Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When is Allergy Season? Allergens, VOCs, MCS and HEPA / CARBON Air Purifiers

When is Allergy season?

The answer depends on what you are allergic to and some allergens are perennial, or ongoing, year-round allergies:

  • Spring has trees, pollen and grass.
  • In early summer, grasses pollinate.
  • In late summer and into fall, weeds pollinate, and other allergens include grass and animal dander.
  • Fall more specifically has Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever) caused by ragweed pollen, and MOLD. Fall allergies can also include leaves and grass.
  • In winter, indoor allergens include dust, dust mites, dust mite droppings, mold spores, and dog and cat dander. Cockroaches, mice, and rats can also be the source of indoor allergens.

It just depends on what you are allergic to.

Indoor Air Pollution, VOCs, MCS

Common causes of indoor air pollution which can trigger allergy symptoms at work or home include carpeting, upholstery, adhesives, manufactured wood products, copier chemicals, cleaning agents and pesticides. These often emit or “off gas” what's known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
that can trigger allergy symptoms. Common VOCs include formaldehyde (often from furniture or building materials) , and aerosol cleaning agents.

Although VOCs can cause allergy-like reactions, they are more likely “chemical sensitivities”. Some individuals have a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or “MCS”, which is not a true allergy. True allergies cause the immune system of an allergic person to react, while VOCs or chemical irritants can simply irritate the respiratory tract in some people without triggering an immune system reaction or allergy. Those who have true allergies to different substances may experience both allergies and chemical sensitivities.

If you have Allergies, it is highly recommended to use a HEPA Purifier with a heavy CARBON bed (5-15 lbs.+ depending on design) at work, home, and while sleeping for sensitive individuals including those with Asthma, MCS. The HEPA filter will remove the particles, while the CARBON will remove VOCs such as chemicals, irritants, gases, and even odors.

As the owner of Allergy Purifiers LLC, I personally use, and highly recommend the IQAir HealthPro Plus purifier for a wide range of allergens or VOCs and for Asthma or MCS. This particular air purifier is currently regarded as one of the very best on the market, and the IQAir HealthPro Plus purifier removes more allergens than standard HEPA filters, even catching cat dander, where most HEPA filters cannot efficiently capture these smaller particles.

Thank you for reading!

Doug Bracken - 3-6-12