Tag Archives: pollution

In recent years, researchers have charted a medical phenomenon that affects a wide swath of people with no discernable connection—save one. All the people who experience symptoms of headaches, tiredness, ear, nose and throat irritation, dizziness and nausea have one thing in common: They spend a large amount of time in buildings. And the buildings are making them sick.

Sick Building Syndrome is a malady related to poor air quality in a building—air with germs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens and pathogens that is recirculated and “trapped” through inadequate ventilation. Compounding the problem is the fact that many buildings are constructed specifically to trap this air, with no way of opening windows. Likewise, older buildings have HVAC systems that cannot handle increased airflow—or worse yet, are “dialed down” to save on energy costs.

sick building syndrome


Newer, more energy-efficient buildings aren’t immune to the problem of Sick Building Syndrome either. According to the World Health Organization, up to 30 percent of new or remodeled buildings also cause Sick Building Syndrome. That’s because paint, solvents and adhesives used in new construction produce VOCs, as do new furniture and newly installed carpeting.

One way to potentially ease the threat of Sick Building Syndrome is to thoroughly scrub inside air. But given that indoor air is constantly being infiltrated with outdoor air—though open doorways and outside access—it’s important to continually monitor and clean it. And that’s exactly what the complete line of AeraMax Professional air purifiers were designed to do.

These commercial-grade air purifiers use a four-stage filtration system employing hospital-like True HEPA filtration to eliminate 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants from enclosed spaces. So, while conventional HVAC systems exacerbate the problem of sick air, AeraMax Professional actually removes it, cycling cleaned air into the enclosed space.

The units have a unique sensing system, which continually monitors the air, adjusting to clean air when necessary. Since they are effective in removing VOCs from the air, they are also ideal in new construction, or buildings that have been recently remodeled.

According to the American Lung Association, more than 40 percent of Americans breathe in dirty air every day. That’s the findings from the association’s annual State of the Air report, which tabulates the quality of air in cities across the United States, factoring in smog, air pollution, carbon monoxide levels from car exhaust and spikes in temperature, which “cooks” pollution to make it more intense. The overall effect: dirty air can cause difficulty in breathing, decrease life expectancy and may even contribute to lung cancer.

Given the topographical shape of California—it resembles a bowl that traps bad air at lower levels, instead of allowing it to float into the atmosphere—it’s no wonder that a number of the cities with the worst pollution are from the so-called Golden State. The Los Angeles area ranked number one on the list of most polluted cities over a 24-hour period, followed by the Bakersfield, Visalia, and Fresno, CA areas, respectively. Fairbanks, AK ranked fourth, primarily because a great number of residents use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for heating; these appliances cause the releases of harmful chemicals that linger in the air.

Top 10 Most Polluted Cities:

1.Los Angeles – Riverside – Orange County, CA
2.Bakersfield, CA
3.Visalia, CA
4.Fresco, CA
5.Fairbanks, AK
6.Modesto, CA
7.San Jose – San Francisco – Oakland, CA
8.Salt Lake City – Provo – Orem, UT
9.El Centro, CA
10.Pittsburgh, PA

For the most polluted cities with annualized results, Fairbanks, AK took top (dis)honors. This means the city had the worst year-round results. In terms of most polluted cities with regard to ozone production, Los Angeles, CA ranked first.

And cleanest cities?

That would be Cheyenne, WY, followed by Honolulu, HI and Casper, WY, because they have relatively smaller population centers.

Still, the numbers are alarming. What’s more, given that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, there’s real concern about the air we breathe. Simply staying indoors on high-ozone days doesn’t cut it.

Instead. You need to ensure that indoor air is clean. The best way to do that, in our opinion: get an AeraMax Professional air purifier. The complete line of professional-grade air purifiers effectively and efficiently clean indoor air, removing up to 99.97 percent of harmful contaminants—like germs, viruses, odors, volatile organic compounds, odors and pollutants—from indoor air, using hospital-grade True HEPA filtration.

So, while you can’t necessarily move from your area to get better air, you can make the air better, with AeraMax Professional.

It seems like every news cycle is dominated by talk of air pollution and poor indoor air quality. There are ways, however, to influence the quality of indoor environments.

Here are four quick changes that facility managers can make to improve indoor air quality.

1. Boost ventilation.

One simple way of helping alleviate air issues is by boosting the flow of air throughout a facility by opening windows. Oftentimes, facility managers try to improve air by putting additional filters in place by cranking up the HVAC, but that drags down airflow (there’s a better solution at Number Four on our list!). Also, note that bacteria and spores grow in warm, wet environments, so consider getting dehumidifiers for problem areas, like areas of water leaks and damage.

2. Remove problems.

Certain types of carpeting and office furniture give off vapors that are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which in turn affect respiration and exacerbate asthma symptoms. That’s why many companies opt for wood or tile flooring. Look to replace things like toxic wall paint to with non-toxic alternatives, too.

3. Go green.

“Cleaning for Health” is a huge trend these days and focusing on green cleaning techniques can improve overall indoor air quality. Get started by downloading our whitepaper.

4. Get AeraMax® Professional.

Quite simply, the most effective way to positively impact indoor air quality is by installing AeraMax Professional commercial grade air purifiers. These units remove 99.97 percent of indoor contaminants like germs, bacteria, allergens and VOCs, making indoor air livable and breathable again. Each also is effective at removing odors from indoor spaces, making them ideal for high traffic areas. The air purifiers come in wall mount and stand units in a variety of sizes to suit most indoor spaces, and offer an easy way to get ahead of indoor air quality issues.

Climate Change

Climate change has really done a number on the US this winter: Southern California has been deluged by torrential rains, the East Coast has been hit with summer-like weather, and tornados—usually seen in late spring and early summer—have cropped up in February in the Midwest. And in the Southeast? Winter meant nothing, with Atlanta experiencing an average temperature increase of nine degrees; New Orleans had an eight-degree uptick and Charlotte had almost a ten-degree increase.

Allergy Seasons Starting Sooner

All that wet and warm weather means one thing: allergy seasons will start sooner and will be prolonged, because in some areas, allergy producing blooms emerged in late February. In fact, according to the National Allergy Bureau, tree pollen is already a problem, with reports of high concentrations throughout the South and into the farthest tip of Florida.

With such an early start to the season, people are already experiencing allergy symptoms. According to Thomas Johnson, MD, of Allergy and Asthma Care of Florida, in Ocala, FL, sufferers should get tested to determine exactly what pollens they are allergic to, before getting medication or trying over-the-counter remedies.

Additionally, people can track pollen counts at the National Allergy Bureau website (www.aaaai.org/nab) to minimize exposure and start treatment before the allergy season hits hardest.

What to do at Home?

At home, allergy sufferers should consider:

  • Doing outdoor activities after it rains, or in the evening, when pollen counts are generally lower
  • Avoiding hanging clothes outside to air dry
  • Showering after outdoor activities to remove any clinging pollen.
  • Frequently washing eyes to remove contact with airborne allergens.

What to do at Work?

At work, employees who are allergy sufferers should ensure that doors and windows are kept closed, and should talk with facility managers about ways to remove allergens from the indoor air.

Facility managers themselves should understand that allergens are brought in from outdoors in a number of ways: from fresh air being pumped into facilities; on the clothing of people coming in from outdoors; and by opened windows.

AeraMax Professional Fights Allergy Season

Key to helping alleviate sufferers’ symptoms is ridding the air of allergen spores to begin with, by using AeraMax® Professional commercial-grade air purification. Each AeraMax Professional unit removes up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like germs and allergens, from indoor air, greatly reducing the triggers for seasonal allergies. Indeed, helping allergy sufferers requires facility managers to “clean for health,” using air purification as a foundation for fighting allergy season.


The Problem

Some governments have been known to avoid the persistent problem of poor air quality, but a recent decision in Britain could possibly set the (low) standard.

Seems the British government has identified a large number of “hotspots” for pollution in the idyllic peninsula of Cornwall. The cause: major roadways in close proximity to villages and towns mean a heavy concentration of diesel fumes.

A Radical Solution

But instead of tackling the pollution problem with restrictions, heavy-vehicle taxes, the construction of an overpass to eliminate the proximity to affected villages or other measures, the government is planning on relocating residents. That’s right—instead of treating the problem, the government is considering moving the people affected by the problem.

The Cornwall Council says relocating families is a cheaper alternative to building an overpass and is floating the idea of developing an area farther from pollution sources for residents in the towns of Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Bodmin, Tideford, Gunnislake, St Austell, Truro and Camelford. Another option is removing people from homes closest to the roadway, bulldozing the homes and widening the road to reduce traffic backups and standing traffic.

Lost in the announcement is the fact that the government isn’t addressing poor air quality; instead, it is avoiding the problem with a plan that uproots lives without eliminating pollution. Critics have suggested taxes on diesel vehicles as an incentive to drive less, a law to migrate drivers of such vehicles to cleaner alternatives and restrictions on travel in the area. Still, the council is seriously considering the relocation as a “best option.”

Aeramax Professional a True Pollution Solution

The move in Britain is similar to instances when people avoid addressing the root of indoor air quality issues, opting instead to mask odors or simply boost HVAC outputs. Instead, cleaning the indoor air is the only effective way to increase air quality. And we think the most effective solution is installing AeraMax® Professional commercial-grade air purifiers in shared indoor spaces. Our complete line is designed to remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like germs, allergens, bacteria and volatile organic compounds from indoor air, offering a true pollution solution for facility managers.