Scientists Say There's a Link Between
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and
The Rise in Asthma and Allergies among Children.

Here's Information That Should Help Clear The Air

The Environmental Protection Agency recently proclaimed that the escalation of allergies and asthma among children is a national crisis. Former President Clinton issued an Executive Order "Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks" which asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to addresses this concern and the need to reduce environmental risks.

The American Lung Association has estimated that 14.6 million Americans suffer from asthma, 4.8 million are under the age of 18. They also reported:

  • Between 1982 and 1994, the number of people with asthma increased by 61.2%.
  • During this same time period the number of children with asthma increased by 72.3%.
  • Asthma can kill. 2,598 people in 1979 and 5,167 in 1993 an increase of 99%.
  • There is increasing evidence of a major role played by air pollution as a trigger for asthma.
  • Air pollution of primary concern are dust mites, molds, animal dusts, dust particles especially soot (bus, truck, car and smoke stacks), volatile organic compounds, pollens, acidic particles, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and tobacco smoke.
  • Dust particles including soot smaller than 2.5 microns in size are of primary concern. Particles smaller than 2.5 micron are considered respirable and readily penetrate the deep lung and represent the most serious threat.
  • 115 million people or 45% of the U.S. population live in areas with respirable dust levels above national standards.

For additional information about asthma and allergies contact the American Lung Association at 1-800-586-4872.

Air cleaners, properly designed and operated, can be effective at reducing a person’s exposures to most of the risk factors associated with asthma and allergies.

Air filters must be effective at removing dust particles smaller than 2.5 microns in size in order to be of help. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger. Volatile organic compounds which are gaseous will pass through a HEPA filter. Charcoal is needed to collect the majority of volatile organic compounds present in the air.

Many of the common low grade furnace filters sold today have about a 1% collection efficiency against 2.5 micron size particles and have no ability to remove volatile organic compounds.

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