Can Portable Air Cleaners Remove Particulate Pollutants In Our Homes and Offices?

Angela Southey discusses the potential health benefits of these popular products.

pollutionPortable air cleaner usage in homes and offices has increased steadily over the last 20 years in countries such as the US where one in three households has an air cleaner 1. The main reason for this is heightened public awareness of the harmful health effects of particulates. In China, domestic air purifiers were almost unheard of prior to 2013 2. Now in many parts of Asia, air purifier sales are booming 2 as more and more citizens suffer from respiratory problems due to chronic air pollution and smog in their cities leading to deterioration in indoor air quality.

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How do you dry your hands?

How do you dry your hands Did you know that wet hands can spread up to 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands?1 That is why hand drying is the important final step of a hand hygiene procedure.

The most common hand drying methods involve the use of paper towels, continuous paper rolls and a wide range of electrical hand dryers (warm air, cold air, jet air etc.). The choice of method varies based on practical and economic reasons. Hand drying methods have been studied with the aim of determining which is the most environmental friendly, the most effective in drying hands and the more appropriate to avoid the spread of germs.

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Overview of the influenza virus

Transmission electron micrograph of influenza H1N1 virionsInfluenza viruses are responsible for the highly contagious flu disease that can range in severity from mild to serious illness. This virus is important globally. For centuries influenza infections have caused both epidemics (the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people) and pandemics (the worldwide spread of a new disease). In this article we will discuss the classification, structure and versatility of the influenza virus.

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Contamination of bed linen – Factors in microbial and allergen accumulation

sleeping-girl

Federal health officials recently reported that at least two million Americans are infected every year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die from those infections (1). This harsh reality of hospital infections means that there is no doubting the importance of their control and prevention. Limiting the spread of infection will require novel infection control strategies. A key element of this strategy is to control the dispersal of microbes via contaminated bed linen, mattresses and other points of close contact with infected individuals (2).

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Bed bug feeding methods for laboratory maintenance

3 adult bed bugsBed bugs (Cimex lectularius & Cimex hemipterus) are nocturnal feeding insects that feed solely on blood from sleeping humans or other warm blooded animals. While bed bugs were a known pest to humans from the time of the Greek and Roman empires, since the 1950s their numbers had been in decline due to the widespread use of insecticides such as DTT (dichlorodipenyltrichloroethane)1, 2. However in the early 2000s a resurgence of bed bugs began in major cities worldwide.

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Building Materials Can Be a Major Source Of Indoor Air Pollution

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

Occupational Health and Safety Airmid September 2013 1Asthma is an increasingly common respiratory condition that affects up to 30 percent of children and 10 percent of adults in the developed world1. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde and phthalates, has been associated with increased risk of asthma, allergies and pulmonary infections2,3. Asthma sufferers are more susceptible to inhaled irritants, which means they can experience an adverse response to a lower concentration of a hazardous chemical air pollutant than a non-asthmatic person would2.Therefore, the quality of indoor air is of great importance to health, especially when people today spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. However, indoor air can contain more pollutants than the air outside4. For example, the concentration of phthalates can be 100 to 1,000 times higher indoors5.

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Issues with Indoor Air Quality. A Health Friendly Air perspective

Indoor AirFungal and bacterial microorganisms are a ubiquitous element of the flora which an individual is exposed to on a daily basis. At Health Friendly Air (HFA) we have acquired significant experience in addressing the occurrence of these issues in businesses and homes and as a result are well placed to detect them and subsequently advise on measures which need to be addressed. The following considers these in the context of other indoor environmental factors and how seasonal changes in building maintenance have been shown to affect Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

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An overview of methods used to evaluate the efficacy of antibacterial treated surfaces and textiles

by Vivienne Mahon PhD a Senior Researcher at airmid healthgroup

LaboratoryIn general, rather than being free living, most microorganisms exist attached onto surfaces. These microorganisms then have the potential to transfer to other locations e.g if they come into contact with human skin or food items. If microorganisms are transferred to an environment that has favourable conditions for growth, they may multiply and eventually cause adverse effects in exposed individuals[1]. An antimicrobial treatment could prevent a surface from becoming a reservoir of infection[2].

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