Indoor Air Quality & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), once widely regarded with skepticism, is a growing health concern for many Americans. The October 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine features an in-depth article about the chemical pollution within our bodies and the increasing prevalence of MCS.

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Most of the problematic chemicals did not exist until after World War II, when petrochemicals (petroleum-based chemicals) were synthesized. Many pesticides, synthetic fragrances, cleaning products, and detergents are made from toxic petrochemicals. These chemicals can be found all around us, especially inside the tightly sealed walls of homes, offices, and automobiles.

Formaldehyde and other toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) enter the air from carpet, plastic, insulation, adhesives, and other building materials. Other dangerous chemicals include: pesticides in bug sprays, lawn chemicals, and household cleaners; nitrogen dioxide in unvented gas stoves or heaters and carbon monoxide gas appliances; solvents from household cleaners, paint strippers, and gasoline; dyes from clothing and other materials; and latex from paints, gloves, and caulking. These chemicals may cause sore throats, headaches, digestive problems, nervous system problems, respiratory problems, various allergic reactions, and even cancer in some cases.

The right air purifier will remove these dangerous chemicals from the air in your home; however, the wrong air purifier will only make the air quality worse. If you suffer from MCS, you should avoid ozone generators and ionic air cleaners. Not only do these machines generate ozone, which is a powerful lung irritant, but the ozone can combine with ordinary household fumes to create formaldehyde, carbonyls, and other reactive, unstable, and carcinogenic compounds.

“You start with a biologically innocent compound, and you expose it to ozone, and you get a carcinogen,” explains Professor William Nazaroff of the University of California, Berkeley. “There’s a lot of downside risk from reactive chemistry, as our investigations have begun to explore.”

Not all air purifiers emit dangerous chemicals. Founded by a man whose wife developed MCS, AllerAir Industries specializes in correcting the problem of airborne chemical pollution. AllerAir air purifiers contain pounds of activated carbon to adsorb chemicals.

The AllerAir MCS Series Air Purifiers include special features to handle even the smallest traces of chemical vapors. Additionally, they are manufactured with inert materials to ensure that the air purifier itself does not off-gas VOCs or other harmful chemicals. Even the pre-filter is made with unbleached, pesticide-free 100% cotton!

AllerAir has perfected the art of creating special carbon blends to address different chemical pollution problems. The AllerAir 5000 DS Air Purifier adsorbs tobacco smoke, tar, fine ash, and other airborne particulates; its specially blended carbon traps up to 400 toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke. AllerAir VOCARB air purifiers specialize in the removal of VOCs and other gases and chemicals, while the AllerAir 6000 D Air Purifier and the AllerAir 6000 DX Air Purifier contain 28 and 36 pounds of activated carbon, respectively, for heavy-duty chemical, gas, and odor removal.

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