Why Concerns Around Summer Air Quality Are Heating Up

Health & Wellness Trends Heat Up
Health & Wellness Trends Heat Up

If you notice more people than usual sneezing this summer, rather than that of the more traditional spring and fall, and suffering from allergies, this trend will probably continue. Leading health organizations have reported that data is demonstrating that climate change is definitely negatively impacting air quality and allergies, and the roller coaster ride of extremely hot to extremely cool temperatures many regions are experiencing this summer is exacerbating the situation. Thus, resources to balance the situation are in high-demand. However, the trend appears to be more larger than solely within this segment. Such interest is no longer simply about the allergy or asthma sufferer. More and more people into the wellness journey is now investigating how to deeply purify the air and even enhance it so that the home truly supports the inhabitant. The growing interest in air quality is part of an intriguing interest that folds right into the larger lifestyle movement that includes organic food, meditation, and yoga in some surprising ways.

First, quality of air is actually a deeply important part of the Indian Ayurvedic tradition that dates back many thousands of years. It’s just that we’re now beginning to get on board with it. The word Ayurvedic comes from the Sanskrit terms ayur (life) and veda (knowledge). A major tenet of this belief system involves ensuring that the air we breathe is as clean as possible in order to protect our health. There is a growing awareness that breathing polluted air can be the cause of many major illness from cardiovascular disease to cancer. And as this awareness deepens regarding the delicate interaction of our bodies with outside elements from food to air, it only makes sense that a full holistic approach to health that includes monitoring of indoor air quality, is blossoming. And there are several options for those wanting to ramp up their in-home air game.

One of the newer trends for a certain level of air purification are Himalayan salt lamps. They are popping up everywhere from your local organic grocery store to nearly every domestic merchandise retail outlet. These lamps are essentially large pieces of pure Himalayan pink salt with a small bulb inside, or a place for a votive candle. They are selling like wildfire because they are believed to generate negative ions - given off my computers, cell phones and various other electronic devices - when they are warmed. Numerous studies have associated negative ions, specifically negatively ionized oxygen, with several health benefits. These include an increased rate and quality of growth in plants and in animals, dilation of the air passageways and improvement in the cleansing action of the lungs, heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolic rate. Tumor growth has even been said to have slowed in laboratory animals. Conversely, positively charged air tends to be associated with headaches, nausea, and fatigue. However, many recognized physicians say that the negative ion production from these salt lamps is not significant enough to generate true change in air quality. Even amidst the controversy, the glow from even one of these lamps definitely seems to provide a peaceful, zen vibe to any environment, so that has got to count for something.

Himalayan Salt Lamps
Himalayan Salt Lamps

However, if you are looking for a product with deeper science around it, perhaps what is called the Tesla of air purifiers is what you are seeking. The Oransi EJ model is a purifier that is made in the U.S. with components that are so high quality that the product is whisper quiet yet offers an extremely high level of filtration. The EJ has been sold over the past three years in China to help consumers there who are extremely concerned about in-home health quality in this industrial nation and now available in the U.S. It removes everything from bacteria to tobacco smoke and even offers a medical grade HEPA filter tested to remove 99.99% of airborne allergens and particulates. The design is sleek, as well, making it a solid option for nearly any wellness follower and a state-of-the art testament to how technology can actually support good health.

Oransi Air Purifier
Oransi Air Purifier

Finally, for those who really want to ramp up their air game, think probiotics. Not those which are taken orally, but those that you can actually breathe. This is about actually trying to create an eco-balance of your indoor space so that the good bacteria in your environment is at optimal levels much like how we think about good bacteria levels in what we ingest via food. Indeed, just as an antibiotic wipes out all the good and bad bacteria in our bodies, super cleaning of your home can do the same thing. Such a situation is giving rise to the over-sterile results of “super bugs” and more. Overly sterile environments can actually create conditions for mold and airborne spores to flourish since there is an imbalance of the healthy bacteria in home. In fact, in her book The Dirt Game, Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein claims that one can actually suffer a greater risk of developing allergies by living in too sterile an environment. Thus, a new industry is starting to develop that offers products that can be sprayed or misted to release good, healthy bacteria into the air much like we would find in the earth and be exposed to on a daily basis if we gardened and farmed. Most products, such as Homebiotic, can be used every three to six months and seem to last a while and can be misted nearly everywhere and anywhere!

If we think of our body as a sponge that absorbs nearly everything in which it comes in contact, air, given the amount we intake, is becoming more and more of a hot focus. While some think the concern is exaggerated, others are closely monitoring an arena which shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS