More than 25 million Americans are looking for relief from the symptoms of asthma and allergies. New research from Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. shows that high-efficiency air filters, especially those containing MERV ratings of 12 or higher, can significantly reduce particles that cause allergy and asthma symptoms. Some of these filters are available for as little as $50 a year.
More than 25 million Americans, including many children, suffer from asthma and allergies, causing them to miss work or school and costing millions of dollars in healthcare expenses. To help reduce exposure to allergy and asthma triggers, many patients implement lifestyle changes, such as washing bedding frequently, using hypo-allergenic pillow cases and HEPA vacuum cleaners, and using high-efficiency air filters in forced heating and cooling systems. While some may question the effectiveness of these changes, a new study published in the August issue of the Journal of Asthma found that using a high-efficiency air filter with a MERV rating of 12 or higher can effectively reduce indoor levels of common airborne asthma and allergy triggers.
The study was designed and conducted by Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., (EH&E) of Needham, Mass. EH&E professionals evaluated the effectiveness of six types of residential air filters at capturing four types of microscopic particles found in indoor air of homes – cat allergen, respiratory virus, and indoor and outdoor fine particulates – all of which can affect indoor air quality and contribute to cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and other asthma symptoms.
While other studies have addressed ways to manage asthma at home, this is one of the first to evaluate the use of high-efficiency filters as an important part of the solution,” said Dr. David L. MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer with EH&E and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Some asthma interventions can be quite costly, yet this study demonstrates that spending an extra $50 per year for a higher-efficiency filter may have significant impacts on levels of many airborne triggers in the home."
While effective asthma interventions should include several elements, study results show that products such as the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Reduction and Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Reduction 1‑inch air filters captured more than 50 percent of asthma and allergy triggers in a typical home. These filters also were found to be more than nine times as effective as standard fiberglass filters.
Other Relevant Statistics and Facts:
- Airborne allergen exposures and viral infections are indicated as two major environmental contributors to the development or exacerbation of asthma.
- Americans spend approximately 70% of their time indoors at home.
Nearly 7% of U.S. adults suffer from allergies that are severe enough to send them to a specialist. Consumers between the ages of 18–44 are more likely to visit allergists than older adults. About 73% of these consumers will visit a drug store this year, a rate which is slightly higher than average. In the last 30 days, 25% of these consumers took action as a result of a Yellow Pages ad. This rate is 107% higher than average.
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