Health Effects – Problems Resulting from Mold

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Mold — In addition to the unpleasant appearance and overall nuisance that mold can cause as it damages materials and the smell that we may encounter, these fungi can also cause problems, some serious, to our health.  One of the main health issues that can result are respiratory allergies, but also observed are infectious and even toxic reactions.  To help better understand, we have divided this subject into three topics.

Allergies: Currently, it is estimated that approximately 30% of the population have allergies and that number is expected to increase to 50% by the middle of the century. There are several agents that can trigger allergies, among them, mold. The allergic response will depend on the sensitivity of the exposed person, the amount of mold they are in contact with, and the species. The amount of allergens to mold varies widely between regions and these molds are capable of triggering allergies such as respiratory, such as rhinitis, allergic sinusitis and atopic asthma.

Symptoms of rhinitis include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, in addition to sneezing, sometimes in repetition. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which leads to pain in the area, as well as headaches and even earaches and in the region of the jaw. Asthma is characterized mainly by lack of air and wheezing in the chest.

The treatment of these diseases should be monitored by an allergist doctor and not only by prescription medication, when necessary, to environmental control, with reduction of exposure to mold.

Infectious reactions:  Although this type of reaction is not easily understood, mold infections have become increasingly common in recent years due to changes in population susceptibility.  Those with a suppressed immune system have a higher risk of acquiring fungal infections. Included in the risk group are elderly, patients with AIDS, cancer patients or under treatment for cancer and transplanted individuals.  The most common mold acquired through airborne transmission is one of the most commonly found fungi in homes around the world.  Those infected can experience very serious lung infections and it can be very difficult to diagnose.   Fungal infections may occur after a hospital admission, but it is important to note that a person’s home environment, if left uncontrolled, can produce high amounts of mold and can increase your risk of acquiring invasive fungal infections.   It is very important to reduce exposure to mold either in the hospital setting or at home.

Toxic reactions: Some species of fungi, under certain environmental conditions, are capable of producing toxins, generally referred to as mycotoxins.  Today, more than 300 mycotoxins are known, and although major studies are focused on toxins produced by molds in food, other research has shown that exposure indoors can also cause possible damage.  Recent studies have Stachybotrys chartarum, a kind of mold found indoors which can cause toxic problems for people, to be dangerous and can cause many respiratory and-pulmonary  problems What most health experts recommend is controlled measures like an air purifier which kills mold is necessary to maintain indoor air quality.  

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What are Some Signs of Mold Illness?

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Would you know the difference if you were sick from a cold, flu or virus or if in fact you were sick from mold?  Mold can cause serious health problems especially when it is in your home or workplace.  Mold is sneaky and can be found nearly everywhere and anywhere, but mold is most likely to occur in climates with a lot of rain or humidity as it is the moisture that creates the perfect breeding ground for it to thrive.

Mold grows and multiplies by releasing spores into the air that are so small that it cannot be seen by the naked eye and in turn people inhale them.  You can also come in contact with mold through your skin by touching a surface that has unseen mold on it and then touching your face and or mouth allowing it to get into your body.  Once in the body, mold can cause health problems that resemble an illness.  Some of the signs of mold illness are:

  1. Breathing problems – the most commonly reported signs of mold illness are difficulties with breathing.  Being unable to breathe deeply, coughing, wheezing or sinus problems are likely symptoms of mold illness.
  2. Digestive problems – diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea and the lack of appetite are some of the digestive signs of a mold illness.
  3. Muscle pain – pain can be anywhere in the body and can appear as cramps and sharp pin prick pains that were not brought on from stress or strain.
  4. Tingling, numbness or twitching – those that have suffered from a mold illness have also expressed that they had experienced pins and needles in their hand/limbs.
  5. Feeling of depression – researchers found that homes that are damp/wet also has an effect of those living there and their mood.  Feeling stressed is normal when you feel you have little to no control over your environment that is causing mold.  Adding plants to help clean the air, running fans and by adding an Airfree Air Purifier is a good place to start in the clean air process.
  6. Headaches, itch red eyes as well as blurred vision may also be related to mold illnesses.

As always we recommend consulting with your physician should you experience any/all of these symptoms for a correct diagnosis.   

We firmly believe in our company mission –  To combine the best technology and design, to turn our clients’ needs into innovative solutions for indoor atmospheres, whether for health reasons, comfort or to increase productivity.  Check us out at www.airfree.com for a purifier that will work best for you.

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ALLERGIES IN PETS

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We know that people can suffer from allergies to pets, dogs or cats that live in our home.  But did you know that your pet can also suffer from allergies?

In this article we share a different approach, showing that our “4-legged friends” are also subject to having allergies and can suffer from them.  Allergies can affect dogs, cats, birds, rodents and other pets, but statistics on how many animals who suffer from allergies vary widely between studies, starting at 4% and up to 35%.

The analysis of numbers has been made showing that the main allergies that present in dogs and cats are: allergic dermatitis to saliva of parasites (for example, allergy to the flea bite that leads to eruptions and itching on the spot), dermatitis Atopic and food allergies.

 

CONTACT DERMATITIS – Presents as itchy skin lesions, red bumps or blisters and can also cause hair loss in chronic conditions.  Contact dermatitis can be the result of allergies to carpets, cleaners and plastics and can also be from environmental agents such as house dust mites.

FOOD ALLERGIES – They result from a reaction of the immune system to certain proteins present in foods and dyes. The symptoms are the same as the other allergies: incessant itching, ear problems and skin infections.

ATOPY  – It is the most common form of allergy in dogs and cats.  Atopy is often seasonal and can affect your pet during the spring months and even in the fall if your pet is allergic to ragweed.  If your pet is allergic to dust mites then your pet may be most affected in winter as they tend to spend more time inside your home.

Allergic reactions can be so severe that the animal stops playing, sleeping or eating, to scratch. Whenscratching is left untreated, it can result in wounds to the affected sites, accompanied by itching and loss of hair in the region, with increased risk of infections.

It is also advisable that the owner of the animal be aware of the frequent itching in the legs and feet.

RESPIRATORY ALLERGIES – although not being very common, should not be neglected.

Winter, with snow and rain causes increased air humidity in the home – and hence increased house dust and mites which can trigger, as in humans, respiratory problems in dogs and cats.

There are studies that also associate increased pollution with symptoms such as red and watery eyes, inflammation of nasal mucus and coughing that may advance if your pet already has some type of chronic respiratory disease, such as bronchitis or asthma.  Therefore symptoms are more severe, withlack of air.

In general, the symptoms of allergies can appear between six months and two years of age of your pet. However, because some symptoms are very close, the diagnosis could take longer to determine.

Take your pet regularly to the vet!  A specialist in “4-legged friends” should be consulted regularly, as each type of allergy has a treatment.

And if in some cases there is no cure, at least there are special care for the greater animal welfare and tranquility of the owners.

 

HOW TO BEST PREVENT AND PROTECT PETS TO ALLERGIES:

 

– Protect the pet throughout the year, using preventive medicines for fleas.

– Give your pets food that are free of dyes and if your pet presents an allergy to any of the food you offer – make the switch.   Be sure your pet doesn’t consume foods that are not fit for consumption.

– Keep the environment free of dust to help reduce the amount of dust mites.  Vacuum frequently and be sure to wash your laundry in water that is roughly 131°  F.   Do not forget to cover your mattresses and also wash them weekly.

– When bathing your pet, choose a hypoallergenic shampoos.  Hypoallergenic products will not remove the skin’s fatty layer which also works as a natural protector to your pets coat.   Use warm or cool water and always avoid hot water.

– If your animal has a very frequent itching that prevents it to carry out your activities, take it immediately to a veterinarian or a specialist in dermatology.  Do not wait for your pet to lose fur and run the risk of having a more sever reaction.

 

YOUR PET & AIRFREE

Owing a pet should not be stressful – that is where Airfree comes into play.  Airfree offers benefits not only to the pet but also to you, the owner!

 

Our Airfree Air Purifier will destroy the allergens of domestic animals, as our beloved companions accumulate pollen, mites, mold and bacteria in their fur and hair, bringing them into the house.

 

All of our Airfree models are 99% efficient and incinerates any microorganism that enters.  It also promotes the destruction of organic particles that causes the characteristic smell of your pet, keeping your environment from any unpleasant pet odors.

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Did you know that a live Christmas tree can also cause issues for asthmatics and those allergic to mold?

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With Christmas only days away, people have now begun taking out their boxes of ornaments and décor to which they will strategically place around their home.  More often than not, people store their holiday treasures in attics, basements and eaves where after sitting in storage for a year, can be found covered in some dust.  Taking out these packages and shaking them out can release a lot of mold spores as well as dust in the air creating a problem breathing space.  Christmas trees are cut down months in advance to be sent all over the US and then they are sitting out in the elements (getting wet and moldy), waiting to be bought, and then we bring them into our home!  How can you prepare your home and maintain it’s healthy atmosphere during this fun and festive time?  Airfree offers the best and most practical solution to keep your indoor air fresh, clean and healthy to allow everyone to enjoy the season.

The effectiveness and benefits of an Airfree Air Purifier go above and beyond any other purifier on the market.  The effectiveness of Airfree air purifiers at reducing the amount of microorganisms and harmful substances from the air has been proven by INETI and dozens of other international laboratories. Airfree air purifiers are effective against bacteria, viruses, mildew, mold, dust mite allergens, pet allergens, pollen and tobacco odors.

So what are you waiting for? Unwrap your favorite ornaments and hidden treasures and let’s all get into the holiday spirit!

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Quality indoor air can improve office productivity by 10%

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Employers are always trying to find ways to improve productivity with their employees as it is said “happy employees brings happy customers equaling a successful company.”  There are a number of scientific studies indicating that elevated temperatures and poor indoor air quality can negatively affect a workers performance.   A 2013 study from the Technical University of Denmark by indoor climate scientists Wargocki and Wyon revealed that by improving indoor environments can influence work productivity by up to 10%.  A couple of their main findings were that if a company increased their natural daylight exposure and provided natural ventilation to prevent overheating, that it significantly improved employee outcomes.

Not only are these two things better for worker productivity, but it is important to their overall HEALTH.   Allowing employees access to natural daylight is ultra-important and essential to their health.  While accessing natural daylight is easy, providing natural ventilation may not be.  What options are available?  Airfree Air Purifiers can help!  By purchasing and running an Airfree Air Purifier in your office it can destroy even the smallest of airborne microorganisms and reduce indoor air allergens and triggers therefore cleaning the office air allowing for clean and fresh air.

Our Air Purifiers use unique ceramic heating chambers without any ozone being used. An Airfree air purifier destroys airborne allergens such as all types of fungus, including those from dust mite feces, mold spores, and most pollutants in the air.

Remember – Happy Employees brings Happy Customers and that will equal a SUCCESSFUL COMPANY!

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