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The Air Our Children Breathe Is Literally Killing Them
The air our children breathe might not be as clean as we once thought.
Each year, nearly 600,000 children die from diseases caused by air pollution, and even more children live in areas where the risks of developing such diseases are incredibly high. According to a new report from UNICEF, 300 million kids around the world are breathing in toxic air every day.
This constant contact with air pollution is especially dangerous for children because their bodies are still developing. Toxic particles found in the air can make their way through the bloodstream and cause cardiac disease, asthma, pneumonia, or even heart failure.
The United Nations is actively working toward reducing the number of deaths caused by air pollution by limiting fossil fuel emissions and ensuring that children receive the healthcare that they need. But the issue of air pollution is not something that can be solved overnight.
Your Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality should also be of concern as recent studies have proven that indoor air quality is generally worse than outside air quality.
Sometimes the effects on indoor air quality can be sufficient to cause people to experience significant discomfort, and in extreme cases to become physically ill.
There are several ways that you can improve the indoor air quality in your home or workplace.
Professional duct cleaning and upgrading your air filtration systems are usually the first steps to be taken in the process. If these items are done properly, it is possible to notice amazing results. These items can completely solve your indoor air quality concerns most of the time.
There are exceptions and possible next steps. Adding HEPA air filters to your living space can make an immediate and very noticeable improvement to the air that you and your family breathe every day.
How the air duct cleaning job is done is crucial. Do not shop for this service based on price alone. The cheaper companies often do not have the proper tools or technique to do the job correctly, nor will they spend the required time on site to do a thorough job.
How To Tell When You Need Duct Cleaning
If you see dust on your furniture or experience things like moldy odors, dirty air filters, clogged cooling coils, musty closets, smoky rooms and dirty vents, these are all signs that your ducts need cleaning.
Read more about this in our post titled: How To Tell When You Need Duct Cleaning.
Read more about this story and the 10 worse American cities for air pollution at: http://www.viralnova.com/toxic-air/
Pigeon Air Patrol to the rescue! Birds with backpacks track air pollution
It could seem like a bird-brained idea: relying on a team of pigeons to carry out scientific studies on air quality and air pollution.
But chances are, you’ve never seen a squad of pigeons wear backpacks quite like this.
Meet London’s Pigeon Air Patrol, a flock of “superbirds” measuring nitrogen dioxide in a city with some of the highest levels of air pollution in the world.
Almost 9,500 people in the English capital die prematurely each year due to long-term exposure to polluted air, according to a report last year by King’s College London.
Globally, the number of air pollution-related deaths is closer to 7 million, a 2014 World Health Organization report said.
Most people are not aware of the fact that we’ve been seeing the direct results of air pollution right here in the Toronto area for many years. A large part of the services that City Duct Cleaning offers is cleaning and deodorizing rooftop HVAC units in commercial buildings, apartment buildings and condos throughout the GTA.
We’ve been noticing the increased amount of black soot on air filters, HVAC components, air ducts and all the way through the ducted HVAC systems that we often work on. Cleaning up this mess is a part of the commercial duct cleaning service that we provide.
We’ve been noticing this like crazy over the past 10 or more years. And its been getting worse!
These systems supply the air that we breathe. They often suck air directly from the outside and that air is filtered and partially conditioned before it is blown into a building’s duct system.
The problem with the filtration part of the process is that those air filters are often infrequently changed or are missing completely, and the quality of the air filters are often poor. It costs alot of money to filter the air properly and in most buildings they just don’t have the budget.
Worst-affected areas are along any major road now. We used to see the worst areas only along Yonge Street or very heavily- travelled roads like close to the 401. But the results of air pollution have become more evident all throughout the city. And this is what we have to breathe!
We can count ourselves lucky that there are so many dedicated people who are now studying air pollution and trying to help come up with positive solutions to this massive problem that will otherwise only get worse as time goes on.
Now a team of 10 trained pigeons is taking to the skies strapped with 25-gram sensors to measure the harmful emissions not always visible to the naked eye — and, rather aptly, are tweeting the results.
Londoners can ask their feathered friends to track nitrogen dioxide levels in their area by tweeting @PigeonAir. The clever creatures, with a little help from researchers at Plume Labs, will then tweet back their readings, ranging from “moderate” to “extreme.”
One of the pigeons — which have names such as Norber, Coco and Julius — will also be strapped with a GPS tracking device. A vet will be on hand to monitor the birds’ well-being over three days of flights.
The winged patrol was originally dreamed up by Pierre Duquesnoy and Matt Daniels of marketing agency DigitasLBi as part of Twitter’s #PoweredByTweets competition last year, winning the “Solve a Problem” category.
The patrol aims to boost a much larger campaign by Plume Labs to recruit 100 Londoners to carry out their own pollution monitoring — though this one will be on the ground.
The company has developed a portable sensor that participants will use to track emissions, building a live map of air quality across London.
To get the campaign literally off the ground,Plume Labs still needs to raise 10,000 ($14,000), and has so far raised half its target.
“Millions of people die every year around the world from air pollution — it’s basically a pandemic, but we have a hard time realizing this because it’s largely invisible,” Romain Lacombe, CEO of Plume Labs, told CNN.
“So the Pigeon Patrol has been about making the invisible, visible. And there’s a nice parallel there — we don’t always think about the fact we breathe about 20 (kilograms)of air every day.
“Much in the same way that pigeons themselves are all around us, and we rarely notice them.”
Though with their fancy new backpacks on, these pigeons will be hard to ignore — just keep them off the catwalk.
Fire Service Demands Recall of Dangerous Tumble Dryers
This news item comes to us courtesy of the UK, but what a scary thought! The clothes dryer is such an amazing, time-saving device and almost every household has one… but do not take your’s for granted.
Manufacturers of dangerous tumble dryers should recall them immediately, fire services have said.
The Local Government Authority warned that people are “playing Russian roulette” by using appliances prone to exploding into flames.
It said firefighters were attending three blazes a day caused by dryers.
Whirlpool, which owns the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands, said: “The safety of our customers is our number one priority.”
The company has said that more than five million tumble dryers need to be modified to prevent fluff building up near the heating element and bursting into flame.
“People using faulty tumble dryers are unwittingly playing Russian roulette and leading manufacturers need to recall affected models as soon as possible to protect their customers,” said Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee.
“These defective products are endangering lives, causing thousands of pounds of damage to homes and making people homeless.”
Whirlpool said it had to date resolved half a million cases and was looking into alternative options to speed up the programme.
To help it has increased its team of engineers by more than 45% to about 1,500 since the start of the modification programme.
Government statistics show there were 2,190 tumble dryer fires between 2012 and 2014 – equating to three a day.
Homes have been ruined and in one severe case, an inquest has opened into the deaths of two men who died after a tumble dryer caught fire.
The LGA – which represents 48 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales – wants manufacturers to recall affected tumble dryers.
It has also called for all white goods to have fire-proof markings on them, including the manufacturer, model and serial number, so they can be identified more easily if they are damaged after causing a fire.
“It’s been months since some manufacturers issued safety warnings over their tumble dryers but they need to be recalled as these appliances are still causing fires – until they do so, consumers continue to risk falling victim to a devastating and tragic house fire,” said Mr Hilton.
Some 5.3 million faulty appliances were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 and sold in the UK.
Whirlpool said that more than a million were estimated to have been replaced or are no longer used by owners. The remainder require a modification that will see an engineer replace the back panel and rear drum seal.
Affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline.
Owners can check if their appliance is affected by visiting the Hotpoint model checker or the Indesit model checker and entering the model number, usually found on the back of the dryer door.
Owners of 17,000 Swan appliances manufactured and sold through Shop Direct have been contacted directly.
Some 41,000 Proline tumble dryers were manufactured and sold by the KESA Group between 2004 and 2005. It is estimated that about 14,500 are potentially still in use and efforts are being made to contact the owners of them and to install modifications.
Owners can still use their dryers, but they should clean the lint filter after every use, and never run the dryers while they are out of the house or asleep.
“People must take simple precautions using tumble dryers,” said Mr Hilton of the LGA. “The compartment where fibres from fabric build up should be cleaned out after every load of clothes is dried, to reduce the risk of it igniting, and the vent or any other opening should not be covered.
Have professional dryer duct cleaning done on a regular basis. Most homes require this service once every two years, while some homes require this on a much more frequent basis. The frequency of cleaning depends on a number of factors such as how long your dryer duct is, and how often the dryer is used. If you use your clothes dryer just about every day, then you should probably be having your dryer vent pipes cleaned at least once per year.
“People should never leave tumble dryers on overnight or when they go out,” he added.
Anyone with concerns about the safety of electrical appliances can report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Image copyright Thinkstock
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36562398
How To Build Your Own Air Conditioner Using Just Plastic Bottles
Air conditioning that uses zero electricity? Sounds like it might be an interesting concept, but isn’t there always a catch? Here’s an innovative idea, especially when you consider that you would never need air duct cleaning, and you’d never need to worry about changing air filters or doing any maintenance either.
But would you really want something like this stuck in your window? It certainly wouldn’t do much for your curb appeal, and security would definitely be another factor that you’d need to consider.
Otherwise, its an amazing concept if it really works, and I’d be quite interested to see if the inventor has come up with anything else related to the HVAC field or anything that can save in energy costs.
Plastic bottles are usually destined for the recycle bin. But there are some very interesting upcycling things you can do with plastic bottles. Such as creating a zero electricity air conditioning unit!
Bangledeshi inventor Ashis Paul came up with the plastic bottle air conditioner, and it is already being used in over 25,000 homes in his country! Ad agency Grey Dhaka and Grameen Intel Social Business have contributed to these incredible efforts.
Really all you need to make your own Eco-Cooler is a board and a few plastic bottles.
First you cut the bottles in half. Then mount them into a grid through holes which are also bottleneck size. Now place the grid right over the window. The narrower top end should be facing inwards to the house.
Wind will blow through the bottles, and the result is cool air being funneled in.
It can reduce temps to up to 41F (or 5C). Not bad at all considering it doesnt cost anything to actually make!
The hope is that this project reaches as many people as possible. Hence the project will be put online for free.
Check out the informative video and the incredible initiative happening with this project: