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Old 06-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #7
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 19
Default Air Filters

Hi Everyone,

Time to catch up on a few earlier posts Baron posted on 4/9/09 under Hello to Athena: “I would be keen to hear what you may say about practical ways to protect yourself from EMFs generated in the home. (I am aware of specific crystal use in this regard, including BIOPRO chips that some say work whilst others say don't, thru to Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamps etc.) Am also curious at to what a good negative ion air ioniser may do to improve the atmosphere of one's home too. Keen to hear your thoughts.”

I will be posting more on EMFs on the dedicated EMF thread as soon as I can get to it. This is a big, important topic, and there are lots of things you can do in your home to make improvements. As for the BIOPRO chips—I haven't used them, personally. Their website looks impressive with all the photographs, but from a Building Biology perspective, I’d like to see some readings taken with professionally calibrated equipment showing radiation levels before and after chip use. If someone has that information, please feel free to post it here.

As for “negative ion air ionizers to improve the atmosphere of one's home.” OK, seeing as we have an International readership here, it's important to mention that there are so many products available around the world, with new ones surfacing on an almost daily basis, that it isn't possible to give a definitive worldwide answer. However, maybe the most useful thing to address is: what is it you want to achieve in your home? Is there a bad smell? Does a member of the family smoke? Does someone burn food in the home regularly (you may laugh, but it does happen)? Is someone chemically sensitive and reacting to everything in the home—do you see my point? Generally, products claim they: filter air, purify air, ionize air. It's important to remember that most filters essentially "polish" the air. They work best dealing with minor indoor air quality issues or short term polluting problems. They are not sufficient by themselves if you are dealing with a more substantial problem like mold and mildew, VOCs outgassing from new carpets or home renovations/remodels. If there is a bad smell, find the source and eliminate it. If there has been a water leak and mold damage, you will need professional remediation that tests mold levels before and after remediation to conclusively show the problem has been fixed.

Also, do be aware of air filters that are ozone generators. Ozone is a pungent smelling, irritating gas. Because it is a very unstable form of oxygen, it is extremely reactive. While ozone can break down some VOCs in the air, it can also react with some existing gases, or other materials and furnishings in the home, and create new pollutants that were not there before. Ozone generators are sometimes used to remediate smoke damage in a building. In these situations high levels of ozone are used and the occupants are removed. These are specialized situations, not usually applicable to everyday use at home.

Did you know:
Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue. (1)

I personally have two different air filters that I use for specific things when needed. I do think it’s a good idea to have a quality air filter around that can thoroughly polish the air in one room of the house thereby creating a mini safe haven within your home. Here on the Avalon forum, we are all aware of the possible future scenarios we may be facing—everything from unusual weather patterns to pandemic viral outbreaks. So should you need to quarantine yourself, or stay indoors for a few days, a good air filter may really help your health during that time. Don’t forget to buy spare filters for your unit, if it requires them, and if you have a model that needs to be manually washed, be sure to do that regularly. Forgetting to maintain your air filter is a sure way to create new problems for yourself. I make notes on my calendar ahead of time to remind myself when future maintenance jobs like these need to be done.

Other than that, remember to open windows and let fresh air into your home whenever possible. A healthy home needs to breathe and replenish oxygen levels on a regular basis. I find sleeping with a bedroom window open, or slightly cracked, at night, is really helpful for quality sleep and waking refreshed in the morning.

Hope that helps!
Good health to all.

(1) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "ozone: Good Up High, Bad Nearby" [online]. [Cited July, 2003], June, 2003.
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