There is still work to be done to clean up Hong Kong’s air

The government has a chance to redouble efforts to upgrade local truck and bus fleets and develop a strategy to cut the growth in the number of cars

Outgoing chief executive Leung Chun-ying listed the environment as one of his priorities when campaigning for office. That was five years ago. Were he to have sought a second term in office, would he have been able to campaign on his government’s record in fighting air pollution? It is a mixed scorecard. Undersecretary for the environment, Christine Loh, says a report assessing performance under the 2013 Clean Air Plan, due out in a few weeks, will show there has been “significant progress” towards hitting international targets. But that is when measured against a bar that has been set fairly low.

Annual average roadside levels of PM10 – respirable particles smaller than 10 microns – dropped from around 53 micrograms per cubic metre in 2012 to less than 40mcg last year. The report projects a further fall to 30mcg by 2020. Projections for the fall in the more insidious hazard of PM2.5 will not be known until the report is out.

Roadside levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fell from 120mcg to 80mcg and are forecast to drop to 65mcg by 2020, against the WHO’s standard of 40mcg. In terms of “bad air” days and reduction of pollutants, there has been significant impact on air quality, according to Loh. Most progress was made in lowering shipping emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), thanks to legislation requiring ships to switch to low-sulphur fuel on berthing. A new emissions control area for Pearl River Delta waters to be set up by the mainland in 2019, requiring all ships to burn low-sulphur fuel in regional waters, is expected to slash SO2 levels to one third of those in 2012.

However, most pollutant levels are still far above the WHO’s ultimate targets, with roadside and ambient pollution hovering at unsafe levels and smog-inducing ozone still a major regional headache. The HK$11.7 billion scheme to subsidise the phasing out of old diesel-burning commercial vehicles has helped improve roadside air. The government is conducting a five-year review of the city’s air quality objectives. It is a chance to redouble its efforts to upgrade heavy-polluting local truck and bus fleets, and developing a strategy for curbing the growth in the number of cars, which has worsened pollution, and for providing incentives to use clean energy.

(Reposted from South China Morning Post)

Should You Add An Air Purifier To Your Home Gym

Indoor air pollution has been found in some studies to be as much as 100 times worse than the air outside. Tobacco smoke, household cleaning products, chemical air fresheners, mold, radon, formaldehyde, building material byproducts, carbon and nitrogen dioxide – there’s a lot of dangerous stuff lingering in the air inside our homes. 

A great many of you out there may find the idea of working out in a dingy, dusty home gym appealing. If you’re at all concerned about breathing clean air while working out to improve your health, you probably don’t.

High Cost

A whole-house air purification system is something that everyone should have installed in their homes and maintained regularly. Of course, not everyone wants to spend upwards of $5000 on what most people would consider a “luxury” expense. This, despite how dangerous the air inside the average home is.

If you don’t have a whole-house system, a portable air purifier is the next best thing.

How to Choose an  Air Purifier

There are thousands of different models to choose from, offered by hundreds of different manufacturers. It would be easy enough to just do a Google search, see what models have the highest ratings, then purchase whatever fits into your price range. That’s the easiest way, but not the smartest.

The most expensive model won’t be the best option. Nor will the cheapest one on the shelf. Continue reading below to learn the most important things to look for when choosing an air purifier for your home needs.

Look for HEPA filters

Choosing an purifier that offers this will ensure the air you’re breathing while you workout or relax is as clean as it can be:

  • HEPA filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters are designed to filter 99.97% of all airborne particulates down to 0.03 microns. This is about as good as it gets for particulate filtration – outside perhaps what’s used in high-tech laboratory environments. This option won’t cost much more than a non-HEPA filter.

Size does matter:

All jokes aside, you can consider any money you spend on an air purifier completely wasted if you don’t get a unit that’s made to more than adequately filter the space you’ll be using it in. Choosing an air filter based on the square footage it can filter is the same as buying an air conditioner to cool a room in your home. If you buy too small, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

This is why it’s a good idea to purchase more than one if you want to keep all the air in your home clean.

Here’s how to measure in order to determine what size air purifier you need (you’ll need a tape measure and possibly a calculator):

  • Measure L x W x H of the area you want to filter, such as your home gym (measure to the highest point of the ceiling, along with the longest and widest lengths, if the room isn’t built completely square).
  • Using a calculator multiply L x W x H to find the square footage of the room.

For instance, a room that’s 10 x 12 x 8 = 960 square feet. In this case, you’d have to round up to a purifier rated to cover 1000 or more square feet.

Air filter replacement cost:

This one is simple. Go with the unit that offers cheaper filter changes. Regardless if the model with cheaper filters costs $100 more upfront.

Filter upkeep is the real expense when it comes to maintaining an air purifier, not the upfront cost. Considering filters need to be changed 4 times per year, and those filters range from $20 – $50 on average, it should be obvious how quickly things can start adding up.

Conclusion

Cleaning the air inside your home will promote greater health, improve your home workouts, and prevent diseases of lung and other cancers. Considering that most of us spend, on average, around 90% of our lives indoors now, a quality air purifier doesn’t just make sense, it really is essential to a long and healthy existence.

Think the air inside your home is clean? If you want proof one way or the other, sign-up for a FREE Home Air Quality Assessment today. Sign-Up Here

How Air Pollution Affects our Brains

For most people, it’s easy to see how air pollution can have a negative impact on respiratory health. After all, it is inhaled into the lungs and through the passageways of the respiratory system; also, anyone who’s ever been in the midst of a lot of smoke – like a bonfire – knows how it can make you cough and splutter. Indeed, the impact that air pollution has on the lungs and on breathing is apparent, but a couple of new studies show a tentative link between pollution and reduced brain performance that is sure to surprise you.

New Information about Pollution and the Human Brain

Hundreds of studies have delved into the effects of air pollution and the respiratory system; far fewer have taken closer looks at the relationship between pollution and the brain. That is beginning to change, though, as several highly respected research groups are examining the ways that air pollution may affect the human brain. Two of the most recent studies – one by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, and the other by a joint effort between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard University – present some truly eye-opening information.

The Columbia Study

In the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health study, which was authored by epidemiologist and director Frederica Perera, New York City five-year-olds were the subject of the research in question. The study found that five-year-olds who had been exposed to higher than usual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, while still in utero had IQ levels four points lower than those who weren’t exposed to such elevated levels of PAH. The study was conducted by having expectant mothers wear air monitors during their pregnancies, and IQ tests were administered to the children around age five.

The Harvard/UNC-Chapel Hill Study

If news that PAH may play a role in lowered IQs in children isn’t revelatory enough, the joint study by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be. This 2008 study took a look at a group of people aged twenty to fifty years and found connections between elevated levels of ozone and reduced attention spans, slower reaction times and compromised short term memories. With this study, it is apparent that air pollution’s effects on the brain strike people of all ages and at all levels of development.

What the Studies Mean

Based on these two recent studies – and on several others that are constantly being conducted – it is plain to see that a link of some sort does exist between elevated levels of air pollution and impaired brain function. The Columbia study, in particular, should concern parents-to-be who want to give their children the best start on life possible. Escaping to the country from the smog-filled city, though, really isn’t good enough. Indoor air quality is a major concern, and since most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes it’s safe to say that it plays a major role in the pollutants that we breathe.

What You Can Do

On a broad scale, it’s apparent that much more needs to be done about levels of exhaust and traffic-related pollution. However, it’s possible to take a proactive approach by making a few key changes in your own life.

 

Staying indoors on especially smoggy days is one great tip. Keeping an eye on Air Quality Levels that are published by local watch groups is another smart way to stay on top of things. However, keeping the indoor air quality of your home as high as possible is imperative – and air cleaners can help.

HEPA Air Purifiers For Mitigating The Effects Of Air Pollution

HEPA air purifiers remove up to 99.97% of airborne particulates from the air in your home; they help with sinus, allergy, and asthma relief and can help protect your respiratory system from harm. Since these recent studies suggest a link between lowered brain functioning and air pollution, it’s possible that using a HEPA based air purifier can lessen the chances of incurring such damages yourself.

 

If you’re interested in using topnotch HEPA air purifiers in your home, you can rely on the experienced and exceptional services of Renaud Air. In turn, you can reduce the chances of exposing yourself and your loved ones to harmful airborne particulates and air pollution that might compromise the health of your brain and your body.

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Study Reveals How Dust Can Increase Likelihood of Asthma

Researchers at the National Institute of Health (NIH) revealed why dust exacerbates asthma so severely: bacterial protein. Doctors and asthma sufferers have long recognized the effect dust has on asthma symptoms, but it has never been scientifically clear as to why the effect is so acute. The study by the NIH and Duke University identified a bacterial protein as the culprit worsening the allergic reaction. Such a component had long been suspected, but the presence of a protein flagellin in house dust has since been documented.

The research, which studied both humans and mice, was published by Duke University Medical Center and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The article discusses how protein flagellin is not itself an allergen but is able to boost allergic responses in scenarios where allergens are present. The study also showed that there is a gene in people and mice that allows for the detection of the flagellin. After inhaling common house dust, the mice who had the appropriate gene responded to the presence of the flagellin with mucus production and obstruction and inflammation of the airways. The mice that did not have the gene did not respond to the flagellin and responded to the dust in a much milder manner.

girl-having-asthma-attack

In the human portion of the study, scientists were able to show that people with asthma had higher levels of antibodies to fight flagellin than non-asthmatics did. This data suggests that common house dust is a major component in the development of asthma, and many asthma sufferers can significantly reduce their symptoms, or even possibly eliminate them, by following a thorough cleaning regimen.

To combat dust, people should ensure that their home is well sealed but also well ventilated, and they should use a portable HEPA air purifier. Additionally, it is important to dust on a daily basis and perform an extensive dusting once every week. The best way to dust is to use a slightly damp cloth or microfiber cloth and then vacuum immediately afterward. The vacuum should be a model that uses a HEPA filter.

The benefit of a HEPA filter is that it removes 99.97 percent of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size, which includes virtually all dust particles. Along with regular cleaning, HEPA filtration is the best way to combat dust. For this reason, many allergy and asthma sufferers depend on HEPA air filters to ensure easy breathing and optimal indoor air quality.  A top quality HEPA air purifier can effectively remove the airborne contaminants you and your family breathe. Ensure that the air in your home is as clean as it can be: Buy a HEPA air purifier from Renaud Air today.

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What are HEPA Air Filters and How do They Work?

If you are considering to purchase an air purifier and have read some product reviews, I’m quite sure you have come across word HEPA. When searching for the best air purifier, you will come across with many new words like AHAM, CADR, ACH, activated carbon and others. The biggest mistake you can make is to purchase an air purifier without even knowing what those words mean.

So, what is HEPA?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air.

How Do HEPA Filters Work?

HEPA filters use several different principles to capture air pollution. What is the secret? It is how the glass fibers of HEPA filters are arranged in a unique configuration, so it captures large particles such as mold, dust, and other allergens while clean air can freely pass through. The adhesion principle helps to trap large contaminants inside the filter while fresh air can circulate through with no hassle. It was a big accomplishment to create this structure of HEPA filter and a production line to produce them to provide this new product to consumers.

It is not the HEPA filter structure alone that makes it so effective.

  • Contaminant particles are being trapped in contact with glass fibers.
  • Airborne particles will be pressed against the filter by stronger air flow.
  • Dust and other particles attract each other and stick together, in result airborne particles will be attracted by contaminants which are already trapped inside HEPA filter.

Thanks to all principles mentioned above HEPA filters can collect up to 99.9% of contaminants which are larger or equal to 0.3 microns in diameter.

Can you imagine what impact HEPA filters can give on the air quality in your home, since most particles fall into this size category? They are an excellent choice for people who suffer from allergies, hay fever or asthma. HEPA filters offer the highest efficiency in removing airborne particles such as mildew, pet dander, pollen, dust, mildew spores and other dangerous allergens.

Must Know Things Before Buying An Air Purifier With HEPA Filter

Just the same as everything else, all air purifiers are not created completely equal, the same thing applies to HEPA filters. I want you to know few more tips in case an air purifier you are willing to buy HEPA filter. The first thing to be aware of is marketing because a bunch of air purifiers which are advertised as having HEPA filters, in reality, doesn’t have them. Mostly it is masked with words – HEPA-Like filters, which are far away from HEPA filter standards.

tf50-silver-carbon-2

Just make sure you look very carefully because there are also True HEPA filters, and they are the best and most efficient. Usually, advertisements will assure that HEPA-Type filters can remove up to 99.9% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns in diameter. Those are not lies, but you should know that HEPA-Type filters are nowhere close to True HEPA filters. The air filtration level offer by True HEPA filters is much higher. It is your responsibility to know those facts and not buy the first air purifier you see.

Companies make these very similar terms and product names on purpose, to confuse consumers and gain benefit from the fact that people usually don`t dig deep. The biggest problem for the consumer is the time he needs to spend to read reviews and learn facts. But it’s exactly what you should do to save time and money in future.

And That`s All For Now

Well there you have it, all the information you should know about True HEPA and HEPA-Type filters.  We covered all the basic things everyone should know before buying the best air filter for your needs. After knowing these tips you should be able to make the right choice, and above all to save money in long term.

Need To Replace Your Air Purifier Filters? 

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Is Your Air at Home Hazardous to Your Health?

We’re so picky about the foods we eat to stay healthy. We spend lots of money on exercise equipment to remain physically fit and pay a hefty price for the world’s best mattress for comfort, but is the air we breathe in our home of the best quality?

In order to enjoy the things we so carefully choose, and live a quality healthy life with those we care for, we must be pro-active and provide a healthy environment for our families. Our lungs, which filters the air we breathe, should be protected from chemicals and contaminants that are polluting our natural resources that we take for granted. Annoying symptoms such as tightness in the chest, coughing or irritated throat, may be the onset of a respiratory problem.

In an unhealthy environment, where the air is filled with smoke, mold or the smell of mildew is apparent, breathing in this contaminated air could soon affect your health. The health effects of breathing dirty air are more evident at night. You may have difficulty breathing and be disturbed with a constant cough. The tossing and turning keeps you awake and without any rest. This in turn, prevents you from having a productive day at work or school because you were deprived of a good night’s sleep.

A study from the Ohio State University Medical Center has shown that breathing unhealthy air tends to raise blood pressure as well as cause vascular inflammation in adults. Also of important concern is the effect of polluted air upon the developing lungs of children. Exposure to air pollution in children could make them prone to developing chronic respiratory infections or asthma.

Since it’s easier to provide your child with healthier air quality in your home than you can outdoors, the solution is with a quality HEPA air filter. A medical grade HEPA air purifier will easily eliminate 99.97% of airborne contaminated particles from the air inside of your home.

Once trapped inside the HEPA filter, the contaminants will not be recirculated into the air. Particles from dust, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and even viruses are eliminated from the HEPA filtered air and provide a fresh clean environment. It helps alleviate symptoms brought on by chronic respiratory problems such as asthma. It may prevent further damage to those not yet affected with breathing difficulties.

Providing healthy indoor air and a safe environment for your family with the use of a high quality, medical grade HEPA air purifier may be the best investment you make for your family and home.

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Featured Product: Alen Paralda

The Alen Paralda is a stylish air purifier, thanks to its beautiful design and sleek touch controls. This air purifier has the power to clean the air in smaller rooms. However, Alen stands behind the Paralda with a satisfaction guarantee and a limited lifetime warranty.

In a 250-square-foot room, the Paralda changes the air four times per hour, and will clean the air efficiently, thanks to its pre-filter, operation schedule and optional ionizer.

The Alen Paralda has all of the safety features you’ll look for in air purifiers. It meets HEPA requirements and is ozone-free.

The Alen Paralda is a stylish air purifier with good cleaning abilities and sleek design, plus you’ll notice a difference in the air quality.

 

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