To Our Readers,

July 22, 2012


Today will be a continuation of our discussion on lung health.

While most people think about outdoor pollution as the most common and dangerous type of pollution, this sometimes is not the case. Indoor pollutants tend to irritate us more so than outdoor pollutants, if only because we spend so much time indoors!

So what constitutes as an indoor pollutant? There are many types and triggers, with the most obvious being tobacco smoke or dust. But also aerosol products, household cleaners, and even houseplants can be sources of pollution. Cut down on these pollutants by keeping your house free of dust and mold, and by keeping smoke outside. If you need to use any chemicals while cleaning, make sure you do so in an open or well-ventilated room.

As for your houseplants, you don’t have to get rid of them. But, because plant soil is usually damp, it can allow for the spread of mold. So just be sure to keep your plants well potted and check for creeping irritants. Still, definitely don’t get rid of your green friends. They can actually help in the improvement of air quality in your home—as long as you take care of them properly.

HELPFUL PLANTS

Of course all plants help to filter the air, simply by existing. Plants take carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, some plants can help to eliminate significant amounts of benzene and formaldehyde, as well as some other respiratory irritants.

NASA—as part of the NASA Clean Air Study—recommends that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in an 1,800-square-foot home in order to help improve air quality in your home. The following is a list of beneficial plants to keep an eye out for when looking to bring in new greenery. Of course, always research each plant well to make sure it is a right fit for you and your family (including pets!).

Dwarf date palm

Boston fern

Peace Lily (toxic to cats)

Chinese evergreen (toxic to cats)

Bamboo palm or reed palm

Broadleaf Lady palm

Spider Plant

Snake Plant (toxic to cats and dogs)

Red-edged dracaena (toxic to cats and dogs)

Warneck dracaena (toxic to cats)

Gerbera Daisy

Pot Mum (poisonous if eaten or chewed by dogs, cats, and horses)

MOLD

Now, a big irritant—besides smoke—to anyone with asthma or other related lung difficulties is mold. While most people take mold as the first sign of a derelict or dirty house, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, there are two common types of mold: mold growing from an overabundance of moisture, or mold growing due to natural substances such as pet dander or pollen. Keeping an eye out for any mold and eliminating it as soon as it’s noticed, however, is the best route to go with keeping your air quality in check. If you react badly to mold exposure but don’t have anyone else to help, you can protect yourself with a medical mask and covering up your skin and hair as much as possible while cleaning. If you begin to notice a reoccurrence of mold in a certain spot, be sure to investigate the possible cause.

Moisture can build up from anything—water leaking into the home, plumbing leaks, condensation from faulty ventilation, or even from ground moisture. And, because mold can propagate rather quickly and release allergens into the air, you need to eliminate these underlying problems if at all possible. Keeping the humidity in your home below 50% can help further prevention of mold growth. While this is difficult in certain regions, dehumidifiers can certainly help.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

To Our Readers,

July 20, 2012


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Here at Enota Mountain Retreat, we enjoy an abundance of clean, fresh mountain air. This is never more noticeable than when our guests arrive from large, bustling cities such as Atlanta, where the air quality can sometimes be less than perfect. Unfortunately, escaping to pristine atmospheres can sometimes be a challenge. So today’s topic is all about lung health and how you can better prevent—or keep in check—lung-related illnesses.  The first portion of this topic is related to Ozone Pollution.

OZONE POLLUTION

Ozone pollution—or outdoor pollution—is the most commonly talked about form of air pollution. Though the ozone layer helps protect us from the sun’s harmful rays (as well as some other bad radiation), it is not the healthiest thing to breathe in. So, first of all, what is ozone? Basically, ozone is O3, an oxygen molecule with 3 oxygen atoms. Normally, you’d think that the more oxygen the better, but this isn’t exactly the case. Ozone serves as a powerful oxidant and can cause damage to mucus and respiratory tissues.

Thankfully, the ozone layer is far above the Earth’s surface, but it can gather near the ground when greenhouse gases collect—though don’t think ozone comes directly from your car! Ozone forms from a reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Because of this reaction, ozone is very much a daytime problem, rather than a nighttime hazard.

Cities and other urban areas that are plagued by heavy traffic are especially hard hit by high ozone levels. And when there are high temperatures and little to no wind, the problem only gets worse. So if you live in an urban area and are plagued by lung ailments such as asthma, it’s best to take proper precautions on especially hot or humid days. Pay attention, too, to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to keep tabs on local outdoor pollution problems.

EFFECTS

So what exactly can ozone do to the body? Well, ozone can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, throat irritation, or even an uncomfortable sensation in the chest area. Ozone can reduce lung function, which makes it difficult to breath deeply. Of course, because of this, ozone is considered an irritant for those suffering asthma or other related problems. Another concerning side effect of ozone is the inflammation and damage of the cells lining the lungs. This can also lead to difficulties in fighting off lung or respiratory infections, or could even cause permanent damage to the lungs in children and adults through repeated exposure.

WHAT TO DO

When ozone levels are high, it’s best to simply stay indoors as much as possible and limit any necessary activities to the early morning hours or even after sunset. If this can’t be avoided, please try not to exercise vigorously outdoors. Try to keep away from high traffic areas—if at all possible and avoid using gasoline-powered tools or lawn equipment. Of course, it’s not always easy to follow such rules and stricture—especially if a job or responsibility includes any of these types of activity. The best thing to do is simply use caution on high level days and keep away from any unnecessary exposure.

That’s it for today, though more information and advice will be coming soon. In the meantime, try to think about any potentially harmful areas or activities. Remember, keep safe! And if you can’t run to the mountains to escape the pollution, keep inside and think of a cool summer breeze.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

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