lung cancer

AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Tips For Keeping Your Lungs Healthy

2 minute read

In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout®, Aprilaire is proud to support the American Lung Association’s mission to raise awareness about lung health. Below, we’ve highlighted some healthy habits you can adopt to maintain the health of your lungs and reduce your risk for lung disease.

Healthy habits for Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Don’t Smoke

Not only does smoking increase your risk of lung cancer, it is linked to several lung diseases including COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and asthma. If you are a smoker, quitting can help no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been addicted. The American Lung Association has resources to help when you’re ready.

Protect Your Overall Health

Getting vaccinations against influenza and pneumonia if your healthcare provider sees fit can help prevent lung infections and promote overall health. Avoiding crowds and washing hands during cold and flu season are also healthy habits to use to protect yourself from getting a cold or other respiratory infections. Try your best to maintain a healthy immune system, especially in the winter months. That gives your body the best chance at fighting off infections and keeping you and those around you safe.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity can help your lungs function properly regardless of your age, weight, or overall health. The national recommendation for adults is 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. This can be as simple as taking a brisk walk after dinner, bicycling, gardening, or any activity that gets your heart and lungs working.
Don’t forget to make sure the air you breathe while you exercise is healthy as well. And if you feel like taking it easy, some simple breathing exercises can help keep you on track.

Reduce Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollutants

Air pollution can harm anyone of any age. How much time you spend outside for work or play, and how well your indoor air is treated will play into the effect of bad outdoor air.
To keep you and your family healthy and avoid prolonged exposure, check out the American Lung Association’s best tips for protection from unhealthy air. This includes an awareness of the Air Quality Index, as well as an effort to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Secondhand smoke, chemicals, fragrances, or radon in your home and workplace can all cause or worsen lung disease. Testing your home for radon and using high-quality air filters can significantly improve your Indoor Air Quality. Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. These products help improve respiratory health by removing damaging airborne particles, reducing dust around your home, controlling unwanted odors, and providing cleaner, fresher, and healthier air.

Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

What to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine as of March 2021

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Click the play button above to listen to the article

UPDATE: On March 8th, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated.

The CDC says it will continue to reevaluate and update recommendations as more information becomes available. You can sign up for email updates on the CDC website.

Vaccines Bring Sense of Hope

For the first time in nearly a year, there is a sense of hope on the horizon for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans now have three vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson —that have all been found to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in clinical trial participants. While this is exciting news, there are still plenty of questions on people’s minds.

How do vaccines work?

Put simply, vaccines help prevent viruses or other germs from making people sick. They work by introducing a less harmful part of a virus or germ—or something created to behave like it—into a person’s body.

Then, the body’s immune system develops antibodies that can fight the germ or virus and prevent the person from getting severely ill. Later, if the person encounters that germ again, their immune system will be equipped to fight it.

Are the vaccines safe?

Health officials and experts have made safety a top concern when creating the COVID-19 vaccine. All three vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the CDC, and the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history is being used to ensure the health and safety of the millions of people in the U.S. who have received COVID-19 vaccines.

Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

This is a real concern among Americans, especially those who have avoided getting the virus this far. Thankfully, the answer is a resounding NO.

The CDC reports that none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines or the COVID-19 vaccines in development in the United States contain the live COVID-19-causing virus and therefore, a vaccine cannot infect you with the virus.

What are the benefits of the vaccine?

There is certainly more than one benefit when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and here are the main ones:

  • The vaccine will help prevent you from getting COVID-19
  • The vaccine is a safer way to help build protection compared to building immunity through catching the virus
  • The vaccine is an important tool in ending the pandemic and returning some normalcy to daily life

What are we still uncertain about?

While we know the vaccine can prevent us from getting sick, scientists and health experts are continuing work to determine whether or not we can still carry and transmit the virus to others after being vaccinated. That is why, even after vaccination, using all the tools available for protection is crucial as we discover more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

Protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 is not an easy task, but it is possible. A reminder on best practices:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when out in public or around others you don’t normally spend time with
  • Remain 6 feet apart from others whenever possible
  • Avoid crowds, especially indoors
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and prioritize Indoor Air Quality
American Heart Month

AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

American Heart Month and Healthy Air

2 minute read

 

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are responsible for taking approximately 17.9 million lives each year, making it the number one cause of death globally.

Related to this unfortunate statistic, physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of CVDs. In our current COVID-19 climate, the sedentary lifestyle that so many have been forced into only adds to those numbers.

Along with physical inactivity, other factors can have a large impact on our heart health, like an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, and the air we breathe.

Breathing in particulates, (the tiny particles or droplets that float in polluted air), puts you at a higher risk of heart and brain problems. Most air quality standards consider particles that are 2.5 microns or less in width (also known as PM2.5) to be a major source of chronic health impacts for indoor environments. The sources of these particles include cooking, candles, and outdoor air, and require an air filter rated at MERV 10 for removal.

American Heart Month and Heart Health

To get started on making heart health a priority for you and your family, you can join the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and The Heart Truth® program for their February American Heart Month Campaign.

This year they’re focusing on themes for each day of the week:

  • #SelfcareSunday – Create your self-care checklist for the week.
  • #MindfulMonday – Know your blood pressure numbers and other heart stats. Manage any pre-existing health conditions with regular check-ups and by taking the medicine you’ve been prescribed.
  • #TastyTuesday – Try a tasty, heart-healthy recipe.
  • #WellnessWednesday – Put your heart into your wellness routine. To ensure you’re working out in Healthy Air, you might need to change where and how hard you work out–especially in regions with poor outdoor air quality. Avoid exercise that will result in heavy breathing if you are near high traffic roads, power plants, or even a gym with poor ventilation.
  • #TreatYourselfThursday – Treat your heart to some relaxation and fun.
  • #FollowFriday – Share who inspires you to show your heart more love.
  • #SelfieSaturday – Post about your favorite way to take care of your heart. Be sure to include #OurHearts in your post.

Whether it’s American Heart Month or not, your heart health is something to take seriously. Here are a few more ways you can take care of your heart any time of the year:

  • Don’t smoke – One of the best things you can do for your heart is to quit smoking and/or limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Do an Air Check – Before heading out to work, school, or to play, you can check your local air quality index. Green means go on this rating scale and shows it’s safe for everyone to spend time outside. People with health conditions, however, should limit the time they spend outdoors when a yellow or orange rating is given.
  • Purify your Air – Invest in an Aprilaire Air Purifier for your home and office to remove pollutants. Reducing the number of particulates in the air can lower blood pressure and inflammation to ensure a healthy heart.

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
Breathe a sigh of relief.

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flights

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

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Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer