bacteria.

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Cutting Electrical Costs Using ECM Motors

Everyone who owns a home knows that the costs of home ownership go well beyond just paying the mortgage, insurance and taxes. It also includes the cost of heating and cooling the home; which can be significant.

One of the major uses of electricity is the electrical motor that turns the fan in the forced air heating/cooling system found in most homes. The motors range in horsepower from 1/3 to 3/4 HP and many of them are the standard induction motors. These motors use a lot of electricity and are relatively inefficient; often running 12 to 24 hours per day especially in the hottest and coldest months of the year.

Depending upon the electrical costs in your area; usually measured in costs per kilowatt hour, your overall electrical costs to run your home may range from as low as $50.00 per month to upwards of $300.00 per month or more for larger homes. Interestingly almost 40% to 50% of these costs may come from running the heating/cooling fan motors.

Since the early 2000’s the ECM motors or Electrically Commutated Motors were introduced ( BY GE). Unlike standard induction motors that use windings and have only two to three speeds available, the ECM motors use a series of magnets to turn the motor shaft and have a speed range that runs from less than 10% to 100% of available power ….and this can be digitally controlled in 1% increments so you have a very wide range of speeds to run the motor.

Not  only does this variable speed capability allow for better air flow control for your heating/cooling fan but is also uses up to 50% less electricity than the standard induction motors running at the same horsepower.

Pure Air Systems was the first HEPA based air filtration company to introduce these motors as the main motor drive unit for the complete line of fan powered, commercial grade, certified HEPA systems.  In fact, PAS introduced the GE ECM motor drive systems in 1999, almost 3 years before these motors were introduced into the HVAC systems. Today, the ECM motors are ubiquitous in the heating/cooling and appliance industries.

Aside from their variable speed and low power consumption capabilities, they are also capable of being programed for a variety of applications. For the HEPA units these motors are capable of automatically ramping up when the pressure drop across the HEPA filter starts to increase and thus maintaining the same air volume throughout the life of the HEPA filters.

When the HEPA units are used in conjunction with a heating/cooling system also using the ECM motors, you have the best of both worlds.

For more information on the Pure Air Systems ECM driven HEPA systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems. com

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