Air Purifiers America Blog

25 Images of Pollution Out of Control in China

A Reddit user posted these images to the news/social media site Reddit earlier this year. These images present a very sad but true picture of the pollution situation in China.

Though these pictures all come from China, they are a problem that billions of people are encountering all over the developing world: Lack of environmental regulations, limited access to clean water, polluted waterways and polluted air.  

Everyone Has Polluted At One Time Or Another

Most people may not be well aware that the US was once a major polluter as well. During the industrial revolution in the 1860s-1920s, pollution regulations were minimal.  

For many decades, waste was openly dumped into rivers and oceans as it is done in developing nations today.  Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, was once so polluted that nothing could live in it.  Ultimately, the American people recognized the long term risks associated with these practices and called for change.

However, the US population at the time of the industrial revolution was roughly 50 million people.   China is undergoing its own industrial revolution, with just as much disregard for pollution and the environment that the US once had 125 years ago.  However, China's population is over 1.35 billion people!

Nearly 30 times that of the US's during this time.  India is also close to 1.3 billion people and is growing as fast as china.  Together, these countries are over 50 times bigger than the US was when it was heavily polluting the environment 125 years ago.  

But Can We Survive It?

Can the world survive the consequences of 20-30 more years of polluting on the scale that is currently occurring? Even if China and India produce regulations similar to the US in the next 10 years, which the damage done be reversible?   

Here are 25 pictures that reveal a sad situation that has become daily life for billions of people around the world:






Daily life in many Chinese cities consists of going to work in a heavy smog-pollution while wearing low efficiency dust mask.


Most small to medium sized cities do not have public trash bins on the streets.  Instead, citizens openly throw trash on the ground. Street sweepers are employed in busier areas to keep the ground from being covered in litter. However, much of this trash ends up in rivers or remains on the ground in less busy areas. 


Industrial waste is run directly into the river where it is easy and cheap for the factory to dispose of it without consequence.

A small scale mining operation does damage to the physical landscape as well as the air. 



A child clears the filth out of his way while swimming in the only place he can, a heavily polluted river. 

What looks like an overcast day does not have a cloud in sight.  The haze of pollution dims the sun most days of the year.

A child employed to sift through electrical wires which will be melted down for their contents.

 A girl fishes in a pond for food, even though eating anything caught here is a clear health risk.

A dust storm sweeps into a city in North Central China.  Much of the pollution in this cities is made worse by sand from the Gobi Desert.




These fish have recently died but many will still end up as food as little goes to waste in poor communities.





The smog can make it hard to see down the road.  



Image Source:  

These pictures were posted to imgur by a Reddit user on Jan 22, 2015

A source was not identified. Please Contact Air Purifiers America to request citation or removal of these images.

Did the EPA Get It Wrong On Pollution Regulation?

A few weeks ago we wrote about the supreme court's ruling on the EPA pollution regulations.  This article presents the opposite perspective that says Supreme Court got it right.  Controversial huh?   

Regardless of race, nationality or political affiliation, most people tend to have similar core values: Do good. Don’t hurt people.  Help others in need.  How those values get applied, or enforced by the government is where we often get into disagreements.  So without taking a side, this article is meant to explain the opposite position on the Supreme Court ruling so you can have both perspectives.

The Supreme Court’s Surprise Ruling

Basically, a few weeks ago, the supreme court ruled that the EPA overstepped its boundaries when it outlined new pollution regulations.  The EPA relied heavily on the assumption that with a reduction in pollution, there will be widespread health benefits to society.  Sounds like common sense right?  

The supreme court found that their basis for health claims was not well-founded enough and therefore they placed an unfair burden on the power suppliers. Too much so to impose these regulations.

Why The EPA Wanted More Regulation

The EPA admits that these new regulations could cost the power industry 10 billion dollars (which is of course going to get passed on to consumers).  However, if society as a whole benefits by 100 billion dollars, then the regulations actually have huge savings for everyone.  

For example: What if your electric bill went up by 10% per month.  That could cost you $200-500 per year.  But what if your insurance costs fell by 10%?  That could save you $2000-5000 per year.   While the numbers we used are made up, this is essentially how the EPA made its recommendations.

Why Did The EPA Get It Wrong?

The Institute For Energy Research took a pass at explaining this in more detail.  (Yes, you can probably guess which side the institute for energy research sided with, but the argument is interesting.)  

Their conclusion was that the EPA way overstated the health benefits of the regulations because pollution has been going down for decades, but asthma and allergies have continued to rise.  

The law by the EPA specific regulates chemicals like NO2. It concludes that a reduction of NO2 will result in a lot less symptoms of asthma and if we have 100,000 fewer cases of asthma, then that will save society a lot of money.

Existing Data Does Not Match The Claim

The problem according to the Institute For Energy Research, is that NO2 has already been going down for 20 years while asthma has been skyrocketing!   So there is something else at play, or some other cause that we have not discovered yet.  

Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

For all of the Charts, see the article here:  Canada Free Press

Who knows, maybe these charts are telling us that we need to drastically increase our pollution output to counteract the uptrend in asthma cases.  (Just kidding.)

Whatever your position is regarding the regulations and the supreme court decision, this analysis provides an interesting perspective regarding the two different viewpoints.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

If you are worried about pollution in your environment, you may not have 10 years to wait around while the EPA, power companies, & supreme court sort this all out.  One thing you can do in the short term is talk to our air quality specialists about air purifier solutions to pollution.  Many of our units contain 20-30 lbs of activated carbon that is excellent at removing smoke, chemicals, or pollution from the air.

See our Best Air Purifiers For Pollution and Chemicals

Or chat/call our specialists.

External Sources:  Canada Free Press

This Plant Is Costing Us Billions. Should We Eradicate It?

Ragweed in a field 

The fall allergy season is fast approaching and one of the most prolific allergens in the US & Europe is getting ready to do billions of dollars in damage: Ragweed.  

When does Ragweed Season occur?

Ragweed season occurs in the latest part of the summer and early fall months. While tree pollen season is often longer and produces more allergens, Ragweed allergy tends to produce more overall misery for allergy sufferers. This is because ragweed is literally everywhere! 

Identifying Ragweed and Avoiding It

Ragweed is one of the most common allergen producing plants in the world. Varieties of it can be found in nearly all 50 US states. Despite over 40 different varieties, it has a very recognizable appearance: A multi-pronged leaf, or a saw-tooth leaf pattern.  

Take Steps To Eliminate It.

While dry weather helps prevent the plant from spreading and helps reduce the impact on allergies, excessive drought is not a practical means to rid our environment of this pest.

If you see this plant sprouting up on your property, it is advised that you take measures to cut it down and remove it, or it will only continue to spread.

While spending time and money to remove it from your land is optional, in some countries it’s mandatory.  In some European countries, farmers are required by law to remove the plant if they find it growing on their property. This is a result of a growing effort to eradicate the plant that is seen to have no redeeming qualities. 

Estimates are that ragweed costs the European Union nearly $5Billion Euros per year in healthcare costs and crop losses.  This does not even consider the pain endured by millions of allergy sufferers.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Ragweed?

Ragweed allergy is caused by pollen from the Ragweed plants.  Fortunately for allergy sufferers, this pollen is quite large and easy to file out of the air with an air purifier.  By watching your local pollen forecasts you can learn when it is safer to go outside.  Also, by running an air purifier indoors, you can avoid exposure to the pollen during most of the day and night.  This is critical to managing your allergy symptoms, as pollen can easily make its way indoors through the day.

Best Air Purifiers For Ragweed Allergy.

These air purifiers will go a long way in helping resolve Ragweed allergy concerns.

Best Air Purifiers for Allergies >  

Outside sources: Irish Times: The Noxious Plant that Costs Europe Billions

Is Your Child Smoking Without You Knowing?

Children can be smoking without you knowing.

Is your child smoking?  For most parents, the answer is obvious: No way!  But is the smell of cigarette smoke present in your home? Do you smoke indoors or outside around your kids?  Do your neighbors or someone nearby smoke and the smell is making its way into your home?  If so, your answer could be yes.

While the risks of secondhand smoke are well known, professionals, doctors, and other experts are starting to describe the issue a little differently by calling it something else: passive smoking.

We all know that children, even adults for that matter, should not smoke.  When calling it second-hand, it tends to lessen the apparent severity of the issue as if the danger is second-hand as well, but “passive smoking” makes it clear that the risk is just as severe for children as lighting up a cigarette directly.

Passive smoking means breathing tobacco smoke from someone else’s cigarette, and if you can smell it, there’s a good chance you are also experiencing some of the risks of smoking it.

Risks To Children

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, lung capacity does not reach its maximum capacity until somewhere between the ages of 20 and 30.  This means that passive smoking in children and young adults can seriously impair lung function and growth.  This could increase the risk of stroke by as much as 30% later in adulthood as well as increasing the likelihood of developing COPD later in life.

Solutions At Home

The first step to take towards preventing your children from passively smoking is to remove the source of smoke from your environment.  If you are a parent or family member smoking with kids, please do so in a far removed place from your child.  If you are in an apartment, or housing environment where you are unable to avoid the source, try using an air purifier to capture and remove the smoke particles and odors before they reach your child.

Best Air Purifiers for Smoke

Air purifiers that use high performance HEPA filters along with activated carbon or other additives can do a great job of filtering out airborne particles and chemicals produced by cigarettes.

If you cannot completely remove the source of the smoke and avoid its smell in your home environment, an air purifier is a great way to reduce your exposure to these particles.

See Our Best Air Purifiers For Smoke


External Source: Passive Smoking in Childhood Increases COPD Risk

Eating These Foods While Pregnant Could Reduce Your Baby's Risk of Asthma

Multiple studies released in the last few years are finding a correlation between your diet while pregnant and your baby’s risk of developing asthma.

One Key Ingredient Is Fiber

Studies from Monash University in Australia as well as Hunter research are indicating that when pregnant mothers eat a diet that is high in fiber, that their children show lower instances of developing asthma.

Why Does This Happen?

While the direct cause is not known, there are many benefits to a high fiber diet.

Fiber contributes to Acetate production & Acetate reduces inflammation

Eating a diet high in fiber has the beneficial impact of producing a fatty acid called acetate that circulates through the bloodstream.  This fatty acid is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

In studies performed with pregnant mice, high fiber diets lead to an increase in anti-inflammatory metabolies, which had the effect of suppressing asthma related genes in the developing fetus.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

The Mayo Clinic recommends eating 21 to 25 grams per day for women.  This can prove challenging for many people who do not closely monitor the ingredients in the foods they eat.  

Top foods for fiber include:

  • Raspberries
  • Spaghetti
  • Split peas
  • Artichoke
  • Green Peas

For a full table of recommended foods, and fiber content, see the mayo clinic website.

What If You Already Have Asthma?

If you already have asthma, taking steps towards preventing it is no longer a practical solution.  Therefore, a comprehensive treatment plan is needed.   Talk to your doctor about steps for reducing asthma attacks and treating it with medications and inhalers.

Complementary Treatments for Asthma

If you are still looking for additional treatments to add to your arsenal, try out an air purifier.  By removing particles from the air, you can help reduce the potential asthma triggers that you or your children encounter.  If you don’t have dust or allergens in the air, you can potentially avoid an asthma attack before it happens.

Best Air Purifiers For Asthma

The best air purifiers for Asthma will be high performance, high efficiency and low noise units.  These should offer both HEPA filtration as well as carbon to remove other potential airborne irritants like odors and chemicals.   

See our list of Best Air Purifiers for Asthma


External Links: Medical News Today,  Mayo Clinic

These Pro Athletes Prove You Can Do Anything With Asthma

A surprising revelation about pro-athletes in the UK recently revealed that asthma sufferers should never feel helpless to pursue their dreams due to their condition.

Its a fact of life for millions of asthma sufferers: Exercise often makes things worse. However, a recently study of pro athletes in the UK showed us that our own personal experiences may be guiding us in the wrong direction.

Many people with asthma avoid exercise at all costs, due to its ability to induce an asthma attack. But doctors say that these sufferers are taking the wrong approach to prevent their symptoms.  This is because exercise provides many positive effects on the body, which in turn positively impact the way the bodies handles asthma.  

Many overweight sufferers have reported that their asthma condition improved significantly as a result of losing weight through diet and exercise.

Because overexertion can lead to an asthma attack, doctors recommend that asthma suffers listen to their body.  Push it when possible and back off when necessary.  Pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion is not recommended and keeping an inhaler around is always a safe idea.  

The Pro's Overcome, So Can You

Several high profile athletes such as cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, soccer star David Beckham and marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe suffer from asthma.  And when Looking at a list of Pro-Athletes, as many as 25% report suffering from asthma compared to around 10% of people within the normal population. While it is surprising to see such a high rate of pro athletes with this condition, it should be very encouraging to asthma sufferers.   This proves that asthma sufferers can find a way to physically push themselves to the limits and keep their asthma in check.

Treating Asthma at Home

We recommend talking to your doctor and determining how to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.   When it comes to asthma, keeping an inhaler around at all times could be livesaving advice.  If you are looking for a non-invasive treatment to help reduce the frequency of your asthma concerns, a great complementary treatment is an air purifier.

A good air purifier for treating asthma is going to have high airflow, ideal for covering a bedroom without much noise, as well as a high efficiency filter to remove airborne particles which can trigger asthma attacks.  In addition, better asthma units will also address chemicals, odors, and microbes as well.

See our Best Air Purifiers for Asthma.

External Sources:  Up to 25 per cent of elite athletes now suffer from asthma, Asthma UK: Exercising with Asthma

You never would have expected the Supreme Court's Decision on Pollution.

This week, the Supreme Court overturned this landmark EPA air pollution rule, dealing a blow to the Obama administration's plan on air quality.

In 2011, the EPA published a series of new air quality requirements regarding acceptable levels of pollution output emitted by coal-fired power plants.

The EPA stated that it had followed the exact same method of cost-benefit analysis that it has used for over 25 years in setting environmental & pollution guidelines which is why the ruling was unexpected.  

Public Health a Primary Consideration

In its analysis, the EPA estimated that the benefits of the new standards would far outweigh the costs.  Benefits seen by the EPA included reductions in hospital visits due to asthma, as many as 11,000 premature deaths due to pollution exposure, fewer heart attacks and even fewer instances of bronchitis.  All of these conditions cost the public billions of dollars per year healthcare expenses.  

The EPA determined that benefits of between $37 billion and $90 billion per year far exceed the increased costs of $9.6 billion on the industry.  However, industry experts countered that measurable benefits would only add up to as little as $4-6 million per year.

Costs Not Adequately Considered

In its review, the Supreme Court believes that the EPA did not adequately consider the costs of implementing the changes and that the EPA's focus on public health benefits was not sufficient justification for its new regulatory requirements.

However, while the decision deals a blow to environmental and public health proponents, EPA rules were announced over 4 years ago and many of the companies impacted have already implemented the changes in anticipation of looming compliance deadlines.

You Can Reduce Your Exposure to Pollution

Regardless of whether the EPA produces new guidelines and whether regulations increase or ease, in the short term, some steps on combating pollution must be taken at home.  

Do you live in an area where pollution is a concern or are you experiencing health symptoms that could be caused by pollution?  

Chat with on of our air quality specialists to determine if an air purifier for pollution could help with some of your symptoms.

Or see our best air purifiers for chemicals and pollution.

External Sources:  

MSNBC: Court Sides Against EPA

The Hill, Surpeme Court Overturns EPA Air Pollution

Salon: Scotus Sides With Big Coal

Top 10 Causes of Death in America

Every year the CDC releases its statistics for the top 10 causes of Death in America and number 3 is quite alarming.

In fact, a majority of the causes of death should be cause for alarm.  This is because most are preventable.  It is no secret that Americans, as well as others around the world, are steadily becoming less and less healthier.  While some super-fit, and ultra-health-conscious segments of the population continue to grow in popularity, these health-nuts are a rare minority.  The rest of us are slowly putting on pounds and developing less than ideal habits that ultimately get passed to our children.

These poor habits include eating less healthily than we should, not exercising enough, and for many, smoking or engaging in other activities that can have a detrimental effect on our health.  Which leads us to the top 10 leading causes of death in America:

2013 Leading Cuases of Death

1.                           Heart Disease 611,105
2. Cancer 584,881
3. Respiratory Disease (COPD) 149,205
4. Unintentional Injury 130,557
5. Stroke 128,978
6. Alzheimers 84,767
7. Diabetes 75,578
8. Pneumonia 56,979
9. Kidney Disease 47,112
10. Suicide 41,149

Table provided by CDC 

As  you can see, many of these are preventable simply by a change in lifestyle.  The CDC recommends eating a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables, and diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol which can have a positive on your health to help reduce the risks of many of the above causes of death.

Smoking & COPD

Another huge concern is smoking, which is one of the primary causes of COPD, and the 3rd largest cause of death.  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease kills over 100,000 people per year.  While many do not feel its effects in their younger or middle age years, by the time the condition appears, the damage has been done and is irreversible.  Avoiding smoking can potentially add decades to your life as well as reduce your costs of healthcare and treatment.

Someone I Know Has COPD, What Can I do?

We consult with thousands of people per year in order to find the right solution for their air quality and health concerns.  Many of these people suffer from COPD, or other respiratory concerns that fall within the 4th category above.  

While an air purifier cannot prevent the onset of COPD, and cannot reverse the impacts of other respiratory afflictions, we often recommend one because of how it works to clean the air.   By removing airborne particles from the indoor environment, you can reduce the likelihood that those particles will irritate someone suffering from these conditions. Any reduction in irritation is going to provide relief. Therefore, we see a number of people who benefit from using an air purifier for COPD or an air purifier for smoke in their environment.

See our Top Air Purifiers for COPD and our Top Air Purifiers for Smoke.

External Sources:  CDC, Leading Causes of Death

Why does Hay Fever get worse at night?

UK news source interviewed Dr Samantha Walker of Asthma UK (the largest asthma charity in the UK) to discuss why hayfever sufferers often see their symptoms get worse in the evenings and at night.

The discussion revealed several interesting points about what can make allergy symptoms worse in the evening.

Basically, there’s more pollen around in the evening!

But why is that?  Although not obvious, the reason makes sense.  Pollen rises high above the ground throughout the day.  As temperatures increase, warm air rises and brings pollen with it into the upper atmosphere.  A large volume of the pollen blown off of trees and grasses can end up high in the air away from the ground.  But as evening approaches and temperatures drop, the air carrying the pollen cools and comes back towards the ground bringing the pollen with it.

This effect, combined with lots of plants releasing their pollen later in the day and early evening, contribute to sufferers feeling like their symptoms are getting worse at night. 

When Asthma UK polled over 2000 allergy/hay fever suffers, they found that two-thirds of them continued to experience symptoms while they sleep.  And of these sufferers, they were losing over an hour of sleep per night!

Proposed solutions

Asthma UK had several helpful tips to reduce exposure:

Avoid going outside when pollen counts are elevated.

Don’t cut your lawn.

Wear sunglasses when you go outside.

Our Best Solution

However, one solution we see that brings the most relief to night time allergy suffers is using an air purifier in the bedroom. We’ve seen thousands of people get a better, more relaxed night’s sleep by running an air purifier in their room. 

You don’t have to worry about whether pollen counts are high, or the wind is blowing.  With an air purifier in the bedroom, all of the airborne allergen particles can be removed in as little as 20-30 minutes.

Just keep the unit running all night long to surround yourself with pure, allergen free air and ensure you get the best possible nights sleep.

See our best air purifiers for addressing allergies in your bedroom.



External Source:  Daily Mail UK, Why hayfever gets worse as you go to bed.


How Pollution Can Impact Your Baby's Risk of Developing Allergies

The Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives published a study by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) showing that pollution can have significant and long lasting impacts on the health of your child.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a key component of automobile and industrial pollution.  CIHR analyzed the backgrounds of nearly 2500 children and looked at NO2 pollution levels in the cities where they were born and spent the first year of their life.

The study found that children with a hyper-allergic reaction to food allergens or airborne particle allergens had been more heavily exposed to NO2 pollution than children without these allergies.

Pollution Can Harm Babies Even When You Are Pregnant 

We’ve also seen that pollution can have a significant impact on babies even before they are born.  Another study analyzed differences in birth weight of babies born after 2008 in Beijing. In 2008, Beijing took significant measures to reduce air pollution prior to the Olympics.  Babies born shortly after the Olympics showed an increased in birth weight.  This indicated that exposure to pollution by pregnant mothers has impact on the health of the baby even before it is born.  The study found that the most significant impact of pollution occurred during month 8 of the pregnancy. 

In summary, pollution is damaging to babies at almost any time in their life. 

See our Best Air Purifiers for Chemicals list for units designed to remove chemical pollution.

External Article Sources: 

Perinatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Atopy at 1 Year of Age in a Multi-Center Canadian Birth Cohort Study

Differences in Birth Weight Associated with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Air Pollution Reduction:”