Monday, February 16, 2009

Air Pollution Linked to Developing Asthma While in the Womb

A recent study has proven that air pollution causes genetic changes while babies are still in the womb and often increase a child’s risk of developing asthma. This study was conducted from 56 children. Scientists discovered that when exposed to traffic fumes which include a wide variety of airborne impurities; children’s genes were actually reprogrammed. These genes just so happened to be the ones that were associated with asthma symptoms that usually develop around age five.

This is a significant study because it is the first time that pollution has been shown to actually influence and change genes. The study also happens to record the mothers exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are a by product of combustion and are usually present in heavy traffic areas. Researches discovered that there is a connection between chemical changes and high levels of air pollution exposure.

This is an example of epigenetic change which is where environmental factors are able to change the activity of genes without creating structural or mutation changes. There is still plenty of research to be done however. Results have shown that exposure to pollution can interact with genes that effect you later on in life. The benefit of the study is that scientists believe that this could help reduce 25% of asthma or at least reduce the potential damage it could have in the early stages of life.

While the test moves on with continued research for more clear solutions, there are some steps that you could take now to reduce the chances of asthma in your baby while pregnant. It is best that if you are pregnant to stay away from air pollution, but if you are unable to there are other options. If you live in a high traffic areas, look towards vacuum cleaners and air purifiers with HEPA to help control the air pollution within your household , office or apartment. These household appliance have been shown to greatly improve indoor air quality up to 99.97%. Remember proper protection will only aid in help preventing or reducing any potential asthma problems while your child is still in the womb.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How to Solve Your Dust Mite Problems


How would you feel if your house or apartment had thousands of microscopic insects that are known to cause health problems? There is a good chance you already do. Dust mites are small insects that have a tendency to feed on organic detritus and flourish inside human households. 40,000 dust mites can inhabit up to one speck of dust and their fecal matter, which is produced up 20 times a day is a common cause of asthma and allergies making them uninvited guests in your home or office. So how can you stop these nuisances from invading your personal dwelling? Do you call an exterminator? Use harsh toxins to stop shorten their life cycle? A recent study has shown that none of these are needed. There are plenty of inexpensive options to help stop the spread the of dust mites that are cheap, safe and efficient.

Bedding:

Bedding like sheets and pillow cases are prime real estate for dust mites. Remember to keep your bedding cleaned and changed regularly. If you have a tendency to suffer from significant allergies, look into purchasing special covers that help eliminate dust mites.

Washing:

Like bedding, remember to frequently wash your clothes as well. Washing in 130 F water instantly kills all dust mites. Cold water only kills 90 percent of dust mites. Try adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil for added efficiency. If you are sensitive to eucalyptus, try lavender of rosemary instead.

Heating:

Steam cleaning your carpets is a great way to eliminate mites found on the floor as they hate heat. Other great ways to use heat to your advantage to help stop dust mites is to tumble dry rugs and carpets in a dryer or open up windows for direct sunlight as dust mites can’t stand it.

Air Conditioning:

Air conditioning is another great way to help dust mites from spreading. Air conditioners help dry out humid indoor environment which tend to be a dust mite feeding ground. By reducing humidity you are in turn reducing the food supply for dust mites.

Air purification:

The best tool against dust mites is a quality air purifier. Through constant air filtering you not only eliminate their food supply but also the mites themselves. Air purifiers are the best way to allow allergy sufferers to breath easy.

Cleaning:

Remember that dust mites do have the word dust in their name and the best way to stop dust is constant and through cleaning. A quality vacuum cleaner will help this problem. Also remember to dust or get a dusting attachment for your vacuum so you can clean hard to reach places.

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