Thursday, July 25, 2013

Some of you will die of Asthma and Allergies, your kids too.

Global warming is giving us about a 7 to 1 ratio of new high temp records to new lows.  So we focus on the hot.  But it's the lack of lows, cold, that's making people miserable.  With fewer frosty nights the ragweed pollen release season has increased the last 12 years, progressing from the south to north, 1 additional pollen day from everything south of Dallas, to 21 additional days at 200 miles into Canada.  The northern tier of states are at about 18 extra days of misery.   About 1/3 of the population is sensitive to Ragweed pollen.

Ragweed pollen is just one of the outdoor triggers of Asthma.  The major outdoor triggers: CO2, humidity, dust, pollen, exhaust fumes, yard chemicals, airborne particles/pollutants from traffic factories and power generation.

Major indoor triggers: mold, carpet outgassing and dust, dust, spray cleaners and polishes, pest sprays, plastic outgassing, cockroaches, dust mite droppings, rodent droppings, pet hair and dander.

Out, in, neither is safe for Asthma sufferers.  Asthma hits a large percent of children now, and they usually keep the problem forever, it also now hits older adults who never had it, and it makes their lives a hell and is a gateway problem, allowing others in with it.   It is worse in the homes of some poor.  One outreach and research group found that asthma was sending black children to the ER and keeping them out of school often at a high cost to society.  They launched an experiment in one area, they gave familes hepafilters for their vacuums, got rid of the pests, and worked with some to improve housekeeping, removed as many plastic items as possible and carpets if possible.  The results, ER visits and sick days fell immediately and significantly.

Asthma is another of the modern diseases, prior to the industrial revolution it was rare.  Research finds that in Germany and Switzerland babies and children growing up on farms in rural settings, playing in the dirt and around barnyard animals and with pets, rarely get asthma later in life.  They are picking up beneficial critters and building resistance.   This is not the same as living with bugs in a small apartment or jumping on a dusty couch full of fire retardant, dust mites, treated wood, polyester, and a cocktail of other chemicals and dyes.   So let those toddlers grub around in the mud and step in cow poo if they get a chance, it's like anti asthma meds.

What can be done?  Fight for clean energy forms and against every form of pollution with your political voice and your buying habits.  Avoid as best you can carpets, buy hepafilters for your vacuum,  clean your AC/heater filter at home and in the car, keep the house uncluttered and well cleaned, wash bedding once a week, put the teddy bears and pillows in the dryer every few days for a few minutes to shake out dust and cook the no-see-ms, and work like hell to get rid of mold.

Indoor triggers are in part from modern furnishings, products and lifestyle conditions.  Outdoor triggers are almost all from human activity.  Indoors changes can be made quickly for most on their own, outdoors we have to fight for that as a group.

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