For more than a decade, attempts to reduce exposure to house dust mites (HDM) have been made through patient education and research. Sensitization to HDM and exposure has been linked to asthma symptoms; moreover, HDM are a known trigger of asthma. Hence . . .Read More
With the increase in cases of asthma and allergies, manufacturers have marketed air purifiers as an aid to improved health. They come in a variety of guises: industrial or commercial, installed or portable; ozone producers, ion . . .Read More
Ozone, a triatomic molecule, consists of three oxygen atoms. Two of these form the basic oxygen molecule necessary for life, while the third acts like a free agent, combining with other substances that react with organic material to form substances that can endanger health. Ozone is a toxic gas.
Outdoor ground-level ozone, a component of smog, is the result of interaction between . . .Read More
Updated clinical practice guidelines for adult sinusitis have just been published. Since sinusitis is almost always attended by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the term rhinosinusitis is used through the document.
Rhinosinusitis is classified by duration: acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) lasts for less than four weeks, while chronic rhinosinusitis…Read More
Air quality is determined by measuring five major pollutants:
1. ground level ozone
2. particulate matter (PM)
3. carbon monoxide (CO)
4. sulfur dioxide (SO2)
5. nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
and the result, called . . .Read More
The symptoms of EIB are mimicked by other conditions and diseases. It thus becomes essential and imperative to rule out other diagnoses. For instance, obesity and vocal cord dysfunction can mimic asthma as well as EIB. Generally, EIB is associated with poorly controlled asthma, though…Read More
Exercise or physical activity provides a number of benefits to health, mobility and quality of life. In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the national guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health. They called for “moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity…Read More
Lung function varies throughout the day, being much lower at night. There may be a difference of more than 15% between the FEV 1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second) at night and during the day. While such fluctuations are normal, they . . .Read More
Asthma has been called a syndrome rather than a disease because of the multiplicity of types that share a common collection of symptoms. Both genetics and environment play important roles in the development of asthma and it has long been understood that the timing of exposure to triggers such as pollen, mold and animal dander can produce either a protective or inducive effect.
Environment determines the phenotype, while genetics determines the genotype, of a patient. In the last decade, research has focussed on the genetics of asthma and the elusive…Read More
We established The Asthma Education Clinic (AEC) to meet a country-wide need for reliable, consistent training and materials for asthma educators and health workers. Almost immediately, we ran into a problem – how could we provide these professionals with the education . . .Read More
Phthalate exposure in the home
Phthalate exposure occurs through ingestion, contact, inhalation and parenteral exposure from medical devices that contain phthalates. Since phthalates leave biomarkers in the form of metabolites in human urine, exposure to them can be measured.
In an attempt to determine the effects of daily exposure to phthalates, Bonehag and colleagues studied a cohort of 10,852 children…Read More
Phthalates and medical treatment
The most common interaction between phthalates and humans involves plastics and plasticized products. The use of phthalat¬es in medical devices (most commonly DEHP) has been known to cause toxicity. Medical devices include intravenous tubing, endotracheal tubes, catheters, fluid and blood product bags. DEHP does not bond chemically to PVC and hence can leach into…
When historians look back at the last century, two products – plastics and transistors – will stand out as having changed how we live and which, each in their own way, have affected our well being. Phthalates (pronounced thall-ates) are a group of industrial chemical compounds with a multitude of uses. They are mainly used as…Read More
Gas appliances – kitchen stoves, clothes dryers, furnaces for home heating, fireplaces, space heaters or water heaters – use natural gas as their primary source of heat. In fact, almost half of American households have gas stoves in their kitchens which they use daily. Both the stoves, and other gas appliances, produce respirable irritants that accumulate in indoor air, especially in winter months. Those irritants…Read More
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects children and adults. The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has had this disease under surveillance since 1980, and uses annual surveys to monitor mortality and morbidity – the latter expressed as school and work days lost, limitation of activity, asthma exacerbations, asthma-associated emergency room visits…Read More
Formaldehyde is a colourless, flammable gas with a strong smell, that is soluble in water. It is an essential component in the production of most common consumer items. While commonly associated in most people's minds only with embalming procedures in the funeral industry or with laboratories, this ubiquitous chemical is, in reality, used or found in almost every industry. It is highly unstable…Read More
Contact allergies are common. The main culprits are fragrance chemicals, preservatives and hair dyes. In hair dyes the most common allergen is paraphenylenediamine or PPD. PPD is an ingredient with high temperature stability, strength and chemical resistance. For this reason, it is used in textiles, fur-dyeing, dark-coloured cosmetics, …Read More
Allergies are the fifth most common chronic disease in the United States affecting about 55% of the population. It is also an expensive disease in terms of allergy medications and allergy-related doctor visits ($7.9 billion). About 4 million work days are lost each year due to allergies.(1) Treatment for allergies costs $21 billion annually.(2) Many individuals with allergies…Read More
The obesity epidemic is in full swing. Just thirty years ago in the U.S., only 4% of 6 – 11 year olds were overweight; today, 17% or 12.5 million children and adolescents 2 – 19 years are obese. Since 1980 the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled, and 1 in 7 low-income pre-school children are now classified as obese. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are considered obese…Read More
Colourful, attractive holders, flavourful and appealing to young people – this is the transformation of cigarettes to e-cigarettes. Even the name has changed, and they can be sold as electronic inhalers, hookah pens, e-hookahs and vape pens. Flavours range from banana nut, vanilla, chocolate, coconut, lemon, cinnamon, cotton-candy to gummy bear. They are not inexpensive with prices upwards of $20 with refills available for a lower price. Since the flavoured contents are inhaled as a vapor, the process is called vaping.
The change in name is an effort to disassociate e-cigarettes…Read More