Does an Allergy Air Purifier for asthma really help? A former asthmatic and allergy expert from http://www.aliveair.com weighs in on Public Radio..
We’re talking with Mark Richardson of Alive Air Purifiers. How are you? Mark: I'm good. WISN: Great thank you for fitting me in your schedule. I was just looking around for air purifier when I ran across your Allergy Cure Book. This is fascinating - I want to talk about this. So what I want to do is spend about 10 minutes talking about air purifiers - what people should look for, especially, this time a year because a lot of folks now are closing up the windows, and they’re dealing with a lot of dust and allergens from the leaves that are falling. Mark: That's what I do.
WISN: Great. Well, let’s start off by talking about your Guide to Natural Allergy and Asthma Relief. This was not just something you decided to write for fun.
Mark: When I was a young child of 6 I had severe asthma and allergies and ended up at an allergist who gave me shots every week. It didn’t help. At age 9 I started taking herbs. I wondered why I'm different than people without asthma. This was mid-seventies. I started buying air purifiers. I was experimenting with anything to get rid of asthma and allergies, not just alleviate it. I wanted to breathe.
WISN: Right. That’s what some of us in the office are talking about because a lot of us here are allergy sufferers. We’re all experimenting. And I just moved to Milwaukee about a year and a half ago and the pollens here are different than the ones I experienced in central Pennsylvania.
So you have to mix and match and try different things, and not all medicines work for everyone. The problem with air purifiers - there are so many that do different things for different allergens. If you have an allergy say to pet dander, one type may not work for you. If you're allergic to pollen say from trees, well, that might not work. So where do you start looking for an air purifier?
Mark: That's a good question because I get thousands of calls from people wondering what purifier they should get. My initial response is, “What allergies do have? That's going to determine the technology.” There are 9 basic technologies that all do something a little bit different. I’ll start with pollen and dust allergies. With those kind of molecules what you want to look for first is a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter is a cloth filter which captures pollen and your dust. It’s the only way to get rid of pollen and dust from the air effectively. And the thing to watch for is the replacement filter costs. I’ve seen the HEPA filters as much as $120. So, you need to shop smart on the back end as well as on the front end by looking at filter costs.
WISN: Yes, I think that’s a great analogy. We spend, you know, 12 hours a day in our home and eight hours of those sleeping. It’s really important to have you the ability to breathe while you're sleeping. A lot of folks, you know, they deal with the CPAP machines now for sleep apnea and things like that. But if they could open those airways naturally it would be a lot easier. How about allergies?.
Mark: Let’s say someone has an allergy to or are sensitive to chemicals or odors then you’ll probably want to look for a machine that has carbon and/or zeolite. They’re just minerals that have a charge to them and a lot a little tiny pores inside the mineral. But they're actually going to trap gases and those have to be replaced every four to six months depending on the size, too. But if you’ve got chemical or odor sensitivity that would be the route to go for that kind of sensitivity. The next, let’s say you have pets or are allergic to pets, well then, besides the HEPA, which is going to catch a lot of the dander and hair, it would also be good to find one that has a.. pre-filter which is just like a washable screen. It’s going to make the HEPA last longer, but it's going to capture pet dander and hair, as well. So, that’s kind of a way to get better use out of the HEPA filter.
WISN: Well, it's just like the the screens like prospectors use. It’s got the big big holes on top then the smaller holes as you go down in order to you know catch the different sized pieces.
Mark: When I was a kid I had like four different machines in my room. I had a little negative ionizer, I’ll talk about that in one second. I had a HEPA filter. I had an electrostatic. I had a UV bulb to kill germs and bacteria. So, it's good to find a machine, now, let’s say you’re allergic to pollen so you’ll want to get HEPA to get pollen out of the air. But all the things that are in the air, except the air itself, are things that kind of compromise the immune system. So this can affect your allergies, even if you’re just allergic to one thing it's good to get a multiple technology unit.
continued at http://www.aliveair.com