Austin Air Purifiers Trusted by FEMA and the Red Cross

Austin Air Purifiers Trusted by FEMA and the Red Cross

Austin Air FEMA

It’s something we do all day, every day with very little thought: breathing. And, too often too little thought is given to the quality of what we are bringing into our bodies daily through our breath, through our lungs.  But, as concerns over indoor pollution grow, air purifiers are becoming more popular and Austin Air home air purifier units are one choice that should not be overlooked.

Austin Air is a manufacturer of air purifiers and their units were chosen by the U.S Government to help address the crucial air quality issues in New York during the aftermath of 9/11.  They fulfilled an order for air cleaners that was the single largest deployment of air purification units ever in U.S. history, and were chosen under the careful guidelines of FEMA and the Red Cross.  The home air purifiers that are made by them are said to have been designed from the inside out, with their engineers focusing first on the most important element of the air cleaner, the filter.  Austin Air units have a unique air intake system that is able to pull air in from all sides, or a full 360 degrees. This particular design allows for maximum intake efficiency and allows for more purified air to be delivered faster into the home environment.  Every minute that an air cleaner of theirs is operating, 250 cubic feet of air is able to be processed through a four-stage filtering system that step-by-step progressively removes the contaminants from the air.

The manufacturers claim that this high level of processing the air enables their air cleaners to: reach the highest possible levels of performance; achieve superior air flow levels; offer a longer filter life (estimated at 5-years with basic residential use); and extend the life expectancy of the Medical Grade HEPA used (the most important aspect of the filtration process). In order for any home air cleaner to be truly effective in a given space, it must be capable of removing sub-micron particles, chemicals and noxious gases. It must also be able to achieve this without creating unwanted by products, such as ozone.  Their cleaner units, regardless of the size of the unit, included true Medical Grade HEPA filtration material, and activated carbon, which are claimed by the manufacturer to be the only trusted air filtration system technology that is widely used in operating rooms and throughout hospital settings.  True HEPA is a standard for filtration that was devised by the Atomic Energy Commission with the intent of safeguarding the respiratory system in humans, and is the most effective media for filtering particulate that is available on the market. This is the grade of air purifier filter material used in their systems. True Medical Grade HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns, and can catch 95% of the particulates of 0.1 microns and smaller.

Austin Air also employs specially manufactured Activated Carbon in its air cleaners. Activated Carbon is very porous and this gives the carbon more surface area in which to absorb the impurities in the air such as noxious gases and cigarette smoke. The manufacturers also say that their room air cleaner units do not generate any type of by-products.

If you are having allergic reactions, especially when in your home, or have developed asthma or other respiratory conditions, then you should investigate the benefits of using an Austin Air room air purifier in your home.

Nordic Pure is proud to carry Austin Air purifiers. Click here for available units.

This article is written by Austin Air. The original article is located here.at http://austinair.com/2011/10/austin-air-purifiers-trusted-by-fema/

 

HOW INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AFFECTS US

HOW INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AFFECTS US

How indoor air quality affects us
Many of us are correctly concerned about the pollution and contaminants in the outside air we are breathing. Where I live, for example, the community is concerned about the amount of emissions from the nearby factories and the growing amount of traffic on the roads. We are concerned about inversion during the spring and take steps to improve the quality of the air.

Indoor Air vs. Outdoor Air

However, one place that many of us overlook, when it comes to breathing clean air, is the air inside our own homes. While we should take steps to improving the air quality of our communities, we also need to focus on the air inside. Information from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and other scientific sources tell use the air inside our homes, work places, and other buildings is often much more polluted than the air outside. This number ranges from two times more polluted to over a thousand times more polluted than the outside air. Consider the fact that most of us are spending the majority of our time (about 90%) indoors and this means that we are subjected to many more contaminants inside than those which are breathing while we are outside.

The Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Just where does all of that indoor air pollution come from? There are two main causes of indoor air pollution: the contaminants themselves and the lack of proper ventilation.

Indoor Air Contaminants

There are quite a few natural and man-made air pollutants which lead to indoor air pollution. These include: Natural Contaminants

  • Moisture leading to mold and mildew
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Cockroaches, dust mites, and other pests
  • Bacteria, viruses, and other airborne pathogens

Man-made Contaminants

  • Building and furnishing materials
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Central heating and cooling systems
  • heating materials used by furnaces
  • Pesticides

Lack of Proper Ventilation

Many of us work hard to prevent the flow of air between the inside of our homes and the outside of our homes. After all, the costs of heating and cooling the building are much less when we can keep out the chill of winter and the heat of the summer. As we work to improve the insulation of our homes, however, we do need to keep in mind the fact that the pollutants inside our home will continue to accumulate until our health can no longer withstand the levels of contaminated air. In the struggle to save money on our energy bills, we mustn’t lose sight of the healthcare costs that can be attributed to preventing fresh air from making its way through our homes, offices, and the other buildings where we spend so much of our days.

The Effects of Poor Air Quality

There are many different effects of poor air quality and these will be felt more or less depending upon each individual. In some cases, the introduction of fresh air throughout the building can remove the effects and in other situations entire buildings will need to be renovated in order to remove pollutants which are causing life-threatening symptoms.

What are some of the first symptoms you’ll feel when you have poor air quality in your home?

Everyone, whether they suffer from asthma and allergies or not, can feel the effects of air pollution over time. The most common symptoms include:

  • headaches, itchy irritation of the eyes, the nose, and the throat, unexplained fatigue, typical allergy symptoms, and dizziness

Unfortunately for many people, by the time the cause of these symptoms has been discovered, the physical effects of breathing in poor quality air may have developed into more serious conditions. These may include:

  • asthma, humidifier fever, pneumonitis, respiratory tract infections, deep coughs, and general susceptibility to other damaging health conditions

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, other effects of poor indoor air quality include reduced attendance and productivity and decreased abilities to concentrate, calculate, and memorize information. The same document describes the deterioration of buildings as indoor pollutants take their toll. It also goes on to state that family, work, school, and other social relationships will feel a strain when the people involved are suffering from the effects of poor indoor air quality.

The Good News

With the realization that your home, the place where many of us feel safest, may actually be the cause of your discomfort or the development of health-threatening conditions, you may wonder what you can do to correct this situation. Fortunately, there are some simple steps which you can take; and in many cases, you can implement these steps at the work place as well. First, take steps to improve the ventilation of your home. Open the windows when the weather is nice. During the summer months, you might open the windows during the cool nights. Use fans to circulate this cooler air through your home, improving the ventilation of your home and reducing the costs associated with running the air conditioning through the night. Second, pay attention to your ventilation system. Make sure that any appliances are properly vented to the outside. Pay attention to where that vented air will flow once outside. (Vents near windows could exacerbate the problem.) Routinely clean vents and filters. Third, think about your use of cleaning chemicals. In some cases, you may be able to eliminate some of the air pollution in your home by switching from the use of chemical cleaners to warm water and a mild detergent. You may also consider only using certain cleaners on days when you can ventilate the home as you clean. Fourth, contact a professional in the field of air purification. These qualified men and women can work with you to install a heating and cooling system with a home dehumidifier (when needed) which will provide sufficient ventilation and which will also filter out pollutants. In some cases, the qualified professional may be willing to consult with you about other steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. Fifth, choose plants which have air purifying effects. While plants can’t undo all of the effects of indoor air pollution, when they are used in conjunction with the above steps, air purifying plants, such as the Peace Lily, English Ivy, and the Gerber Daisy, can improve the air and provide other important benefits in your home.

Featured images:

Lauren Hill does her best to live a green life and takes air contaminates seriously.  You’ll find her writing on subjects from gardening to air quality all over the internet.  You can follow her on Google+ or at www.laurenqhill.com

What is Pollen Count?

What is Pollen Count?

Pollens causing you to sneeze?
Content provided by Healthwise
 
Pollen Count measures the amount of pollen allergens in the air. Pollen counts are stated as grains of pollen per cubic meter of air.

 

 

 

Weeds

  • 1 to 9 is a low pollen count.
  • 10 to 49 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 50 to 499 is a high pollen count.
  • 500 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Grasses

  • 1 to 4 is a low pollen count.
  • 5 to 19 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 20 to 199 is a high pollen count.
  • 200 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Trees

  • 1 to 14 is a low pollen count.
  • 15 to 89 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 90 to 1,499 is a high pollen count.
  • 1,500 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Molds

Mold produces spores that move, like pollen, in outdoor air during warmer months.

  • 1 to 6,499 is a low spore count.
  • 6,500 to 12,999 is a moderate spore count.
  • 13,000 to 49,999 is a high spore count.
  • 50,000 or higher is a very high spore count.

During the allergy season, local TV stations, newspapers, or medical centers may report pollen counts. If you have allergies, find out who reports pollen counts, so you can avoid pollen when the counts are high. You may also look up the National Allergy Bureau’s Web site for pollen count information at www.aaaai.org.

Indoor Air Test Kits

Indoor Air Test Kits

The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) offers complete and comprehensive indoor environmental laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. The EDL supports IEQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses. EDLab has analyzed over 100,000 samples since 1992.

All EDL microbiological reports are prepared with a glossary describing each organism at both the genus and species level. EDLab is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP # 102795) for bacteriology, mycology and microscopy.

See information below about the Mold and Allergen test kits that are analyzed by EDLab:

Mold Screen Check (MSC)

Mold test kit

Molds are part of natural environment, including air, surface and water. Mold may be allergenic, pathogenic and toxic in nature. Mold Screen kit is capable of collecting a number of different types of mold from various surfaces. A full scan of collect specimen by microscopic technique yields qualitative and quantitative information on prevailing fungal elements/molds. Mold Screen test kit is ideal for collecting mold from surfaces. The findings of MSC are reported in terms of counts/cm2 for each identified type of fungi/mold.

A comprehensive laboratory report is included.

* Identifies hundreds of types of Molds (cts/cm2)
* Quick and Easy Bio-Scan400 test
* Includes Sample Collection Device
* Complete Instructions with Chain of Custody
* Includes AIHA Accredited Lab Analysis for Fungi/Molds
* Free Mold Fact Sheet
* Professional Approach for Fungal/Mold Elements Collection

Allergen Screen Check (ASC)

Allergen

Allergen test

Screen is designed to collect precipitated biological or a-biological allergens. A full scan of Allergen Screen with microscopic techniques provides valuable information both qualitatively and quantitatively on the collected specimens.

Some commonly identified allergens from the indoor environment are pollen, mold, fibers, skin cells, insect fragments and several other inorganic and organic particulates. Allergen Screen kit is ideal for indoor environmental investigation, allergy sufferers, asthma patients, clean room evaluation, etc. The findings of ASC are reported in counts/cm2 for each identified allergen particles.

A comprehensive laboratory report is included.
* Identifies pollen, mold, fibers, insect biodetrites, skin cells, (cts/m2)
* Quick and Easy
* Includes Sample Collection Device
* Complete Instructions with Chain of Custody
* Includes AIHA Accredited Lab Analysis for Allergens
* FreeAllergen Fact Sheet
* Same Samples Used by Professionals

Go to http://www.NordicPure.com and click on Indoor Air Test Kits on the menu to see all the different Check Screens that are available.