Unhealthy workplaces are everywhere in Australia and
little is ever done about it. Likewise in the home, airborne chemicals
and cancer-causing properties may be floating around the rooms without you even realising. Indeed it's often true that outside
air, despite traffic and industrial pollution, is healthier than
being indoors. JEANETTE MORGAN looks at the issue and products which can assist with clearing and cleaning the air...
“... Repeated airborne infections of the bacteria
acinetobacter in an intensive care ward have been eliminated by
the installation of a negative air ioniser. In the first such epidemiological
study, researchers found that the infection rate fell to zero during
the year long trial. "We
were absolutely astounded to find such clear cut results," engineer
Clive Begg at the University of Leeds, UK, told New Scientist
..." - New Scientist Magazine.
Is Your Home or Office Killing You?
Ever heard about a "cancer cluster"?
If not, you've sure been out of touch with a big issue in Australia.
This is not something that hits just working class offices or
badly run factory floors. This went to the core of our civilisation
as 16 cases of cancer were reported in rapid succession among women
at the ABC's Toowong (Queensland) site.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said he expects more women who worked
at the ABC's former studios in Brisbane will be diagnosed with breast
In a sadly ironic twist, the following comes from
the ABC's own website:
"A member of the scientific panel that investigated the Toowong cancer
cluster says she is frustrated a cause could not be found.
Dr Joanne Aitken, who assisted Professor Bruce Armstrong in reviewing
the cluster, says it is unusual so many young women are developing
Dr Aitken says investigations are continuing, but a cause may never
We feel concerned for the women of course," she said.
We would like to know and get to the bottom of this and find out
why there are cases occurring in relatively young women.
We don't know the cause for that yet, work is still going on and
we hope to be able to get to the bottom of it in time, but at the
moment there are no clues as to what might be causing this.
Is Indoor Air Pollution A Serious Issue?
"IAQ (indoor air quality) can be affected by
microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), gases (including carbon
organic compounds), particulates, or any mass or energy stressor
that can induce adverse health conditions. Indoor air is becoming
an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air. Using
ventilation to dilute contaminants, filtration, and source control
are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most
It goes into specifics which I will outline in brief
Radon - "is an invisible, radioactive atomic gas
that results from the radioactive decay of radium, which may be found
in rock formations beneath buildings or in certain building materials
themselves. Radon is probably the most pervasive serious hazard for
indoor air in the United States and Europe, probably responsible
for tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year."
Carbon Monoxide - "One of the most acutely toxic
indoor air contaminants is carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless
gas that is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Common sources of carbon monoxide are tobacco smoke, space heaters
using fossil fuels,
defective central heating furnaces and automobile
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - "are emitted as gases from certain
solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which
may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations
of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering
in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers,
cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings,
office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids
and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including
glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solution."
Organic chemicals - "are widely used as ingredients
in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic
solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of
these products can release organic compounds during usage, and, to
some degree, when they are stored."
Ozone - "outdoor air used for ventilation may have
sufficient ozone to react with common indoor pollutants as well as
skin oils and other common indoor air chemicals or surfaces. Particular concern is warranted when using "green" cleaning products
based on citrus or terpene extracts as
these chemicals react very
quickly with ozone to form toxic and irritating chemicals as well
as fine and ultrafine particles. Ventilation with outdoor air containing
elevated ozone concentrations may complicate remediation attempts."
Awareness is Everywhere - And so are the Conditions
Twenty-two workers for Textron Financial Corp. in Little Rock allege
they were exposed to fiberglass and "unknown toxic substances" while
working in their offices at 112 W Third St. The employees are suing
Delaware-based Textron and several other companies, including the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which owns the building -
the former home of the Arkansas Gazette. Employees say they suffer
from a variety of long-term illnesses including coughs, headaches,
nausea, night sweats, dizziness, ringing
in the ears, growths on the face and panic attacks. They say their exposure to toxic substances took place within the last three years.
Arkansas Business Review, Feb 10, 2003.
Offices and homes are filled with products made up
of a toxic chemical that can cause symptoms mimicking allergies,
colds, and flu. This chemical is formaldehyde, and it is found in
everything from upholstered furniture to rugs, cabinets, paint, and
particle board. Even wallpaper and draperies contain formaldehyde.
So does cigarette smoke. Given the right conditions, it can off-gas into the air, causing havoc with the respiratory system and resulting
in illness and lost work days. Often, the cause of mystery illnesses
within the workplace can be traced to the poor air quality within the office environment itself. Toxic gasses lurk in the air around
our desks and computers, one of which is formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen
and noxious agent found in countless office items. - This article was
by Mary Pagay was voted #1 by the readers of Helium.com
a serious journalism website.
Air ionisers are used in air purifiers. Airborne
particles are attracted to the electrode in an effect similar to
These ions are de-ionised by seeking earthed conductors, such as
walls and ceilings. The use of negative ions continues to be a less
accepted mainstream therapy in Eastern Europe and the Far East than
in Western Europe
or the United States. Recent SARS outbreaks
have fueled the desire for personal ionizers in the Far East, including
Japan (where many products have been specialized to contain negative
ion generators, including toothbrushes, refrigerators, air conditioners,
air cleaners and washing machines). Notebook producers ASUS have
now started to include air ionisers in their computers. - Wikipedia
Air Filter Product Example #1: The Healthstart
Ion-70 Air Purifier
Ion-70 Air Purifier offers your working environment,
waiting rooms, homes etc cutting edge technology - covering a huge area of 70sqm, usinga 9
stage system, energy efficient & no matter where they are used
the Ion 70 Air Purifier components, integrated into the ventilation
an optimum room climate. These units have
been widely used and tested in Europe, the USA and Canada.
According to the distributors, it removes more pollutants
more quickly, from more air, than any other comparable portable air
filter / purifier. Such things as:
Bacteria. A four pronged attack to destroy airborne
bacteria is provided by the electronic dust collector, ioniser, HEPA
filter and the germicidal UV lamp.
Germs and Viruses. The ultraviolet light is deadly for germs and
Mould and Fungi. The HEPA filters, ionize and electronic dust collectors
combine to take care of these problems whilst the germicidal UV light
destroys any toxins released by mould and fungi spores.
Pollen and other Allergens are effectively removed by the HEPA filters,
electronic collection grid and the ioniser.
Dust and Dust Mites. HEPA filters are the most effective against
dust and allergens and their performance is enhanced by the ionisers.The
germicidal UV lamp kills dust mites and other micro-organisms.
Chemicals and Volatile Organic Compounds. The activated carbon filter
is the most effective method of trapping these pollutants. The ionize
and UV lamp complete the job.
Odours and Tobacco Smoke. The activated carbon filter and ioniser
combine to eliminate odours and smoke from most sources.
Suitable for home or workplace applications.
Keeps the home or workplace healthier by severely retarding the spread
of infected air.
Cutting edge Japanese Technology gives the ION-70 unsurpassed particle
and odour sensors which automatically monitor air quality.
Adjustable rate of airflow and huge plasma dust collector.
Powerful and ultra quiet four speed fan with the convenience of a
remote control & automatic settings.
Particle filtering capability of 99.97% at one micron.
Additional sensors indicate when its time to replace filters.
Efficient, compact and almost noise free, the ION-70 will not intrude
on other activities in the work or home environment.
Cleanable long life filters
Timer mode from 1 to 8 hours.
30 day money back guarantee if not completely satisfied.
Healthy gift ideas as
on the To Health By Choice website:
Shower them with Gifts: The Vitashower
Contains an in-built vitamin which dechlorinates the water, attaches easily to
any shower head - improves the condition of skin and the texture of hair. http://www.tohealth.com.au/vitashower.html
Healthstart Far Infrared Home Saunas
Come in a range of sizes. If you don't know much about the benefits of infra
red technology then well worth exploring how health-giving a sauna can be. http://www.tohealth.com.au/saunas.html
Sprouts have the greatest nutrition activity of any raw food. This is because
sprouts are still in the process of growing and at a very chimerical early stage of their life. http://www.tohealth.com.au/auto_sprouters.html
The Ion70 Air Purifier - Great Gift for Mothers Day
My mum rang the other day, holidaying in Denmark, Western Australia, and complaining
she was reacting to the pollution in the main street! From all of 4 cars!! Yet many more people are becoming hyper-sensitive, asthmatic & allergic
like her. http://www.tohealth.com.au/hybrid_ion-70.html
The Elanra Air Ionisers
A range of medical ionisers which produce thousands of small biologically ingestible
ions. Australian-made, these ionizers won silver at the Swiss inventors conference. http://www.tohealth.com.au/elanra_ioniser.html
The Hydros Water Distiller
Distillation has been shown to remove heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, particles
and other harmful compounds including fluoride. Great funky design & gives us back
the perfect water we are meant to drink. http://www.tohealth.com.au/distiller.html
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