Celebrating 60 Years of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), an important organization that works to raise awareness about asthma and allergies, and to help those that suffer from these illnesses. At the time of their founding, the AAFA was known as the “American Foundation for Allergic Diseases,” and its aim was to work with allergy specialists to promote research and search for more effective treatments. As the foundation grew, it expanded its interests to look at asthma as well, and started to focus not only on the health care providers, but the actual sufferers of allergies and asthma. Today, the foundation works closely with patients and providers, funding research and outreach programs dedicated to educating the public about asthma and allergies and to help sufferers get their symptoms under control.

Here are just a few of the great programs and resources that the AAFA offers:

1)     Support groups for children, teen, and adult sufferers, as well as those who love and care for them. These support groups are a safe place to learn about how to manage these conditions and to share stories for emotional support.

2)    Educational resources are also available on the AAFA’s website.  These include posters, fact sheets, and continuing education resources for health care professionals, all designed to provide the best information about asthma, allergies, and treatment options.

3)     For those who are seeking an online supportive community where they can connect with others who are dealing with asthma and allergies from all over the country, the AAFA offers an active online forum where members can ask questions, share stories, and trade tips and information.

4)    For consumers who are looking to purchase products that have been proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies, the AAFA’s Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification Program is a great resource. Rabbit Air is a proud member of this program, and we are very happy to be able to offer our MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition air purifier.

UC San Deigo Researching Portable Air Quality Monitor

City SmogIn December 2012, the University of California at San Diego discussed an exciting new advance in Air Quality monitoring. Researchers there had created a small portable device that measured air quality in real time, letting users know in the moment whether they were breathing clean air or if they had wandered into a spot of highly concentrated pollutants. This advanced technology allowed for those concerned with air quality to have more precise information about the environment around them, allowing them to make informed decisions about the air they breathed. Runners and bikers, for example, would be able to avoid areas with higher pollution, protecting their lungs as they exercised. The device could even be useful in indoor areas, as one study participant found when he realized that the air quality in his office was quite poor, prompting his company to take steps to improve the air for its employees.

We hope to see more research into this area, and look forward to the day when personal air quality monitoring is available to all. Until then, there are still steps one can take to be proactive about air quality and protected from pollutants. City-wide daily pollen and pollution counts are easily accessed on websites such as Pollen.com and AirNow.gov. These sites are great tools for learning about air pollution in your city, and can help to plan your outings during times when pollutant levels are low. When you’re in your home, you can be smart about air pollutants as well by using a HEPA air purifier such as our MinusA2 to filter out harmful pollutants and keep the air clean and fresh.

Four Fun Facts About Mold

 

1)       You may know mold as the slimy stuff that can make you sick, but did you know that not all molds are hazardous to humans? In fact, some of them have been used to our great benefit.  Penicillin, one of the most important antibiotics developed, was derived in part from penicillicum mold, and has been of great importance in combating disease.  The discovery and development of penicillin won its inventor, Alexander Fleming, a Nobel Prize.

2)       There are even molds that are used with culinary purposes in mind.  Many delicious cheeses, including Roquefort, Brie, and Camembert are made by using molds like Penicillium candidum and Penicillium roqueforti to provide them with the soft rinds and blue veins that heighten their flavor.

3)       Some molds can solve mazes, like the fungi known as slime mold that have surprised scientists by following food sources laid out in a puzzle and retracting its protoplasmic tubes when they hit dead ends. Scientists working with the mold are hopeful that in the future, learning how slime molds move and cross distances can help humans plan more efficient travel routes.

4)       We know that mold needs a moist environment to grow, so it may come as a surprise that homes in hot, dry environments like the American southwest can also have their share of mold growth as well.  States like Texas, Arizona, and Nevada even made the top ten in the relative hazard mold ranking by American Risk Management Resources.  The major factor for mold growth in these states is not so much the weather, but a result of building conditions; if buildings are sealed too tightly, for example when trying to meet energy requirements, it can create poor ventilation which is a prime environment for mold growth. To help get rid of mold, it is best to use an air purifier, such as the MinusA2 with a true HEPA filter to trap and eliminate mold spores in your home.