Electromagnetic Allergies

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Our society, with its many advantages, is not risk-free. We must continually weigh the benefits derived from new materials and products against the potentials hazards. Many problems arising from external sources of electromagnetic force of beyond our control~but we can make evaluations, take precautions and exercise control over our own use of devices which emit a electromagnetic frequency (EMF.)

People have experienced symptoms and illnesses from using electromagnetic devices ranging from headaches to cancer. European countries such as Sweden and others have set minimum standards for exposure to electromagnetic fields, while the U.S. seems to mostly ignore the issue. As a result, the burden of limiting exposure to an electric energy field has been placed on the public themselves throughout much of the world. The key to limiting exposure is the gathering of knowledge about electromagnetic energy and the possible effects on the human body.

Consider the length of time that you use electrical appliances everyday. For example, the electromagnetic field generated from an electric razor or hair dryer is greater than that of a television set or computer, exposure time to these appliances is much shorter.

Here are some simple precautions you may take to protect against electromagnetic low-frequency energy waves or fields:

  • Keep as few electrical appliances in your bedroom as possible. This will help minimize the exposure during your sleeping time.
  • Do not use electric blankets or heating pads, especially near your head.
  • Use a screening shield to reduce the waves from your computer monitor if you use an old-style CRT unit or purchase a newer LCD type monitor which emits low electromagnetic frequency.
  • Check all electrical cords to insure their insulation is intact.
  • Choose a bedroom which is far removed from the entry of the main electrical source into the home.
  • If possible, choose a home site that is far from overhead high-power electrical lines.
  • Avoid free-standing or individual electric room heaters.
  • PET-OWNERS: Keep your dogs and cats from lying on electrical cords for long periods of time as they can develop serious illnesses from exposure to EMF just as humans. In fact, it is believed that certain canine and feline leukemia cases may be caused by their exposure to EMF.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Electromagnetic energy fields can have the most detrimental effect on the brain, so limit your exposure to these fields over time and keep a distance of at least 12” when possible. This would include the usage of a cell phone; use a wireless bluetooth device or even an external mic whenever possible to minimize your overall exposure times.

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HEPA stands for High Efficient Particulate Air (Arrestance) or in other words, they filter out sub-micron particles as they clean.

Many high-quality vacuum cleaners and air purifiers use HEPA filters as part of their filtration systems. This is beneficial for asthma and allergy sufferers, because the HEPA filter traps the fine particles (such as pollen and dust mite feces) which trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. For a HEPA filter in a vacuum cleaner to be effective, the vacuum cleaner must be designed so that all the air drawn into the machine is expelled through the filter, with none of the air leaking past it. This is often referred to as “Sealed HEPA” or sometimes the more vague “True HEPA.” Vacuum cleaners simply labeled HEPA have a HEPA filter, but not all air necessarily passes through it.

Finally, vacuum cleaner filters marketed as “HEPA-like” will typically use a filter of a similar construction to HEPA, but without the filtering efficiency. Because of the extra density of a HEPA filter, HEPA vacuum cleaners require more powerful motors to provide adequate cleaning power.

When purchasing a HEPA vacuum or air-purifier, it is important to read the specifications for the HEPA filtration to assure that the appliance uses a True-HEPA filter capable of filtration to 99.97% at 0.3 microns. If the HEPA filter in question does not list these specifications, then keep shopping for one that does.

Allergy Vacuum

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Allergy Vacuum Cleaner or Vacuum Polluter?

It is easy to “clean by sight” when vacuuming a floor or carpeting – a couple of passes with the vacuum and the dirt, dust and particles are gone. However, what we don’t see are the thousands of microscopic particles still remaining which can cause a host of allergic symptoms.

A great portion of indoor air pollutants fall into the broad category particles, also known as particulate matter. I consider particulate matter control in the indoor environment to be at the top of the list for improving and maintaining good IAQ.

Particulate matter is derived from a multitude of sources including but not limited to pesticides, lead dust from sanding of old paint, synthetic fibers, organic fibers, dust mite feces, insect parts, bug parts, soot, chemical powder, pollen parts, tobacco smoke and of course, just good old house dust.

Each cubic foot of air in your home can contain tens of thousands of particles and are measured in microns. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. Approximately 98-99% of all particles by count are in the size range of 10 microns or less and the majority of harmful particles are 3 microns or less in size. The average adult breathes in about 16,000 quarts of air per day. Each quart of air breathed in contains some 70,000 visible and invisible particles. That’s potentially a billion particles per day taken in by our respiratory system.

Without doubt, the greatest tool available to remove these particles of all sizes including microscopic particles is the HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum. The certified HEPA filter vacuum cleaner (or central vacuum system) is the best particle removing device over which you have total control. You decide what surfaces you vacuum and when. Any other vacuum filter is potentially a vacuum polluter and only recycles the microscopic particles which are responsible for many respiratory allergies.

Regular use of HEPA vacuum technology can drastically improve allergies symptoms in a home environment.

About the author:
Stan K. Hall has been a recognized specialist in indoor air pollution for 25 years and has performed over 400 in-home environmental evaluations. He has been recommended by doctors, nutritionist’ as well as other health professionals for his expertise in diagnosing and remediating sick houses. Go to the Sick House Doctor website.

Reducing Allergies at Home:Reducing Allergies: Vacuum Types

Allergies Air Purifier

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There is much confusion over what causes allergies but we will shed some light on the true nature of allergies in the home environment and how an allergies air purifier can reduce symptoms. Allergies can be caused by exposure to pollution in a particle form such as dust mite or a chemical form such as formaldehyde. A human body can have different immune responses to a pollutant depending on various environmental factors. The good news is, choosing the right air purifier can minimize allergy symptoms while at home.

The indoor air purifier is a simple device which can make a drastic improvement in your indoor air. The real key to understanding an air purifier is to remember that only the indoor air that travels though the unit gets cleaned. For example, very large rooms may require two small air purifiers at either end rather than one large unit in the middle.

Proper Technology Is The Key

The air purifying technologies available should be chosen according to the type of pollutant you are trying to remove from the indoor air. Adsorption media such as activated carbon are effective at removing chemical pollutants, high efficient particulate air (HEPA) and electronic technologies are better suited to remove particles. There are also ultraviolet (UV) units available which are specifically designed to kill microorganisms such as viruses. Utilizing the various technologies together will make the greatest improvement in the indoor air quality of a home.

Airborne particles such as pollen, dust mites, cat dander, household dust and pesticide dust are considered a particulate pollutant and are best addressed with a HEPA air purifier. Other airborne particles such a smoke are removed more efficiently with an electronic air purifying system. A HEPA filter within an air purifier is very effective but the filters must be changes on periodical basis up to 5-years depending on the manufacturer. Electronic filter elements do not require changing but do need to be washed regularly to remain effective.


Microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and molds must be controlled if a household member has a weakened or damaged immune system including the very young or elderly. The most effective method to control microorganisms is the use of a UV air purifier. UV light can destroy or change the DNA of a microorganism making it unsubstantial as an indoor pollutant. Air purifiers which employ both HEPA and UV technologies are an ideal combination for reducing as much as 85% of indoor pollutants.


Chemicals in the indoor environment are removed by a process known as media adsorption. Media adsorption such as activated carbon granules have a lot of surface area and actually adsorb chemicals from the air. Activated carbon granules are the best choice as a general purpose chemical removal media. There are other media’s available such as Zeolite and potassium permanganate which target chemical compounds that activated carbon is ineffective at removing.. A media should be chosen by understanding which chemical compounds you are targeting for removal from the indoor air. Air purifiers which contain activated carbon polyester filter media should not be used to remove chemicals since they do not contain enough surface area.

Utilizing the proper air purifier technology for a specific indoor air pollutant can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms while in the home environment.

About the author:

The Sick House Center is a resource and information center about indoor air pollution and related issues. Read about a Pure Air Purifier at the Sick House Center.

Cleaning the Honeywell Air Purifier Pre-filter