by The Welthi Bureau | 19th Feb, 2019
March is a month of misery for those suffering with allergies. These allergies might be due to a number of factors, including pets, pollen and pollution. Itchy eyes, streaming nose, incessant sneezing and allergic asthma, all come under the seasonal woes for allergy prone people. However, apart from the usual prevention methods that one can take – like keeping the windows closed and keeping antihistamine sprays and pills at hand, there is one other solution that is being offered – HEPA Filter Air Purifiers.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particular Air) Filters are mechanical air filters that work by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles like pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke. To fully understand how a HEPA filter works, think of it as a mesh of tangled fibers. The sheet is usually folded into pleats, to increase the surface area and filter life. As air flows through the fibers, the large enough particles are trapped when they hit the fibers.
So how effective are HEPA filters? The fact is, while they remove some particles from the air, there are many harmful contaminants in the air that are not particulate matter, like certain allergens, bacteria, viruses and airborne chemicals, which escape the HEPA filter.
HEPA Filters can therefore not prevent VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are emitted by building materials, beauty products, etc., and may sometimes be carcinogenic; Viruses, which are too small to be removed; Bacteria which are trapped but which release endotoxins into the air stream while dying on the filter surface, and Mold spores which stay alive on the filter surface.
However, having an air purifier with HEPA filters in your home is better than not having one at all, especially if you are prone to allergies. You can also improve your indoor air quality by removing the source of air pollutants:
• Keep pets away from the areas where you spend the most time
• Reduce the volume of particles in the room, and remove pollutants trapped in rugs, curtains and furniture that your HEPA air purifier can’t reach, by vacuuming and
• Open the windows during and soon after cleaning
• Invest in special mattresses and pillow covers which cut down on the pollutants you are exposed to
• Improve the air quality by letting in the fresh air from time to time
Above all, if you are prone to allergies and find that your bouts of hay fever are increasing and escalating into wheezing and allergic asthma, consult your doctor immediately.
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