Tuesday, January 26, 2010



                Asthma and other allergic diseases are increasingly becoming common and affects millions of people.                                                            
                Asthma is a chronic disease.Asthmatics suffer from constriction of the air-way tract while the throat and bronchi become inflamed and sensitive.                                                                                                                                    
                Being sensitive, exposure to irritants and allergens in the air leads to severe reactions in the airways and the lungs.The worst consequence being inflammation and decreased respiratory function of the airways. 
               This is called asthma and is triggered by dust and other environmental pollutes like pollen, pet furs, animal hair, change in weather and differing temperatures. 
The effects can vary from coughing to difficulty in breathing, wheezing, breathlessness, chest pain or a mix of reactions. In extreme cases of asthma attacks, death can occur where an asthmatic loses consciousness and dies from lack of oxygen.                                                                                                       Although many people with asthma have allergies, allergy sufferers do not always have asthma. They may experience allergy symptoms like asthma. An allergen is anything that triggers abnormal sensitivity to one or more substances. This can be pollen, drugs, or other environmental conditions will be. Allergy symptoms can be a runny nose or even  shortness of breath.                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, while asthma can be controlled, allergens need to be minimised or removed completely. Dust is considered the number one and primary triggers for asthma. Dust is found in the air, anywhere and everywhere including inside offices and homes.                                                                                         HEPA or "high efficiency purification of air"  helps very much is removing dust, dander, pollen and other air borne allergens in your home as well as office. Air purifiers using water with HEPA filters do not emit chemicals, and they they are considered the most ideal for people with sensitive lungs.  Air purifiers with filters  and activated carbon have a tendency to pollute the air with fine emissions of dust and charcoal, and therefore the very purpose is not accomplished.                                                                                                                                                 Long-term costs include asthma control medications taken on a daily basis, costs of regular injections, inhalers, tests and such others. Added to this is the cost of replacing filters in air purifiers. The choice of an air purifier with peak efficiency and little maintenance costs make a good investment, considering the fact that asthma is life long. For that need to purify air with peak efficiency at minimal cost, consider a complimentary demo in your office or home.

Complimentary in-door air quality demos 
in Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor, Malaysia on 
request from k.thiru@hotmail.com 

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Health Effects of Air Pollution
by Vinod Mishra of East-West Center, Honolulu
Background paper for                                   December 1-15, 2003
Population-Environment Research Network (PERN)       Cyberseminar

This article was sourced from the above, edited, tecnicalities removed and selected paragraphs retained for the commoner's interest. 
Do visit the above site to read more details and to contribute your comments. 

This brief paper provides background reading for the Population-Environment Research Network’s online seminar on ‘Air Pollution and Health Linkages,’ scheduled for December 1-15, 2003. The purpose of this ‘cyberseminar’ is to foster a discussion that will lead to identification of key issues,
knowledge gaps, and methodological shortcomings in understanding health impacts of air pollution, both indoor and outdoor. The paper is not intended to be a comprehensive document covering all aspects of air pollution and health linkages, but instead it is to provide a starting point for the discussions in the cyberseminar. During the course of the seminar, additional discussion points will be posted by a panel of distinguished scientists working in this area of growing public health concern. It is expected that the cyberseminar participants will discuss the issues raised in this paper and those raised by the expert panel in greater detail and bring forth many new topics for discussion.
That air pollution causes ill health and death is well recognized. Air pollution is caused by both natural and man-made sources. Major man-made sources of ambient air pollution include industries, automobiles, and power generation. In indoor environments, tobacco smoke and combustion of solid fuels for cooking and heating are the most significant sources. In addition, construction material, furniture, carpeting, air conditioning, and home cleaning agents and insecticides can also be significant sources of chemical and biological pollutants indoors. 
Air pollution has both acute and chronic effects on human health. Health effects range anywhere from minor irritation of eyes and the upper respiratory system to chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, lung cancer, and death. Air pollution has been shown to cause acute respiratory infections in children and chronic bronchitis in adults. It has also been shown to worsen the condition of people with preexisting heart or lung disease. Among asthmatics, air pollution has been shown to aggravate the frequency and severity of attacks. Both short-term and long-term exposures have also been linked with premature mortality and reduced life expectancy. oual
Very high volumes of a number of health-damaging airborne pollutants are generated indoors, resulting in high exposures, especially among women who do the cooking and young children who stay indoors with mothers. 
Fuel combustion is the primary source of a large number of health-damaging air pollutants, some of these pollutants are direct by-products of fuel combustion, but others are formed in the air through chemical reactions with other agents in the atmosphere. Health impact of air pollution depends on the pollutant type, its concentration in the air, length of exposure, other pollutants in the air, and individual susceptibility. Different people are affected by air pollution in different ways. Poor people, undernourished people, very young and very old, and people with preexisting respiratory disease and other ill health, are more at risk. In cities, for instance, poor tend to live and work in most heavily polluted areas, and in rural areas the poor are more likely to cook with dirtier fuels. Poor also tend to be more malnourished, more likely to suffer from ill health and disease, and have less access to health care. Air pollutants can also indirectly affect human health through acid rain, by polluting drinking water and entering the food chain, and through global warming and associated climate change and sea level rise.

A high volumes of a number of health-damaging airborne pollutants are generated indoors from cooking fuels; furniture varnishes, wall paints, and others resulting in high exposures, especially among women who do the cooking and young children who stay indoors with mothers. 

Air pollution exposure has been associated with compromised pulmonary immune defense mechanisms and depressed immune system responses. Of the specific air pollutants, exposure to respirable particulate matter has been shown to induce a systemic inflammatory response involving stimulation of the bone marrow, which can contribute to cardio respiratory morbidity.
Other evidence indicates immune suppression and increased risks of infection and diseases. Benzol, a known carcinogen increases the risk of lung and other types of cancers. Acute exposures to oxides of nitrogen and sulfur have been associated with increased bronchial reactivity and susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin, which reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and can contribute to anemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and early infant mortality. 
Studies have measured the effects of exposure to particulate matter on the survival function, effect of air pollution on number of life years lost, variations in air pollution levels with variations in daily incidence of ill health, hospital admissions, or deaths in a given area,  the effects of acute air pollution exposure on morbidity and mortality, the chronic health effects of long-term exposure to air pollution, the effects on premature deaths and many more. 
Following is a list (in no particular order) of some of the issues in understanding health impacts of air pollution. Indoor air pollution from combustion of solid fuels for cooking and space heating is one of the eight most important risk factors in global burden of diseases. Urban air pollution is another factor.
These impacts on morbidity and mortality and estimates of disease burden are subject to considerable uncertainty due to lack of reliable epidemiologic data. Similarly, disease burden estimates for indoor air pollution could
not include several important health outcomes, such as tuberculosis, cataracts, asthma, and adverse pregnancy outcomes, that have been associated with indoor smoke but the evidence is not conclusive. These estimates also do not include health impacts of exposure to atmospheric lead and likely impacts of climate change.
Given that air pollution is generated from many sources (including industry, motor vehicles, home cooking and heating, as well as from tobacco smoking and from numerous natural sources) and a variety of pollutants are present from each source, people are usually exposed to many air pollutants simultaneously. Air pollution contains complex mixtures of many pollutants, which vary overtime and from place to place depending on the sources of pollution and meteorological conditions. It is not clear if the effects of air pollution mixtures are additive or worse than the effects of individual pollutants. Health effects of indoor air pollution are also being investigated foin indoor bio-allergens, such as dust mites and molds.

Complimentary in-door air quality demos 
in Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor, Malaysia on 
request from k.thiru@hotmail.com 

Sunday, January 3, 2010


We breathe about 35 gallons of air each day, that's over 20,000 breaths. Between water and air, air is an absolute essential and one turns colour before passing away within a few minutes in a no air scenario. How fast rescuers work to make our internal "breathing apparatuses" function when stalled. It can be very deadly, when breathing stalls.  
   Our life and time is nowadays primarily in-doors within the house, car and office. The air that we breathe in-doors is polluted with tiny fine particles. Some are toxic to our health. How  will you know if air quality is "green" for breathing or has become dangerously "red".  
   And do you know how you can learn to assure better air quality indoors?
   We can't be sure we are getting clean healthy air into our lungs. Invisible pollutants fill the air each day. Our weather plays a major role in determining whether those fine particles settle and stagnant in our neighborhoods or disperse through wind and rain. Where we live or work in. is there adequate ventilation. Ventilation is not an air conditioner functioning 24 hours.
   The major causes of air pollution come from vehicles, stoves,  outdoor fires, construction sites; deforesting and not forgetting that we are surrounded by industries. When air is not in circulation, but trapped within premises, pollution level increases. Air becomes stale. How often have we left doors and windows of our homes open, for "fresh" air to flow through and fowl used up air to escape.
   Even on flights, with up to 300 or more passengers on board with all windows and doors clamped shut tight, how long will that air last to be shared by 300 or more people. During flights, air exchange is taking place all the time, with used air being let out, and fresh air let in.
   Where we live, where we work and where we sleep, air must be of the best. Polluted air leads to all sorts of allergies from nasal to respiratory related and skin as well. It has become important to purify the air indoors. It is an essential towards healthier living. 

Complimentary in-door air quality demos 
in Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor, Malaysia on 
request from k.thiru@hotmail.com