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HomesJune marked the first annual National Healthy Homes Month. This initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was launched to provide people with the opportunity to learn more about housing and its effects on health. The National Center for Healthy Housing estimates that approximately 35 million metropolitan U.S. homes have at least one health and safety hazard. As a means to tackle this issue, HUD set out eight healthy home principles that can be followed to make the home environment healthier.

Bugs vs Drugs Science GalleryYesterday the Science Gallery was the venue for a Health Research Board (HRB) sponsored talk on antimicrobial resistance entitled “Bugs versus Drugs”. It was an evening of insightful discussion between Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick (Consultant Microbiologist Beaumont Hospital and Senior Lecturer at RCSI), Dr Andrew Murphy (a General Practitioner and Professor in NUI Galway) and science journalist Maryn McKenna. The broadcaster Jonathan McCrea hosted the conversation. As the audience included non-scientists, Dr Fitzpatrick started by explaining that while “bugs” in microbiology include bacteria, viruses and fungi, antibiotics only work against bacteria and often only against a specific type of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance refers to the strategies bacteria develop to prevent antibiotics from acting against them.

Every breath we take report coverToday the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) released the report “Every breath we take: The lifelong impact of air pollution”. The report covers the health effects of air pollution across our lifetime, from before birth to old age. The issue of air pollution is very important. In the UK around 40,000 deaths a year are estimated to be attributable to outdoor air pollution. However the report emphasises that air pollution is not just an outdoors problem. We spend most of our time indoors, so pollution of indoor spaces such as homes, workplaces and schools is just as crucial.

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Irelands-Dirtiest-Pillow

Gabriel Scientific, in conjunction with airmid healthgroup, launched The Pillow Check Up 2013 on RTE Radio 1’s The Mooney Show on the 17th of April. Listeners were invited to send their pillows for analysis at airmid healthgroup’s laboratories to measure the levels of mould, allergens and bacteria present in pillows around Ireland. The results revealed that one third of pillows sampled had evidence of dust mite allergen. All of the pillows were found to harbour bacteria, just under a third of which at high levels, while half contained detectable levels of mould. A variety of mould and bacterial species were identified including Candida, Aspergillus, Rhodoltorula, and Streptococcus.

Occupational Hygiene Society of IrelandDr. Bruce Mitchell, CEO of airmid healthgroup, was delighted to present a talk entitled “Exposure to Indoor Air Contaminants in the Workplace” at the 22nd Annual Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland conference held in Co. Limerick. In his talk Dr Mitchell addressed many of the key elements that need to be taken into account to ensure the quality of indoor air in offices.

grand-canal-quayThe neighbourhood bordering the Grand Canal Docks in Dublin where airmid healthgroup's facilities are based has become a hub of start ups, entrepreneurs, tech giants, and innovation, leading to it becoming known as “Silicon Docks”.  Following in the footsteps of Google & Facebook, a myriad of leading international companies and investors are being attracted to the area.