Asthma and Allergies in America
Improving air quality and removing allergies are key factors in designing Oransi high quality HEPA air purifiers. To give some background we have compiled the recent statistics on allergies and asthma in the U.S. to show you how important fresh, clean air is to millions of Americans. Some of the facts may surprise you.
Our goal is to help you be more informed about the air quality issues inside your home, including indoor air pollutants and other forms of airborne pollution.
The State of Your Indoor Air
Most people believe the air inside their home is clean. This assumption is understandable, as the term air pollution is commonly associated with outdoor sources, like car exhaust and industrial pollution. In reality, indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, which is why having air purifiers for allergies can be a huge benefit to your health.
This is especially true when you consider that most of us spend 90% of our lives inside our home. Also, as the infographic below describes, 80% of all households use pesticides inside and outside the home. This can mean your house is loaded with harmful contaminants that could create respiratory health problems.
Indoor air is a significant problem for many people across the country. The data shows that 7.7% of the population has asthma, while 55% test positive for one or more allergens.
Meanwhile, more than 2 million people over the age of 65 have asthma, and one in five people have either asthma or allergies of some sort.
This is a large portion of the population that suffers from different respiratory issues, and it can create health problems that could, in extreme cases, require hospitalization.
Have Pets? Then You Have Pet Dander
Anyone with pets could not imagine life without them, and we certainly would never suggest you not have pets. (There are plenty of ways to keep a pet and have clean indoor air!) However, these pets can create indoor air pollution in the form of pet dander. Pet dander is essentially skin flakes that have been shed from the animal. (Dander is not, as some people assume, pet hair.) This pet dander can create health issues, especially for people who are allergic to the dander.
Allergies are very difficult to deal with, but our infographic shows that 39% of all U.S. households have one or more dogs. Also, 36% of all U.S. households have one or more cats. 100% of households contain detectable levels of dog and cat dander, so you need to be aware of this problem even if you don’t have pets. (You could have moved into a home that formerly had pets, in which case you would be exposed to pet dander.)
Genetic Factors Change Your Vulnerability
While virtually anyone can suffer from respiratory issues caused by particle pollution, some people are more vulnerable than others. There are many genetic factors that can impact your vulnerability to air pollution. For example, 33% of children with at least one allergy-suffering parent will themselves develop allergies. If that child has two parents with allergies, the chances that they will develop allergies rises to 70%!
Related Illnesses and Their Impact on Our Lives
So what does all of this mean? Why does it matter if one in five people have allergies or asthma? Why is it important that indoor air pollutants can be significantly worse than outdoor air pollution? Why should you care if you are not one of the millions who suffer from respiratory conditions?
Well for one reason, you might not see or feel any health impact at first. Indoor air pollutants like VOCs from paint and household chemicals cause unpleasant fumes and unpleasant side effects. In high volume, they can also cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.
These indoor air pollutants can not only impact the individual, they can impact the society as a whole. It’s estimated that asthma causes 10.5 million missed school days every year. This means that students are learning less, and getting behind on their schoolwork, because of their asthma. For working adults, seasonal allergies, often referred to as “hay fever,” cause 4 million missed workdays every year. If we assume an eight-hour day, that means 32 million work hours are lost every year because of hay fever.
Treating respiratory issues is good. Preventing respiratory issues is even better.
The related illnesses can also have a significant financial impact. According to one estimate that we feature in our infographic, the cost of allergies to the healthcare system and businesses is $79 billion in the United States alone.
Unfortunately, many of the people that need healthcare for asthma and other problems are children. Roughly 44% of all people hospitalized for asthma are children. In the United States about 1.8 million ER visits are caused by asthma in a single year. (In this case, the estimate comes from 2004.)
Here's a helpful infographic to learn more about common triggers, risk factors, and the costs of asthma, allergies, and poor indoor air quality in the United States.
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