There are two more factors that may be playing a role in the rising cases of allergies and asthma, but they are more difficult to measure: A decrease in indoor air ventilation from air-tight construction and a much higher count of positive ions due to man-made electronics and machinery. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “indoor levels of pollutants may be 2-5 times- and occasionally more than 100 times- higher than outdoor pollutant levels.” The EPA also states that indoor air pollutants are actually one of the top five environmental risks to public health, and that “the average American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.”
Look through a ray of light shining through your window to get a brief glimpse of what you are breathing in. Fresh country air has about 6,000 particles floating in every milliliter, while the air we breathe in and around a typical city can have several million particles per milliliter. With so much time spent indoors, you can see how easily health complications, however subtle, may occur.
It is well known that air pollution can be damaging to the lungs. Not many people realize, however, that high levels of pollution in the air may also affect the heart. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially considers it a threat to cardiovascular health, in fact. In early 2002, a large and robust study involving 500,000 individuals was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study revealed that during sudden increases in air pollution levels, incidents of death related to health conditions such as pneumonia, asthma, and emphysema rose. According to the EPA, more than 5% of heart disease deaths are possibly connected to air pollution exposure.
One study, which was published in the April 2013 issue of PLOS Medicine, had more than 5,000 men and women participate in ultrasound examinations that measured one of two arteries responsible for carrying oxygenated blood to the head and neck area. Each subject was followed for two and a half years, with researchers measuring the thickness of each subject’s artery as well as air pollution data on the concentration of floating particulate matter. The scientists found that as the levels of air pollution got higher, the artery became thicker, regardless of the subject’s race, gender, education level, or smoking history.
The benefits of Negative Ions from Himalayan Salt Lamp for Allergies and Asthma
Himalayan Salt Lamps are very famous as naturally negative ion generators. Negatively charged ions can help remove allergens and pollutants from the air. That’s because many of these floating particles have either a neutral or a positive charge. Because opposites attract, negative ions stick to particles of dust, mold, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens. These clusters of negative ions and air pollutants clump together until they become heavy enough that gravity causes them to fall to the ground, where they may be vacuumed up. Negative-ion generators are even effective against viruses and bacteria in the air. Among the many studies showing the ability of negative ions to reduce airborne contaminants is a 2001 paper by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which stated that “high levels of negative air ions can have a significant impact on the airborne microbial load…[and] also causes significant reduction in airborne dust…Other potential applications include any enclosed space such as food processing areas, medical institutions, the workplace, and the home, where reduction of airborne and surface pathogens is desired.” A 2002 study done by the USDA found that negative- technology reduced airborne bacteria and dust within a poultry hatching cabinet. Negative ions lowered bacteria levels by 85 to 93%, while dust levels experienced a reduction of 93%.
In 1966, a study published in Pediatrics reported the results of a series of tests on thirty-eight infants between the ages of two and twelve months old. Each infant had almost the same degree of breathing problems. The children were divided into two groups of nineteen. One group was used as a control group and placed in a room where ion generators would not be utilized, while the other group was placed in a ward where negative-ion generators would be turned on. The control group would be treated with drugs and antibiotics, the other group would not. The results were astonishing. The group that was exposed to negative ions saw its symptoms eliminated much quicker than the symptoms of the infants who were not exposed to negative ions. This result was achieved without any other treatment. Additionally, no negative side effects were experienced by the group of infants that did not receive drugs or antibiotics. In contrast, a 1984 study published in Thorax evaluated the effect of positive ions on twelve asthmatic children challenged by exercise. Positively ionized air was shown to significantly aggravate exercise-induced asthma, worsening bronchial response to exercise in the children.
Many studies seem to suggest that by decreasing positive ions in the air and increasing negative ions, levels of airborne particulate matter can be reduced and breathing problems alleviated. According to a report published in 1977, negative ions appear capable of counteracting the allergenic effects positive ions can have on respiratory tissues. This finding supports Krueger and Smith’s research done in 1958, which stated that negative-ion exposure increased ciliary activity in the trachea. Cilia are tiny filaments that line the human bronchial tubes and trachea (also known as the windpipe). They move in a back-and-forth motion designed to clear dust, pollen, and other airborne contaminants from the body’s air passages. As you might have expected, according to the same report, positive ions decreased ciliary activity.
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