Acetaminophen increases the risk of childhood asthma.
Dr. John T. McBride, Akron Children’s Hospital.
The sharp worldwide increase in childhood asthma over the past 30 years has long perplexed researchers, who have considered explanations as varied as improved hygiene and immunizations. Over the last decade, however, a new idea has emerged.
The asthma epidemic accelerated in the 1980s, some researchers have noted, about the same time that aspirin was linked to Reye’s syndrome in children. Doctors stopped giving aspirin to children with fevers, opting instead for acetaminophen. In a paper published in The Annals of Allergy and Asthma Immunology in 1998, Dr. Arthur Varner, then a fellow in the immunology training program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, argued that the switch to acetaminophen might have fueled the increase in asthma.
Since then, more than 20 studies have produced results in support of his theory, including a large analysis of data on more than 200,000 children that found an increased risk of asthma among children who had taken acetaminophen. In November, Dr. John T. McBride, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio, published a paper in the journal Pediatrics arguing that the evidence for a link between acetaminophen and asthma is now strong enough for doctors to recommend that infants and children who have asthma (or are at risk for the disease) avoid acetaminophen.
Dr. McBride based his assertion on several lines of evidence. In addition to the timing of the asthma epidemic, he said, there is now a plausible explanation for how acetaminophen might provoke or worsen asthma, a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs. Even a single dose of acetaminophen can reduce the body’s levels of glutathione, a peptide that helps repair oxidative damage that can drive inflammation in the airways, researchers have found.
“Almost every study that’s looked for it has found a dose-response relationship between acetaminophen use and asthma,” Dr. McBride said. “The association is incredibly consistent across age, geography and culture.”
A statistical link between acetaminophen and asthma has turned up in studies of infants, children and adults. Studies have also found an increased risk of asthma in children whose mothers who took acetaminophen during pregnancy.
A study published by British researchers in 2000 using data from the Isaac study found that the prevalence of asthma increased in lock step with sales of acetaminophen in the 36 countries examined. The more acetaminophen used in a country, the greater that country’s prevalence of asthma.
A meta-analysis published in 2009 calculated that children who had taken acetaminophen in the past year had nearly double the risk of wheezing compared with those who had not taken the drug. “We know that acetaminophen can cause increased bronchial constriction and wheezing,” said Mahyar Etminan, a pharmacoepidemiologist at the University of British Columbia and lead author of the study.
Still, Dr. Etminan believes it is not yet clear that acetaminophen itself is responsible for the increasing prevalence of asthma. “Children who take acetaminophen are usually getting it for fever control, and they get fevers because they have viral infections, which on their own are associated with developing asthma later in life,” Dr. Etminan said. “It’s hard to tease out whether it’s the drug or the viral infection.”
Another potential problem, Mr. Etminan said, is that many of the studies required parents to accurately recall how much acetaminophen they gave their children, and how often. Parents whose children have asthma are likely to scrutinize the events that preceded an attack, he said, and thus may be more likely than other parents to recall giving their children the drug.
Other trials are in the works. Dr. Richard Beasley, a professor of medicine at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, is just completing a 12-week randomized controlled trial of acetaminophen to see if the drug provokes or worsens asthma in adults. The results of that trial will be completed next year. Dr. Beasley said the highest priority now should be rigorous trials to test whether acetaminophen use in infancy increases the risk of developing asthma.
“I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that acetaminophen makes asthma worse, but I can say that if I had a child with asthma, I would give him or her ibuprofen for the time being,” Dr. McBride said. “I think the burden of proof is now to show that it’s safe.”
Not all experts agree. “At this time I just don’t feel you can recommend one over the other,” said Dr. Stanley Szefler, head of pediatric clinical pharmacology at National Jewish Health in Denver. “They both have advantages and disadvantages.”
Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen, are known to provoke asthma attacks in some people, Dr. Beasley noted. He suggested a middle course for parents: Simply use acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) more sparingly. “We should be reserving paracetamol for very high fevers or for major pain relief,” he said. “We know that paracetamol is used much more widely than that — when a child is a bit irritable or teething or having an immunization.”
Acetaminophen has been shown to reduce the antibody response to immunizations, so the drug should not be given to children in advance of a vaccination, Dr. Beasley also noted.
Dr. Szefler and his colleagues are working on a study looking at early interventions for asthma that will also track asthma patterns in children who take either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fevers. The data will not answer all the questions, Dr. Szefler said, but they should provide more guidance for parents and pediatricians.
Dr. McBride, for one, is not waiting for results. “If studies prove that acetaminophen makes asthma worse,” he said, “I can’t imagine telling my patients that I knew about this five years ago, but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t mention it.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 22, 2011
An article on Tuesday about studies linking childhood asthma to use of acetaminophen, using information provided by a researcher, described glutathione, a compound in the body that helps repair oxidative damage, incorrectly. It is a peptide, not an enzyme.
"10 Plants That'll Gobble Up the Toxic Air
Inside Your Home"
You probably spend 90% of your time indoors, with pollutant levels 25-100 times higher than the air outside and containing over 1500 substances. But a NASA discovery says if you get 15 to 18 of these type of plants, they'll gobble up 87% of these "bad guys" in 24 hours...
Indoor air quality is a very big concern of mine. The following numbers pretty much speak for themselves, and can be both surprising and quite alarming at the same time…
Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors… some estimates go as high as 97%
Many homes and offices have airborne pollutant levels 25-100 times higher than the air outside
Over 1500 substances may be found in the typical North American home… some of which can emit toxic fumes
These numbers and statistics are not meant to frighten you… but simply to give you a wake-up call to what many folks unknowingly assume is okay… and that's indoor air quality.
Since I last examined this, I believe the average time folks spend indoors may have even increased.
Because very challenging winters in the cold climates of the US coupled with more work-at-home opportunities (and economy-driven employment issues) add up to people spending more time at home and indoors.
The good news is there are some very positive steps you can take to enhance the indoor air you breathe… and I'm here to help you do just that.
Why the Indoor Air in Your Home and Office is So Important
Have you ever spent time in an environment that invigorated you, and inspired you to think clearly and creatively?
Chances are this environment was somewhere outside in nature.
So what causes the air inside your home or office to not come close to having the same effect… or worse, to even reach high pollution levels?
First of all, the EPA tells us that the air outside your home establishes the baseline for your indoor air.
This seems to make perfect sense. It also means if you already live in an area with high levels of outside pollutants, your indoor air probably started out 'bad' before anything inside your house had a chance to impact it even further.
"Ever wonder why spending time in a natural pollution-free environment can be so invigorating?"
But once inside your home or office, the air you breathe can get worse and loads of other pollutants may be added from materials and faulty processes inside your home such as…
Materials and faulty processes:
Potential indoor air consequences:
Emitted chemicals .
Can harbor molds and dust mites .
Many engineered flooring products use formaldehyde-based resins to hold them together .
Household cleaners and chemicals
Common cleaning products can contain toxic substances that adversely affect your indoor air.
Damp inside environment and faulty plumbing
Can precipitate release of toxic substances into your air from mold, mildew, and other pollutants.
Pets and other animals
Can often increase your exposure to allergens.
Particularly, second-hand smoke.
Faulty ventilation, heating, or air conditioning equipment
Poor ventilation adds to the level of indoor pollutants. Dirty filters can make matters worse.
Many of these materials and situations listed above emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are unwanted gases.
Here's what I recommend you do to begin alleviating as much of this as possible…
What's the First Thing You Can Do to Improve Air Quality in
Your Home or Office?
Bringing a bit of nature indoors with houseplants is an excellent idea and can help make you feel a bit more cheery
Living closer to nature may actually even help increase your quality of life.
"Household plants like this African violet can help to enhance your indoor air quality"
It was NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), that conducted a classic study on the benefits of plants on indoor air.
NASA reported that houseplants were able to reduce up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. They recommended using 15 to 18 'good-sized' houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1800 square-foot house.
And not just any house plants will do… here's a list of the top 10 anti-pollutant plants rated best by The New Ecologist.com…
The Feston Rose plant
NASA, at the Stennis Space Center, also constructed what they called a BioHome, which incorporated bioregenerative technology with the ultimate goal of providing a life support system for permanent human habitation in space.
And inside the BioHome structure are common houseplants, which NASA says act as living air purifiers to absorb as much chemical pollutants as possible from synthetic materials in the living area.
If houseplants are capable of cleansing the air in the BioHome, imagine what they could do in your home!
Mold Is a Common Issue in Many Homes
One of the major motivating factors for me to seek to identify the highest quality home filter is that my home had a leak in the basement due to a crack in the foundation and the end result was mold.
Unfortunately this is all too common. Many homes are contaminated with mold as a result of flooding, water leaks from indoor plumbing, leaky roofs or leaky basement foundations.
You can use the search engine on this site to find recent detailed articles I have written that comprehensively addresses this, but I want to share a key principle that I learned that will save you loads of grief and potentially many thousands or tens of thousands of repair bills.
Please understand that no air filter in the world will eliminate mold problems. You must find the source of the water leakage and stop water intrusion into your home and make sure you control the humidity. The other key is to jump on this problem the moment you find it, do not delay as the longer you wait the more expensive the repairs will likely be.
Once you have been able to get the mold under control then you can introduce an air purification system based on the discussion below.
9 More Actions to Take Now to Enhance the Indoor Air You Breathe
Here's more of my extensive list on some of the important and straight-forward things I recommend you do to help improve your indoor air quality…
Indoor Air Enhancement Action:
Justification and Improvement Details:
1. Put a plan in place to keep your home clean naturally
Using only natural plant-based types of cleaners will help eliminate potential air pollutants. Even your laundry detergent can be a source of air fumes. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to source my own brand of natural plant-based enzyme laundry detergent.
2. Redo a portion of your home with a natural material
You may not be able to build a new natural home or office like I did, but you can make small changes using natural, healthy materials… like bamboo flooring for example.
3. Keep carpets vacuumed and cleaned using natural ingredients
Your carpet can be a breeding ground and saturation point for dust and pests that can eventually spew pollutants into your indoor air. Keeping your carpet clean with vacuuming and natural shampoos can help keep your air cleaner. Central vacuum cleaners are best
4. Avoid potential toxic fumes from unfiltered water
Unknown by many people, unfiltered chlorinated tap water is a potential source of toxic fumes. And it’s not just drinking water you need to be concerned about. Your shower can be up to 20 times worse than drinking unfiltered tap water. The solution here is quite simple… obtain a high-quality water filtration system for your home. If you’re interested in more info here, you can check it out on my site where I show several well-researched options from single faucet… to shower systems… to whole-house filtration units.
5. Utilize nontoxic cookware when preparing your food
In addition to leaching potential chemicals into your food, non-stick cookware made of synthetic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can release toxins into your air. When heated to only 446° F, the coating begins to break down and releases fumes. My recommendation is for you to use cookware made from ceramic. You can also check out my site for more info on the types of cookware to avoid.
6. Don’t allow smoking inside your home
This seems pretty straight-forward. But many folks worry too much about possibly offending smokers and allow them to smoke inside their homes. Don’t do it. Exposure to second-hand smoke can build up inside your home .
7. Ensure pets are kept well-groomed and clean
Pets can be a breeding ground for pests and parasites that can become airborne in your home. Keeping your pet well-groomed is key to avoiding adding potential pollutants into your indoor air. You can go to my healthy pet site, hosted by an integrative, proactive, wellness veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, to get simple tips on how to keep your pets in healthy shape.
8. Get expert help if you have a mold problem due to a leak or water intrusion
This is a serious issue and requires a remediation expert to solve. As I have had to deal with this type of major issue before myself, I speak from experience, and strongly recommend you seek a local remediation expert to resolve ASAP.
9. Avoid poor indoor ventilation issues
Poor ventilation and filtration worsen your indoor air by trapping air pollutants All you have to do is open windows on open sides of your home for ten minutes every day and the cross ventilation will radically improve your indoor air quality
There is another step I recommend you seriously consider taking to help improve your indoor air quality… and that's to install an air purification system.
Could This Be One of Nature's Best Methods For Cleaning the Air?
Most folks are probably unsure about what it is.
So, what is ozone?
Considered by many scientists to be nature's method for cleaning the air we breathe, ozone is a natural component of the earth's atmosphere… a naturally occurring pale blue gas.
From a molecular standpoint, ozone is actually an oxygen molecule with an extra atom attached… the chemical symbol is O3… the extra oxygen atom makes it a somewhat aggressive oxidizer.
Why is the extra oxygen atom important? The interesting thing about ozone is once it oxidizes an air pollutant, it loses one of its oxygen atoms and turns back into pure oxygen (O2).
Made in nature by ultra violet (UV) energy from the sun striking oxygen molecules
Created by lightning – The fresh air you smell after a thunderstorm is due to the ozone cleaning effect on the air.
A component of ground level air wherever you go on the earth – Such has been the case since the beginning of time.
How Ozone Can Be Both Effective and Safe
At the appropriate, natural, levels like you find outside on a non-polluted day, ozone is not only effective, it's naturally safe… typical levels run 0.01 to 0.05 ppm (parts per million). But it's like anything else in nature… even too much pure water can kill you… too high a level of oxygen can as well… and electricity kills thousands every year.
The bottom line with ozone… this natural element must be respected and low levels controlled to make it safe for human exposure.
When it comes to air purification units for your home, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established clear ozone limits for occupied spaces… and that’s 0.05 ppm.
And this establishment by the EPA seems to make a great deal of sense… since typical levels outdoors are present at 0.05 ppm and are still considered safe.
So, to me, blindly banning ozone generation from air purification units makes little sense at all. What does makes sense, is requiring manufacturers to control the amount of ozone generated in indoor environments. Besides, why would you want to ban the very element used in nature to oxidize pollutants and clean the air? Sounds like something that works very effectively to me
And that’s why I feel it’s important that controlled ozone generation is part of any air purification system I recommend. More details on my complete air purifier selection criteria coming up…
Why Single Air Purification Technology is NOT a Recommended Solution
One thing that’s become apparent to me after years of analyzing effectiveness and using different air purification units personally in my home and office, is that I feel a single technology is NOT the answer.
What do I mean by this?
First of all, there are really three basic types of air filtration systems…
Passive – A filtration and cleaning process that takes place inside the unit. Air is drawn into the purification unit for cleaning.
Active – The air cleansing and purification process occurs outside the unit. The technology triggers a process that goes out to clean the air.
Passive/Active – Doesn’t apply directly to a specific technology, but is based on a unit containing multiple technologies of both passive and active.
When examining specific filtration technologies within the basic types described above, I feel there are both pros and cons... More so that I favor a unit that could incorporate multiple technologies working together, instead of using just a single one. I've felt strongly about this for quite some time.
Here’s a handy chart that outlines the basic pros and cons of some of the air purification technologies available to give you a better picture of what I mean…
Can trap very small particles (0.01 microns) using charged plates.
Are challenged to move enough air for effective indoor coverage and pollutant absorption.
Works effectively to filter particles (0.03 microns or larger) such as pet allergens, dust, and larger smoke particles.
Not effective at removing odors, gases, and chemicals due to their small particle size. Limited on coverage area.
Uses relatively inexpensive UV light to neutralize microorganisms like mildew, bacteria, and viruses.
Does not do a real sufficient job filtering particles from the air by itself and UV light degrades over time.
Able to use a very large surface area to attract and neutralize odors and pollutants.
Rarely used by itself and when the filter gets full, it stops absorbing and needs to be replaced.
Uses proven element found in nature that effectively cleans outside air.
Need to be able to control generation level to keep output within EPA guidelines.
Does remove particles using negatively charged or both negatively and positively charged ions.
Particles tend to fall out of the air and stick to walls and other items in a room. Particles are not always taken cleanly out of the air.
The point of the chart is not to identify all the air filtration technologies available, but merely to give you an example of why I don't feel a single technology is the optimum approach for an indoor unit… a combination of technologies is required.
To me, a single air filtration technology just won’t be as effective as a purifier that contains multiple ways to clean your indoor air.
Follow This Guide to the Ultimate Air Purification System
If you could design the ultimate air purification system, what would it have? What would be the criteria needed to make it stand out in the crowd and deliver the best of the best indoor air purification?
To help you answer the question I created a checklist for what I consider to be the ideal air filtration system for your home…
Optimizes multiple air purification technologies – Must be included within the same unit with a strong preference for 'active' technologies as opposed to 'passive.'
Implements controlled ozone generator – Strong preference for controlled ozone generation as one of the multiple technologies incorporated in the unit. I feel that since ozone is nature's element for effectively cleaning air, this is a must-have in any system I would recommend.
Delivers solid testing evidence – Unit manufacturer must provide independent testing results as to the effectiveness of the unit. This is another must-have.
Makes use of scalable purification – It’s important to be able to have a single unit that can both handle an average size home (over 2000 sq. ft.) plus a smaller home and even a single room if needed.
Is simple to setup and use – Air purifier must be intuitive to use and not require extensive training to get the unit up and running. Once setup properly, unit should not require constant adjustments to run effectively.
Cleans up easily and safely – Cleaning the unit, whether there are filters or not, should be simple using environmental-friendly solutions. Requirements for harsh cleaning chemicals are not acceptable and should be avoided at all costs.
Is inexpensive to operate – Doesn’t consume much electricity and does not require expensive regular filter replacements.
Incorporates universal power – Unit must come equipped to handle both AC and DC power requirements for use anywhere in the world. Plus, purifier must have electrical and safety certifications for use internationally.
Provides a satisfaction guarantee – In addition to a warranty, filtration unit should come with some sort of satisfaction guarantee. This will ensure the manufacturer clearly stands behind the product and would allow you to test-drive the unit to observe the results.
Four Advanced Technologies in a Single Purification System –
A Truly Innovative Solution
My selection criteria proved to be pretty daunting in finding any solution that would satisfy expectations. But that's the way it should be. I'm not about to recommend something to you if it's not one of the best units available in the marketplace.
And sometimes, my staff cannot find anything that comes close to the selection criteria… in which case, I try and find a manufacturer who will build what we need.
Fortunately, my staff did find an air purification unit which makes remarkable use of multiple active and passive technologies. And that’s why I’m ready to introduce you to the extraordinary Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier… a truly innovative solution for indoor air purification.
One of the key features of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is how it incorporates four advanced technologies into a single unit to help reduce odors, smoke, pollen, dust, bacteria, minor mold, pet dander, and much more.
The four advanced technologies include…
Advanced Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) Cell – The PCO technology not only destroys biological contaminants traveling through the cell, it also produces purifying plasma which reduces odors, mold, bacteria, and viruses.
Needlepoint Ionization –The Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifiergenerates a continuous stream of millions of negative ions that circulate throughout your home. These ions charge particles of dust, dander, bacteria, and viruses… causing them to clump together and fall out of the air you breathe.
Scalable Purification –The air purifier comes equipped with adjustable purification levels based on the square footage of the area. This allows the ozone generation to work safely and effectively based on the size of the area to be cleaned.
Electrostatic Filtration – An advanced electrostatic filter comes with the unit to help keep the purifier clean while at the same time filter out particles which clump together from the Needlepoint Ionization.
Unlike many other air purifiers in the marketplace that only use one or two technologies, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifiereffectively incorporates four technologies and focuses more on active types of purification.
This air purifier has been specifically designed to proactively go after indoor air pollutants and not simply wait for them to find their way into the device.
With this combination of four advanced purification technologies, tests have shown that noticeable pollution can be eliminated in as little as 15 minutes, and the most challenging pollution in as few as 24 hours. I’ll have more coming up on some of the actual available test data from the independent evaluations.
But first, let’s take a closer look at more of the features and benefits of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier that convinced my team and I to recommend it to you…
Features and Benefits Every Air Purifier Should Have But Few DO
Quite surprising to my team, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier quite easily satisfied all of the selection criteria… and then some.
Here are more on the key features and benefits of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier…
Small, compact, high-tech attractive-looking unit
Easily fits into any area, room, or home without upsetting surrounding aesthetics.
Full function control panel with LCD display
Enhances ease-of-use by showing you key items like: fan speed, technology indicator, and square footage indicator. Display is also dimmable and can be turned off as needed.
Full function remote control
Enhances ease-of-use by permitting unit adjustments without touching or relocating the purifier.
Adjustable fan and purifier level controls
Allows just the right purification levels to be generated from 250 to 3000 square feet depending on the size of the area.
LCD Intelligent maintenance reminders
Makes maintenance easier and simpler by providing maintenance reminders on the LCD display.
Universal AC/DC power supply
With the proper local plug adapter, can be used anywhere in the world.
Filter can be cleaned with clean water and Purification plate with a 50/50 mix of warm water and ammonia.
Unit is designed to be easily cleaned for quick turnaround to get unit running again.
UL, CE, PSE, TUV, and EK certified internationally
With these international electrical and safety certifications, the manufacturer has provided the flexibility for the air purifier to work in different countries around the world.
1 Year Warranty and 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee
Let’s you try out the purifier for 30 days to observe results.
You can see from this extensive list of features and their associated benefits how the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is an extraordinary purification system.
Independent Testing Delivered the Evidence We Were Looking For
As discussed earlier, one of the main reasons I feel that other companies failed with their air purifiers was due to inadequate testing.
As you already know, evidence of solid testing results is one of my top criteria for recommending any indoor purification system. And the manufacturer of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier stepped up to satisfy the need.
As examples, here are two different independent sources who evaluated the technology used in the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier. Both reports were peer reviewed and published in scientific journals…
University of Cincinnati Test(published in Environmental Science and Technology).
The Test – Evaluated both PCO and Negative Ionization technologies against two active contaminants.
The Results – Combination of the two technologies provided a much more significant reduction of airborne contaminants than when the two technologies were used independently. The combination of both technologies resulted in an overall aerosol exposure reduction after 30 minutes by a factor of about 50, or an overall reduction/inactivation of approximately 98%.
Kansas State University Test (published in Journal of Rapid Methods & Automation in Microbiology).
The Test – Evaluated PCO technology against nine airborne microorganisms
The Results – After 24 hour of exposure, the nine organisms tested were reduced from a range of 96.4% to 99.9%. Even more astounding, was after only 2 hours, the average reduction was over 80%... and after 6 hours, it was over 90%.
The technology used in the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier in these two independent evaluations demonstrated significant reductions in specific pollutants found in indoor air.
Plus, from an electrical and safety standpoint, the purifier carries certifications from around the world from Underwriters Laboratory (UL – US and Canada), CE (Europe), PSE (Japan), TUV (Germany), and EK (Korean).
Scalable Purification – The Ultimate Coverage Flexibility and
One of the unique features of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is how flexible the unit is to set up for different size indoor areas… Scalable Purification.
Once the purifier is installed, you can easy tailor it to work in the smallest room or area, or to cover up to an open area of 3,000 square feet. This is a very powerful feature indeed and one I believe firmly sets it apart from the competition.
Here are some examples (and the corresponding LCD data displays) of typical settings that more clearly illustrate the flexibility this capability provides…
For a small area or room (less than 250 sq. ft.) – Set the unit in 'Normal' mode where the advanced PCO technology is used to get purification levels you need without the need for additional activated oxygen (ozone). Five different fan speeds can be set for further flexibility.
For larger areas (250 to 3000 sq. ft.) – Set the unit to the square footage needed and it will automatically go into ‘High’ mode. This indicates that measured levels of activated oxygen (Scalable Purification) will be employed to enhance the purification process. However if you use the higher levels it is best to make sure you are not at home and do not expose your pets to the higher concentrations as rooms closer to the unit will have higher levels. The levels drop within minutes of turning the unit off, so this is not a long-term problem.
When you’re away from home or want faster air cleanup as needed while no one is in the area – Set the unit to ‘Away Mode’ and the flexible timer to have it automatically shut off.
It's important to point out that the manufacturer of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier has taken a very conservative approach when it comes to Scalable Purification… and how much activated oxygen (ozone) is used to reduce air pollutants and odors.
As an example… even when set at the highest coverage level of 3000 square feet, the unit would have to be placed inside a very restricted area (theoretically, like a cardboard box) to have any chance of releasing undesirable levels of ozone. Of course, no one will practically use it this way.
The manufacturer has gone to great measures to ensure when the unit is set properly, the Scalable Purification technology will not release ozone greater than the EPA guidelines except in ‘Away Mode.’ This was a real important factor in my final selection process.
Keeping Your Air Purifier Clean is Quick and Easy
The Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is very simple to clean and maintain. This is a key consideration when purchasing any air purifier system. If cleaning is expensive and time-consuming, I wouldn’t waste my time and even consider such a unit.
Here are a few examples of how cleanup is a breeze with the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier…
The filter assembly (with 3 filters) is easily removed and cleans up with plain water or compressed air.
For the PCO Cell, using compressed air or a vacuum quickly removes any dust buildup.
The Purification Plate (main component in Scalable Purification technology) can be cleaned using a 50/50 mix of warm water and clear ammonia.
These are the key areas to be cleaned and make this air purifier one of the easiest to maintain.
Plus, no harsh chemicals are required in any of the cleaning processes.
The Final Score Card is In
Here’s a quick review and summary of how well the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier busted through our rigorous selection criteria with flying colors. It’s now the only unit I rely on in my own home to help reduce air pollutants and odors.
Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier
‘Other’ air purifiers
Optimizes multiple air purification technologies?
Yes – With a combination of PCO, Needlepoint Ionization, Scalable Purification, and Electrostatic Filtration.
Most indoor air purification systems only incorporate one technology, at most two technologies.
Implements controlled ozone generator?
Yes – Using the Scalable Purification technology and flexible square footage setup capability, ozone levels are kept within EPA guidelines.
Very few indoor air purification systems provide this type of control and flexibility to take advantage of nature’s own element for cleaning air.
Provides air cleaning coverage over 2000 square feet?
Yes – Unit is scalable from areas that are 250 to up to 3000 square feet of purification coverage.
Some indoor purification units provide 2000 or more square feet of coverage. But not many allow you to set the area size you need.
Makes use of scalable purification?
Yes – As already detailed above, unit can be set to handle areas and rooms from 250 to 3000 sq. ft. Plus, small areas less than 250, can be handled as well.
Very few indoor air purification systems provide this scalable flexibility.
Is simple to setup and use?
Yes – This is one of the easiest units to setup and get running. And with the remote control, changes to settings are quick and simple to get done without touching the unit itself.
Some air purification systems can be easy to use. Others are not, and not many provide a remote control feature that allows you to make changes without having to touch or move the unit.
Cleans up easily and safely?
Yes – Very simple cleaning procedures are detailed in the Owners Manual. Use of harsh chemicals is not required.
Not all indoor air purifiers are easy to clean. Some may even require harsh chemicals to get the job done.
Is inexpensive to operate?
Yes – Due to the unit’s low energy use, it is very efficient. Cost to run the purifier 24 hours a day should only be around $0.09 per day or $33 annually (depending on where you live). When following the recommended cleaning schedule for the unit, annual part replacement costs should average around $0.32 a day.
Some air purification systems consume more energy and could cost as much as $0.55 a day to run 24 hours. That could amount to over $200 to run the unit annually. Some purifiers also may require more frequent part replacements with more expensive parts.
Incorporates universal power?
Yes – Unit can be used internationally and has been electrically and safety certified by the following: UL, CE, PSE, TUV, and EK.
Many units have been designed to work in specific countries but not necessarily around the world.
Provides a satisfaction guarantee?
Yes – A 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee is provided.
Most competitive units provide a limited warranty, but few provide any sort of satisfaction guarantee.
Notes on cost and maintenance calculations: See spreadsheet (“Air Purifier Annual Maint Cost Analysis”) for how numbers were estimated. Verification of calculations and assumptions highly recommended from GreenTech.
By using the guidelines and tips provided above, you can take great strides toward improving the indoor air you breathe.
Plus, included in your overall plan should be the advanced technology purification unit, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier, to help reduce air pollutants and odors in your home or office.
There are many choices out there when it comes to selecting an air purification system, but I believe I’ve removed all the guess-work in trying to find the most effective unit… and the one that beats stringent selection criteria hands down.
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Study: Exposure to common air fresheners can cause allergies, asthma
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans use scented candles, air freshener sprays, plug-in deodorizers and diffusers to make their living spaces smell clean and pleasant, but are the chemicals in these products safe? New research compiled by scientists from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic suggests that various chemical additives in air fresheners can trigger allergies, asthma and other health problems.
"The chemicals in some of these products can trigger the nasal congestion, sneezing and the runny nose," said Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist from Emory who helped gather data for the study. "With the asthmatics, there's really good data showing their lung function changes when they're exposed to these compounds."
Many scented air freshener products contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, benzene and limonene, which are known to trigger asthma and other respiratory symptoms, as well as eye irritation, bone damage and leukemia. They also contain various other toxic ingredients like benzyl alcohol, camphor, dichlorobenzene, ethanol, naphthalene, phenol and pinene (http://mcs-america.org/airfresh.pdf).
Even some scented products labeled "natural" contain harmful ingredients like phthalates that can build up in the liver and fatty tissue over time. Phthalate exposure is linked to low sperm counts and reproductive damage (http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com...). This is why it is always a good idea, even with "natural" products, to verify all ingredients with product manufacturers prior to purchasing them.
In 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tested 14 different brands of popular household air freshener products and found that most of them, even those labeled "all natural" or "unscented," contained dangerous chemicals linked to hormone disruption and reproductive problems (http://www.nrdc.org/media/2007/0709...).
The worst offender in the test was Walgreens Scented Bouquet Air Freshener, which contained 7,300 parts per million (ppm) of di-ethyl phthalate (DEP), a chemical linked to damaging hormones and impairing genital development, followed by Walgreens Air Freshener Spray with 1,100 ppm of DEP.
"Consumers have a right to know what is put into air fresheners and other everyday products they bring into their homes," said Dr. Gina Solomon back in 2007. "There are too many products on the shelves that we assume are safe, but have never even been tested. The government should be keeping a watchful eye on these household items and the manufacturers who produce them."
What if a chiropractic adjustment could improve the way your brain senses your body reducing falls and improving health, performance and coordination? Recent research by Taylor and Murphy demonstrated that chiropractic care enhanced sensorimotor integration or coordination. With regular chiropractic adjustments you body has better coordination, better balance, better recognition of where it is in space. By improving the coordination between the brain and body you are able to have less falls, less injuries and better speed, skill and finesse.1
This is great news for athletes of all ages seeking to improve their game and limit injuries. Why do almost all pro sports teams and many amateur sports teams have chiropractors on their staff? Coaches report that it is to enhance the health and performance of their athletes and to prevent injuries. Did you know that many sports specialist doctors evaluate flexibility, balance and endurance to predict how probable an athlete is to injury? Before signing an athlete to a multi year and multi million dollar contract they are put through such tests.
How essential is it if you are an elderly person to have better coordination and less falls? Could consistent chiropractic care add years to your life and life to your years? The answer is yes for many current chiropractic patients and is being demonstrated time and again in research studies.
What if you were a construction worker working on roofs? How important is balance and coordination to you? What about someone who worked on an assembly line and had to do recurrent, boring tasks in a dangerous environment. It is essential whether you are in construction, production, leadership, teaching or self employed to have you nerve system working to the best of its ability to not only prevent injures but to keep you coordinated physically, mentally and spiritually.
Maybe it is time that you or someone you care about had their spine and nerve system checked by a corrective care chiropractor?
1 Taylor H, Murphy B. Cervical Spine Manipulation Alters Sensorimotor Integration: A Somatosensory evoked potential study. Clin Neurophysiol; 2007;118:391-402
Taylor, H, Murphy B. Altered Sensorimotor Integration with Cervical Spine Manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther; 2008;31:115-126
Chiropractic Care Helping With Asthma Bartholomew Family Chiropractic 2415 N. Triphammer Rd. Ithaca, Ny 14850
Asthma affects over 17 million Americans and is among our costliest health care problems. EPA statistics as of March 2010 indicate that 7.8% of Americans suffer from asthma and that the prevalence of asthma has been increasing in recent years. Recently, several of the medications commonly used to treat asthma have come under scrutiny for questions about safety and effectiveness. (Click here andhere for a few articles on the subject.) What, then, is a good way to counter or relieve asthma symptoms? Several research articles indicate that chiropractic care can be quite useful for the management of asthma.
Dr. William Amalu has composed a synopsis of the chiropractic management of 47 patients along with a detailed case study of a 12-year old male with persistent asthma whose symptoms resolved under care, and whose medication use decreased from oral medication twice a day and three different inhalers four times per day each for a total of 24 inhalations per day, to no medication (click here for a link to the PDF as well as two similar studies). Two things are of particular note in this case study: one, the boy's condition was co-managed with a medical respiratory specialist, who provided objective testing of his respiratory status; and two, Amalu monitored the patient's neurophysiological response to chiropractic care by paraspinal thermography (for an explanation of this technology, click here). Paraspinal thermography is one of several objective outcome assessments used currently at Bartholomew Family Chiropractic. Dr. Amalu's synopsis suggests the benefit of chiropractic care for asthma patients.
Graham and Pistolese conducted a study of the impairment ratings of 81 asthmatic children before the start of chiropractic care and after two months of care (for the abstract, click here). The results of this study showed significant symptom improvement 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care when compared to the pre-chiropractic scores (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the children reported an average of a nearly 50% reduction of frequency of asthma attacks. Though objective measures were not followed in this study, the results certainly suggest that chiropractic care is beneficial for the management of asthma symptoms. A similar result was reported by Bronfort et al in a 2001 JMPT article. (click here for the abstract)
It is of note, however, that many of the available research studies on chiropractic care and asthma were not conducted with reproducible and reliable objective outcome assessments, and therefore do not add strength to the case-study and empirical observation-supported argument that asthma patients can benefit from chiropractic management. This recent literature review (click here) summarizes data available to 2010, and accordingly recommends that patients suffering from asthma be conservatively co-managed with a medical doctor. This approach affords a patient multiple resources, and is endorsed by Bartholomew Family Chiropractic, as it offers a patient the opportunity to benefit from both chiropractic adjustment and the support of available emergency measures if and when necessary.
Click here to access another page that discusses the connection between the top bones of the spine and asthma.
If you'd like to explore how chiropractic care may help you or your loved ones to better manage asthma symptoms, call or email us to set up an appointment at Bartholomew Family Chiropractic for a spinal health assessment.
Posted By Dr. Axe On November 25, 2009 @ 7:00 am In Asthma | 6 Comments
34 million Americans have asthma. 8 million of these are children. Asthma is behind 12.8 million missed school days every year and 10.1 million missed work days. Asthma costs America $14.7 billion a year. $6.2 billion of this is spent on prescription medications for asthma–drugs that treat, and sometimes worsen, the symptoms.
Asthma medications have a host of side effects: they affect the endocrine system and the immune system. They contribute to yeast growth and osteoporosis. They even come to cause asthmatic reactions after a while. Research has found that the inhalant albuterol alters genes in children so that asthma attacks are 30% more likely.
Dr. John Mills, chief of infectious diseases at San Francisco General, says, “Conventional drugs used for treating asthma, particularly steroids, can impair immune function and lead to more serious health problems. Doctors tell you that steroids (cortisone, prednisone) only cause side effects after many years. But new research shows that permanent damage is immediate and devastating. Studies show that steroids cause permanent, debilitating effects after a single dosage. Steroids are probably the most sleazy of modern day medications.”
There are many different theories about what causes asthma, but toxins are a recognized root in many theories. Poor nutrition, pollution, antibiotic abuse and stress play a large role in the development of asthma. The Western lifestyle correlates with increased numbers of asthma-sufferers. Asthma is rare in remote areas of Asia and Africa but the numbers rise as Western foods are introduced.
To treat asthma naturally, lower environmental and dietary toxin intake, eat nutrient-rich foods, address the nervous system’s role in lung function and learn to manage stress.
There might not be much you can do about pollution outdoors, but minimizing pollutants in your home will greatly lessen susceptibility to outdoor asthma attacks–especially since the EPA tell us our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment.
Try to keep a window open even during the winter to bring fresh air in. If you can afford it, use a heat recovery ventilator (air-to-air heat exchanger) to bring outside air in.
Avoid second-hand smoke from wood-burning stoves and cigarettes.
Switch to natural household cleansers or use baking soda, lavender oil and vinegar to make your own. There are many simple recipes available online that can keep added chemicals out of your home and save you a bundle of money.
Avoid aerosols and petroleum-based ingredients in your health and beauty products.
Use a dehumidifier in damp areas and fix water leaks to reduce mold.
Buy a water filter to remove chlorine from your tap water.
Go for flooring or carpets that you can vacuum beneath to reduce dust mites.
Wash bedding weekly and keep upholstery and carpets regularly vacuumed.
Keep furry friends out of the bedroom.
Cockroaches are another asthma trigger so remove them or move yourself.
It is widely accepted that antibiotics play a role in asthma attacks and may contribute to its original cause. Many children are so well protected from germs, bacteria and childhood illnesses that their immune systems don’t develop properly. Instead of acquiring the immune cells specific to certain bacteria and viruses, they retain highly reactive immune cells.
Ampicillin, amoxycilllin cephalosporins, erythromycin, spiramycin and tetracycline, both in prescription form and the antibiotic-treated animal products we ingest, worsen asthma attacks.
Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can trigger or worsen asthma attacks.
Other drugs such as betablockers, estrogen, NSAIDs and sulfites can trigger or worsen asthma attacks.
Processed and refined foods
There are many reasons that processed and refined foods contribute to asthma. Lack of fiber reduces probiotic bacteria, stomach acid and proper digestion. The lack of nutrients in these foods stresses the entire body and makes it less able to neutralize toxins. The lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in the Western diet contributes to poor nutrition.
Children who eat foods fried in vegetable oils and consume hydrogenated fats are twice as likely to have asthma. These trans-fats contribute to the presence of dangerous free radicals in the body.
Children who are bottle-fed with powdered and pasteurized infant formulas are significantly more at risk of developing asthma.
The high-sugar content in many processed foods contributes to the overgrowth of yeast or Candida albicans. Yeast can be a trigger itself, but worse, it steals valuable nutrients from the digestive tract.
Hidden food allergies are often triggers for asthma attacks. The most common food allergies are to pasteurized milk products,gluten, soy, eggs and nuts. Wheat gluten and soy are present in a wide variety of foods. They hide on labels as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lecithin, starch and vegetable oil.
Food preservatives and food coloring can trigger asthma attacks. Avoid MSG, tartrazine (yellow food dye), sulfites and sulfur dioxide to name just a few.
Avoid animal products treated with hormones and antibiotics as well as pasteurized foods and drinks. Farm-raised fish is laden with these chemicals and have high mercury levels that correlate with increased incidence of asthma.
Eating a healthy diet gives the asthmatic the antioxidants and nutrients to combat toxins and triggers. Eating a wide variety of foods can ensure that we get all the nutrients we need.
There have been numerous studies that show how food nutrients greatly reduce asthmatic attacks
Beta-carotene, the compound that gives fruit and vegetables their orange or red color, reduced asthma attacks in 53% of people in one study. Carotenoids are the basis of vitamin A which is involved in the mucous membranes. Severity of asthma correlates with low vitamin A.
Folate, or vitamin B9, reduced allergic reactions and inflammation. It lowers wheezing by 40%. Folate is present in green, leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.
Vitamin B3 and B12 are commonly low in asthmatics. These nutrients lower antihistamine levels and reduce wheezing.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps to detoxify the body. Vitamin C reduces wheezing and inflammation.
Vitamin E and magnesium are powerful antioxidants as well. Low levels of magnesium are associated with increased risk of developing asthma and increasing magnesium reduces the severity of asthma attacks.
A study of 68,000 women showed that those who ate more tomatoes, carrots and leafy greens had much lower rates of asthma.
Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussel sprouts and other members of the cruciferous family greatly increase many antioxidants in the body. One of the key compounds in broccoli is sulforaphane.
“A major advantage of sulforaphane is that it appears to increase a broad array of antioxidant enzymes, which may help the compound’s effectiveness in blocking the harmful effects of air pollution,” said Dr. Marc Riedl of UCLA. “We found a two-to-three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the nasal airway cells of study participants who had eaten a preparation of broccoli sprouts. This strategy may offer protection against inflammatory processes and could lead to potential treatments for a variety of respiratory conditions.”
Garlic, onions and mustard are considered anti-microbials. They may help to fight bacterial infections. They also contain quercetin, which inhibits inflammation.
Another rising star in the treatment of asthma is Vitamin D. It seems to slow declining lung function. Calcitriol, the form of Vitamin D we make in the body, is an anti-inflammatory. It also stops lung “remodeling”, the narrowing of breathing passages over time.
Raw milk seems to protect children from developing asthma and hayfever. The healthy probiotics in raw milk strengthen the immune system. Mothers can prevent their children from developing asthma if they ingest probiotics while pregnant or breastfeeding. Probiotics improve digestion and help stop allergic reactions that occur as proteins and other allergens pass through the digestive lining.
Prebiotics are the plant fibers that help us to eliminate toxins and feed healthy probiotic bacteria. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and raw vegetables are loaded with prebiotic materials.
The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, orange roughy, salmon, trout and tuna lowers the incidence of asthma by 4 times. Omega-3’s reduce airway inflammation and reactivity.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is needed in larger quantities by asthmatics. They seen unable to utilize this vitamin correctly and increasing intake of this vitamin helps reduce wheezing. Theophylline, a drug used to treat asthma, causes Vitamin B6 deficiency. Pantothenic acid is also involved in adrenal function and stress plays a large role in asthma.
The Nervous System
Asthma has also been linked to a condition known as Forward Head Posture. FHP occurs when your head shifts out in front of your body. As a result, the nerves in the lower part of your neck and upper part of your back from Vertebrae T1-T4 become compressed and compromise lung function. To correct FHP, I recommend you seek the assistance of a corrective care Chiropractic physician. This is a specific field of chiropractic that deals with improving your posture through adjustments and spinal rehabilitation exercises. By retraining the spine back into it’s ideal alignment, pressure is taken off the nerves feeding out to the lungs.
The Western lifestyle includes high degrees of stress. It is well known that stress increases the severity of asthmatic attacks and can be the trigger for attacks.
67% or more of asthmatics have diminished adrenal capacity, increased anxiety and other mood disorders. Mood disorders are considered “adaptive diseases”, that is, they result from a person’s inability to deal with stress. Vitamins C, B6, zinc and magnesium all support adrenal function.
The British Guideline on the Management of Asthma recommends Buteyko and pranayama yoga for asthma management. A review of 7 studies found that these breathing exercises reduce the severity and length of asthma attacks.
Massage, deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and art therapies can all help to reduce stress and give asthmatics the tools to modulate their stress response. This will lower susceptibility to attacks and lessen reliance on asthma drugs.
Dr. Axe's Action Steps
Reduce your exposure to environmental and dietary toxins.
Follow my Healing Foods Diet to increase the amount of nutrient rich food you are consuming.
Visit a corrective care Chiropractic physician for a consult to see if there is any pressure on any nerves feeding the lungs.
Choose two or more stress-busting techniques to manage stress and build peace in your life.
Choose two or more stress-busting techniques to manage stress and build peace in your life.
Visit a corrective care Chiropractic physician for a consult to see if there is any pressure on any nerves feeding the lungs.
Follow my Healing Foods Diet to increase the amount of nutrient rich food you are consuming.
Reduce your exposure to environmental and dietary toxins.
Chiropractic is not a treatment for asthma. However, many who suffer from asthma report improvement by receiving chiropractic care.
Considerable research documents the link between the spinal column, the nervous system and the respiratory system. This is why so many people have mentioned improved breathing by consulting our office.
Drugs may temporarily reduce symptoms but ignore any underlying nerve disturbance.
Asthma cases seem to be rising at an alarming rate. Some think it’s due to a combination of factors, especially the increase of chemicals in our environment. These days, airtight, super-insulated homes can trap chemicals, molds, formaldehyde and other irritants. Even the increasing use of cesarean births, antibiotics and our fascination with germ killing have been cited.
If these factors were the only issue, why wouldn’t all children living in the same house and breathing the same air, suffer equally?
Your diaphragm is the primary muscle used for breathing. Nerves that control each breath leave your brain and exit the spinal cord in the mid-neck (C3, C4 and C5) area. Spinal problems in this area can have a profound affect on the nerve supply to the diaphragm.
Reducing nerve disturbances along the spine can help restore proper nervous system control of the lungs and improved function can begin. This is accomplished through a series of safe and natural chiropractic adjustments.
In fact, research published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the results experienced by 81 children with asthma who received chiropractic care. The two-month study revealed that those under care saw a 45% decrease in the number of “attacks” and that 31% of the subjects voluntarily chose to decrease their medication.
All this from improved nervous system control of the lungs!
Disclaimer: * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.
2415 N. Triphammer Rd. • Ithaca, NY 14850