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USC Study Links Traffic Pollution to Brain Damage

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Increased environmental awareness has made us mindful of the effect that air pollution has on us. Several years ago researchers at the University of Southern California set out to answer the following important questions because of increased concerns over traffic pollution, especially in the Los Angeles area. What happens when we breathe that polluted, contaminated air? What happens when we metabolize those impurities and they enter our bloodstream?

What was clear to the researchers was that commuters experienced permanent lung damage from pollution exposure. What was not so easily explained were all the other conditions and ailments that were common in long-term commuters.

In order to conduct the study, USC researchers took air samples from the 110 Freeway. Researchers then exposed mice to that same air for 150 hours over the course of 10 weeks. That amounts to approximately 2.15 hours per day, which is a relatively conservative estimate for the average commuter who uses the 110 Freeway. The researchers expected results, but what they found stunned them. In just 150 hours of exposure, the mice had begun to experience permanent brain damage, and that impairment was keeping the brain neurons from developing properly. This developmental retardation would eventually lead to memory loss, and it would likely lead to a host of other brain developmental disorders that could have a wide range of effects throughout the body.

Of course, mice brains are far more susceptible to this type of harm than human brains. Scientists use mice because they serve as an excellent indication of what could occur in humans, and there is other suggestive evidence that humans, especially children, may be susceptible to the same kind of brain disorders.

If you live in a highly populated area this is an alarming aspect of the unavoidable nature of traffic pollution. Traffic pollution doesn’t just affect us when we’re driving our car. It affects the indoor air quality of our homes and places of work that may be miles away from the source of the traffic pollution.

Modern homes have extremely tight window and door construction. They also have better seals and better insulation. The unfortunate side effect of this high build quality is that it traps pollutants and contaminants, so the indoor air inside your home can be worse than the outside air. This is especially problematic during the winter when people rely solely on their HVAC system for fresh air. The solution to this problem is an air purification system using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration.

How HEPA Air Purifiers Can Help

A quality air purifier with a HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of all airborne particles greater than 0.3 microns in size. Additionally, an activated carbon filter will remove all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including the damaging airborne contaminates and pollutants from traffic-polluted air.

HEPA air purifiers also provide a wide array of benefits besides reducing the poisonous aspect of the air we breathe. It cleans our air so that we’re breathing truly fresh air that doesn’t require commercial air fresheners that have hidden dangers. If you have pets, it’ll remove the pet dander from the air. It also removes other allergen sources, including dustmold spores and dust mites. If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, a HEPA air purifier can have a significant effect on their comfort level. Make the decision to purchase a HEPA air purifier. With our expertise, we’ll make it easy and give you the confidence to choose a system that will benefit you and your family’s health for years to come.

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Clean Air Plus is a veteran and family owned small business. We represent the leading manufacturers in HEPA filtration including Austin Air Standard Units, Austin Air Junior Units, IQAir, Amaircare, Oransi and Airpura. Shop online or call one of our friendly experts at 888.247.1147. We'll be happy to help you choose from our large selection of quality air purifiers.

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  • Administration Staff