Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Civilization as the Cause of Asthma - Amazing Article

I just happened across this astounding article on the Atlantic Online - absolutely had to share it with you! It's from 2000, but still incredibly relevant and eye-opening. Here's a quote:

Martinez, who came to the United States after launching his career in asthma research, is one of a number of specialists who believe that modern life may be responsible for the developed world's asthma rates -- but in a very unexpected
way. It is not tobacco smoke or pollution that is at the heart of the problem, these specialists believe, but modern hygiene practices and antibiotics that foreclose the need for the young immune system to tackle microbial and parasitic challenges. "Just as you need to use your eyes to develop sight and your legs to develop the muscles to walk," Martinez said, "your immune system develops through its experience. By legitimately protecting our kids from dangerous infections we may have kept parts of their immune systems from maturing."

This could explain why children in the developing world, who are repeatedly infected by bacteria and parasites, are unlikely to contract asthma, whereas children in the developed world, who are inoculated against infectious diseases and frequently given antibiotics, are contracting asthma in ever greater numbers. (Martinez quoted estimates that an astonishing 40 percent of children in the United States are given antibiotics for a period of a month or more in their first year of life.)

Read on. Have your thoughts provoked.

Special AccuClean Air Filtration Offer from Mom Central

So...I got a call from Mom Central last week. While I'm a marketer by trade, I don't typically use this blog to promote stuff, but the material they asked me to post is 100% relevant and helpful. And admittedly, I'm kinda flattered to be on their radar!

They're working with American Standard (yes, the toilet people) to share info about allergy and flu prevention - and to give you a chance to win their AccuClean whole home air filtration system.

Since allergy season is pretty much here (at least in NJ. Does it ever LEAVE NJ?) But yeah - we're just about reaching those days when our cars are blanketed in a fine layer of yellow dust. (Pollen, people. I'm talking about pollen!)

Staying in doesn't help much either. According to Mom Central, it turns out that indoor air is four to five times more polluted than outdoor air, of particular concern because most of us spend as much as 90% of our time indoors (and we wonder why obesity's a problem? Sheesh!), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So keeping our home’s indoor air quality high ensures that our kids (and even we) will be able to breathe more easily and suffer fewer symptoms during allergy and flu season.

American Standard's Heating & Air Conditioning’s AccuClean™ whole home air filtration system can makethe air in your house virtually pollution-free. (It attaches to your existing furnace or air handler, so there's no major renovation required to install it.) AccuClean removes allergens from the air in every room of the house, not like plug-in air cleaners that work in only one room. It removes 99.98% of all allergens in your house. It also removes more than 99% of the common flu virus, which I didn't honestly know air filters could even do. And apparently, it's pretty easy to clean, too. You just vaccuum it.

Hannah Keeley, one of Mom Central's consulting principals and founder of, has been working closely with American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning over the past two years and has met with moms who have experienced, firsthand, the difference AccuClean can make in families’ homes and lives. Hannah shared this with us:
Keeping the dirt and dust out of your house is easier said than done, and cleaning every day is simply not an option for today’s busy families. AccuClean prevents unwanted dust and dander from continually circulating in your home, ensuring the indoor air your family breathes is cleaner and healthier.

Mom Central asked me to post this special offer for Kansas City, MO and Charlotte, NC families. Click the links below for more information and a chance to win a system for your home.
I'm actually going to look into this too -- our pulmonologist won't let us use humidifiers, so maybe this is a good option for us to have more breathable air in our house.