When The Gym Isn’t As Healthy As It Seems

Who goes to the gym just to come back out sick? Seems like such an oxymoron, doesn’t it. Between treadmills and Zumba class, we’re either sculpting that perfect summer body or releasing built-up tension from the long work day.

But what if the same holy shrine that encompasses our own mini makeovers is also the same breeding grounds for ingesting high levels of dangerous gases? Well, hold on to your yoga pants because researchers from Portugal and Holland have found that the gym could actually be making you sick.

jade gym pure air zone 2

Picture this: You’re in the middle of spin class, pushing through that last minute of dear agony, and the class is hyperventilating in unison. Now while you may be exhaling that last bit of guilt over your third piece of chocolate cake, what you’re actually inhaling are high doses of hazardous gases. Among the culprits is carbon dioxide, which when put into perspective, makes total sense. You are in a confined space with intensified breathing and little to no air circulation. Now let’s go a step further. Not only are you inhaling high levels of CO2, but because you are breathing in and out of your mouth you actually end up taking the gases straight to your lungs, as opposed to being filtered through your nose.

As a matter of fact, not only is CO2 one of the main saboteurs to your health routine, the study found that certain gyms also had airborne dust and formaldehyde levels exceeding all the safety standards for indoor air quality! Quick science lesson here; formaldehyde is found in embalming fluid, glues, paints, and a whole other variety of household products. Long-term exposures to such substances are unclear, but many believe that at high levels these gasses are cancer causing agents.

 

With today’s modernization, industrialization and a fast paced world, there has been countless advice from medical experts and health professionals in the print, broadcast, internet and social media that lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, obesity, cancer, respiratory infections and a host of other ailments are brought about by our sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise.

This has led to the mushrooming of many fitness centers and gymnasiums allover such that it has become brisk business to operate such fitness outlets. People from all walks of life will always be found sweating and stretching their bodies to the limits in gyms.
In a sharp ironic twist, recent research has shown that going to the gym may actually be having a reverse effect to your health than what one would actually think. It has been found that the air quality in these gyms has been compromised by the presence of toxicants that are inhaled in the event of exercising.

These pollutants include:

• Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a product of complete combustion and also a product of human exhalation. With the heavy breathing, huffing and puffing inside gyms brought about by strenuous exercising, carbon dioxide is exhaled and circulated in copious amounts. Though carbon dioxide is in itself not a harmful gas to humans, it is an indoor pollutant and usually causes a greenhouse effect to the environment.

• Particulate matter

Particulate matter include dust particles that are to be found everywhere from the shoes we wear to the walls and floors of indoor facilities. Without exception, dust particles are sure to be found in the gym in plenty and with the deep breathing involved, a lot of it will be inhaled. Dust particles when inhaled can lead to upper respiratory tract infections and can even be an allergen trigger to diseases like asthma.

• Formaldehydeformaldeide

This is one of the indoor pollutants that can be found in the gym. Formaldehyde can be produced from some upholstery of furniture and carpets that can be found in gymnasiums. The adverse effects of formaldehyde when introduced into the human body over a long period of time cannot go unmentioned and also cannot be underestimated.

• Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. Carbon monoxide readily combines with hemoglobin in the human body to form carboxyhaemoglobin which prevents the transfer of oxygen to tissues. The affinity of hemoglobin to carbon monoxide is 210 times its affinity to oxygen. This pollutant can be found in considerable amounts in gyms and the adverse effects to human health are many including headache, dizziness, nausea and breathing difficulties. The effects of carbon monoxide over a long period of time can also not be underestimated.

• Molds

These can come from microbes such as fungi that can grow in heating and cooling systems due to excessive moisture. With such indoor equipments commonly found in gyms, there actually exist some considerable health effects that can come as a result of breathing in these toxic pollutants.

Other indoor pollutants that may be present in some amounts in gyms include but not limited to ozone, asbestos and some hydrocarbons which when exposed to the human body over a long period of time can cause adverse health effects.
With these research findings that the gym, a place where people go to improve the general state of their health can actually be having an opposite effect due to the presence of toxic indoor pollutants, then it remains to be seen what can be done to improve on the quality of air we breathe so that the health of people exercising in the gym will not be at stake for the long haul.

Gym aircel

So what’s an exercise junkie supposed to do? As wonderful as being outside can be, sometimes you just don’t want the construction crew checking out your yoga poses. The next best solution? Scope out the gym for any U-Monitor and AIRcel devices or Pure-Air Zone signs BEFORE your workout. If you don’t see any, speak with the manager about having some brought in. These devices measure the air quality in real time and work immediately to resolve any high levels of disgustingness that could be lingering. Clean air, all day every day. Fresh air, on the other hand, may have to wait until you leave the locker room.

certified pure air zone

So the next time you jump off the treadmill and feel light-headed remember, you may be feeling the euphoria of finally having a bikini-ready body, OR you may have just ingested a truck load of dangerous gasses!

The only way to know for sure, look for a Pure-Air zone sign.

Become a member today and join the fist green community base on clean air!

If you are a gym owner and you are not yet a Pure Air Zone, BECOME ONE TODAY.

 

 

U-earth and Microsoft

Featured

partnering together for a better world

When developing new technologies to make the world a better place it is always better to partner with the most reliable systems.

read in italian?

U-earth has recently developed a new air quality monitoring device called U-monitor, in order to be able to certify as ” Pure Air Zone” the professional spaces purified with AIRcel, the first biotech air purifiers in the world.

 

pure air zone, u-monitor

 

U-earth’s aim is to create the first Green Community providing Pure Air through its affiliates. The project is oriented to create a win win opportunity for all the players involved:

certified pure air zone

  • the affiliated companies will improve their green marketing strategy and sustainability reports, attracting the best customers,
  • Pure Air will become a competitive advantage compared to the competitors in the same business field.
  • the customers will enjoy Pure Air in the facilities displaying the “Certified Pure Air Zone” logo, and will start looking for the Air standards everywhere,
  • Pure Air will become a standard as it happened with WIFI, decreasing health problems such as allergies, respiratory diseases, viral cross contamination, air pollution exposure, and many more in workers and customers
  • Pure Air Zone Community will facilitate cross marketing between affiliates and promote co-branding events to grow awareness on the benefits of avoiding air pollution exposure in public/working environments.

 

In order to guarantee the quality of the air in Pure Air Zone, U-monitor detects many different air quality parameters, such as VOS, odorous gases, fine particles finer than 2,5 micron and superfine particles down to 1 micron, CO2, Radon, temperature, Humidity etc. every 5 minutes.

The collected data need to be compared and analyzed both from the Pure air Zone Affiliate and U-earth’s Air Quality Specialists in order to better understand the air pollution dynamics in the area and guarantee safe, de-contaminanted air, at all times.

The software which powers all U-monitor data and makes them readable and user friendly to all the Pure Air Zone affiliates in the world is Microsoft AZURE.microsoft

The data platform is called U-mamager and has been developed by Microsys, one of the best Microsoft Business Partners in Milano, Italy.

Microsoft italian HQ got very passionate by the U-monitor project and got involved directly asking Microsys and U-earth to present the business case the the entire Microsoft audience.

 

This is the video shooting at Microsoft HQ in Milan ( click on the image to see it) :

Schermata 2016-05-07 alle 13.05.17

Microsoft italian Head Quarters in Peschiera Borromeo ( Milan ) are currently monitoring their air quality in the Data Center benefitting of U-earth technology.

Gabriella Motta, U-earth’s technical manager, was also invited to present the technology on Microsoft’s stage, gathering huge interest from all Microsoft partners and audience.

Once again, Pure Air is a great form of network building, and an amazing business accelerator for all the companies involved.

microsoft conference 3 re

If you are a person you can become a member of the Pure Air Zone community and receive info on the Pure Air Zones around you, healthy living tips, and special offers from the Pure Air Zone Community affiliates.

If you are a Company you can contact U-earth to get a free custom project for you company to become the next Pure Air Zone and make the world a better place while increasing your business by joining the first Green Community providing Pure Air.

It will be great having you on board.

 

 

why is the Paris conference on climate change so important?

 

The 6 FAQ to explain what to this edition of COP21 is all about.

What is the United Nation Conference on Climate Change?

The COP21 – 21st Conference of the Parties – is a summit that will be held in France from 30 November 2015 to 11 December 2015. Ministers and high ranking government officials from more than 190 countries will gather in the city of Le Bourget in order to discuss how to reduce global greenhouse gas emission and how to keep global warming below 2° C. The summit will be preceded by COY11, the 11th Conference of Youth, which will take place from the 26th to the 28th of November. The Conference of Youth is an event held before every Conference of the Parties; this year it is expected to involve thousands of people, with workshops and activities related to climate changes and sustainable living.

COP1

What is the expected outcome of this summit?

The expected outcome of this summit is a binding agreement on climate change, that will be hopefully be signed by all countries and that will last at least a decade. One of the most important goal of the agreement will be to cut greenhouse gas emissions: some countries have already committed to this goal, but even if all countries agree to cut emissions, it will not likely be enough to keep global warming below 2°C, let alone stop it. For this reasons, it was suggested to try and engage “non-state” entities such as cities, local government and private businesses, urging them to do more and cut emissions.

What about the Kyoto Protocol, then?

The Kyoto protocol required each ratifying country to cut its emissions of 5% by 2012, compared to the levels in 1990. It was adopted in 1997, but it could not enter into force until enough countries to represent at least 55% of global emissions had ratified it. Since the USA – then the world’s bigger emitter of greenhouse gas – refused to ratify the treaty and since developing countries were kept out of the protocol and allowed to increase emissions in order to help their economies, it could not come enter into force until 2005, when Russia passed the treaty.

The protocol was originally expected to last until 2012, but the Doha conference held in Qatar in 2012 extended it until 2020. So, in five years there will be absolutely no international agreement on climate change; besides, the world’s bigger emitter of greenhouse gas is now China, which was not included in the Kyoto Protocol.

SOLUTIONS-COP21+labelparis2015_declis

Why is a global agreement on climate change necessary?

Most scientists agree that if we don’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming will soon become irreversible and it will have catastrophic consequence. If we don’t do anything, temperature will rise about 5°C: while this might seem like a small rise, it is the same difference as the one between today’s world and the last ice age. With a 5°C rise, the ice at the poles will melt and entire cities will be submerged by water. Entire species of animals and plants will die, and the entire human race will be in danger.

From a political point of view, a new treaty will be needed when the Kyoto Protocol will be no longer in effect. In order for the new agreement to be effective, it needs to be ratified by both China and the USA, and it is also important to impose sanctions on countries that will fail to meet the treaty’s requirements; this was not done with the Kyoto Protocol, and this is one of the reasons why it failed to meet its objectives.

Why wasn’t an agreement signed at the Copenhagen UN Climate Change summit in 2009?

While the Copenhagen summit didn’t result in a formal agreement, most countries agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, although not enough to stop global warming. One of the issues that wasn’t resolved was finance: poorer countries need help to invest in clean technologies that will allow them to reduce their emissions, and they want richer countries to give them this help. During the Copenhagen summit, rich countries agreed to a plan which guaranteed financial assistance to poorer countries until 2020, but it was not deemed enough.

Moreover, there are disagreements about the source of the funds that will be used to provide assistance: most countries don’t want, or can’t afford to provide funding based only on their public money. They want international development banks and private donors to provide most of the funding. Finding an agreement on financial matters will likely be one of the main issues that will arise in the summit.

The lungs of Earth

Tree with form of lungs, oxygen for the earth

What will be the key points of the agreement?

In order to be effective, the agreement will have to be universal: this means that it will be signed and ratified to all countries. It must also be ambitious in order to send all countries a clear message: it is now time to transition to a low carbon economy, favoring green fuels and renewable energies. It must also be balanced between mitigation and adaptation, giving all countries enough resources to meet the requirements, and flexible in order to be suitable for both big and small nations, developed and developing countries. Finally, it must be sustainable and dynamic, with long-term goals and periodic reviews in order to strengthen its action.

What can we do to team up and show the world we care?

People, companies, movements are more and more gathering up to raise awareness on the importance of respecting our planet through a range of different actions. U-earth biotechnologies has launched a campaign for Air Quality standards to be raised to the highest possible levels, and provided Pure Air Zones in public spaces for everyones minimal exposure to air pollution. The campaign’s video #iwantpureair is below for you to see and share. Thank you.

#iwantpureair video

#iwantpureair campaign video

 

 

Conoscete il Clean Air Act?

A pochi è noto, ma negli Stati Uniti è in vigore il Clean Air Act.
Questa legge, introdotta nel 1970 e modificata più volte, si occupa di fissare la disciplina  sulla qualità dell’aria negli Stati Uniti. In particolar modo, la legge concerne la definizione di standard nazionali di qualità dell’aria per determinati tipi di inquinatni, attraverso l’Environmental Protection Agency (Epa).clea_air_actCiò che colpisce è che le società automobilistiche non sono stata fino a oggi inserite all’iterno della normativa. Dal 1970, anno di emanzione del Clean Air Act, le case che producono automobili non sono soggette alla giustizia penale per scandali di natura ambientale.

 

Le polveri sottili aumentano le malattie cardiovascolari

L’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità parla chiaro: ridurre l’inquinamento dell’aria significa ridurre l’incidenza di malattie come l’ictus, il cancro ai polmoni, i disturbi cardiovascolari e le patologie respiratorie croniche come l’asma.

automobileTra gli agenti inquinanti vi sono le particelle di diametro variabile, solide o liquide disperse nell’atmosfera, indicate come particolato  fine (PM10) o ultrafine (PM2,5, PM1) a seconda del diametro espresso in micron (un milionesimo di millimetro), l’ozono, il diossido d’azoto e il biossido di zolfo. Secondo le Linee Guida dell’Oms una riduzione di particolato da 70 a 20 mg per metro cubo d’aria ridurrebbe il numero di decessi correlati all’inquinamento del 15%.
In un articolo di Humanitas Salute, il dottor Ciccarelli spiega: «Il particolato ultrafine (contenente particelle di diametro inferiore a 2,5 micron), se inalato ad alti tassi, non solo può causare disturbi all’apparato respiratorio ma anche al sistema cardiovascolare. Le strutture alveolari, ove possono giungere le particelle inalate più piccole sono circondate da una fitta rete di capillari: da qui le sostanze possono entrare in circolo nel sangue e, attraverso la circolazione sanguigna, giungere in tutto l’organismo con effetti nocivi».

Il sistema U-Earth consente di eliminare attraverso un efficace sistema di depurazione dell’aria quasi tutti gli agenti inquinanti presenti in un ambiente, compresa la formaldeide e le polveri ultrasottili.

 

Residenze per anziani: che aria tira?

Anziani e qualità dell’aria interna: questo è  l’oggetto di studio di GERIE, pubblicato recentemente sull’European Respiratory Journal. Questa ricerca ha voluto verificare la correlazione tra le malattie respiratorie degli anziani e la qualità dell’aria interna degli ambienti sanitari che sono soliti ospitarli. Sono quindi state prese in esame 50 Rsa in 7 Paesi dell’Unione Europea, Italia compresa, allo scopo di capire quali effetti dannosi produce la qualità dell’aria interna sugli ospiti. Ecco le parole di Giovanni Viegi, coordinatore dell’indagine e direttore dell’Istituto di Biomedicina e Immunologia Molecolare di Palermo: «abbiamo misurato le concentrazioni di polveri inalabili come PM10 e polveri ultrafini come PM0.1, ma anche formaldeide e gas irritanti e inquinanti, ovvero biossido di azoto e ozono – racconta  -. Inoltre, pur non essendo propriamente un inquinante ma un indicatore della qualità dell’aria, abbiamo valutato anche la quantità di anidride carbonica, che tende a salire se gli ambienti sono poco ventilati».CS-SAL07-Effetto-degli-inquinanti-

«Abbiamo osservato ad esempio un’associazione significativa fra formaldeide nell’aria e broncopneumopatia cronica ostruttiva negli ospiti – spiega Viegi -. Alti livelli di PM10 e biossido d’azoto sono connessi a una maggiore incidenza di difficoltà di respiro e tosse, mentre dove c’è molto PM0.1 gli anziani soffrono più spesso di respiro sibilante; PM0.1 e biossido di azoto, infine, sono correlati a una maggior probabilità di ostruzione bronchiale verificata alla spirometria. In caso di ambienti poco o per nulla ventilati, queste associazioni risultano ancora più significative».

Pure Air Zone è una zona di aria pulita. Noi lavoriamo per rendere il mondo un luogo in cui si respira meglio.

Asma e IAQ: il caso della Gran Bretagna

Il numero dei Britannici affetti da asma cronico potrebbe raddoppiare entro il 2050. La causa? La qualità dell’aria interna alle abitazioni e agli uffici.

Pur vivendo in un’epoca sempre più attenta al green e al risparmio energetico, i nemici si nascondono proprio all’interno delle quattro mura domestiche:
– inquinanti atmosferici creati dall’uso della cucina
– prodotti per la pulizia
– spray e lacche per i capelli

La scarsa qualità dell’aria interna ha una stretta correlazione con una serie di effetti dannosi sulla salute come sintomi allergici e asmatici, cancro del polmone, malattie polmonari ostruttive croniche, infezioni respiratorie disperse nell’aria e malattie cardiovascolari.

asma_inalatore

Le previsioni parlano chiaro:
– è previsto un aggravarsi dell’80% dei sintomi dell’asma nei 5,4 milioni di persone che già soffrono di questo disturbo respiratorio.
– le concentrazioni di composti organici volatili, prodotti chimici legati all’utilizzo degli aerosol, supereranno del 60% il limite imposto dall’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità.
– i livelli di biossido di azoto raggiungeranno il 30% in più rispetto ai limiti dell’OMS.

Pure Air Zone è un efficace sistema di depurazione dell’aria. Attraverso Air Cel vengono abbattuti gli agenti inquinanti presenti nell’ambiente interno, tra cui la formaldeide.
Per saperne di più, ecco un link utile..

Quanti agenti inquinanti respiriamo a lavoro?

L’inquinamento indoor e la qualità dell’aria interna sono argomenti che da un po’ di anni interessano l’opinione pubblica. Già nel 2013 nell’ambito del progetto europeo OfficAir Project che ha preso in esame 200 edifici moderni adibiti a ufficio all’interno di 8 Paesi (Italia, Francia, Finlandia, Olanda, Ungheria, Grecia, Spagna e Portogallo), il CNR ha identificato 30 agenti inquinanti. Tra questi, sono stati riscontrati alti livelli di inquinamento dovuti a formaldeide, benzene e terpeni.ufficio_pure_air_zone
Negli uffici, dove i cittadini trascorrono la maggior parte della loro giornata, a peggiorare la qualità dell’aria interna sono le pavimentazioni, gli arredi in legno, le colle, le vernici e i prodotti per la pulizia, le fotocopiatrici e le stampanti.
Il dato rilevato è allarmante: negli uffici esaminati in Italia, in inverno, la concentrazione “indoor” di formaldeide, riconosciuto come cancerogeno, è di circa 15 microgrammi per metro cubo, mentre all’esterno si ferma a 4 microgrammi. In estate le concentrazioni aumentano e si passa a 18 microgrammi in interno e 9 in esterno. La soglia oltre la quale la formaldeide desta preoccupazione è 10 microgrammi per metro cubo.

Diventa necessaria una maggiore consapevolezza dell’aria che respiriamo. La salute e la produttività sul luogo di lavoro sono fondamentali. L’aria pulita attraverso un efficace sistema di depurazione è oggi possibile.

Fonte: Corriere della Sera

Asma e inquinamento indoor: lo studio a Palermo

Lo studio “Effect of indoor nitrogen dioxide on lung function in urban environment”, svolto dall’Istituto di biomedicina e immunologia molecolare del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche in collaborazione con l’Istituto di scienze e tecnologie dell’informazione di Pisa e l’Istituto di analisi dei sistemi ed informatica di Roma, parla chiaro. In più di 300 abitazioni domestiche della città di Palermo i livelli di biossido di azoto (NO2) superano nel 25% dei casi i limiti (40 µg/m3) indoor definiti dall’Organizzazione mondiale della sanità. La ricerca mostra infatti una frequenza molto alta relativa al superamento delle soglie stabilite per l’inquinamento degli ambienti indoor. Asthma_attack-illustration_NIH

Ma soprattutto rivela un legame con l’insorgere di malattie respiratorie negli adolescenti. È risultato esposto ad elevate concentrazioni di NO2 nella propria abitazione quasi il 90% dei soggetti asmatici, mentre il 22% dei soggetti allergici ed esposti a elevate concentrazioni di NO2 indoor presentano asma corrente. Questo ancora una volta pone il problema degli effetti dell’inquinamento urbano sulla salute delle fasce di popolazione più suscettibile (bambini, anziani, adulti con preesistente patologia) anche all’interno delle proprie case.

Fonte: GreenInfo

Migliorare la qualità dell’aria può salvare 2,1 mln di vite all’anno

I dati dell’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità parlano chiaro: migliorare la qualità dell’aria permette a più di 2 milioni di persone di rimanere in vita.chimney_pollution_landscape

Lo studio, pubblicato su Enviromental Science & Technology, spiega che aria più sana è sinonimo di riduzione di attacchi di cuore, di ictus e di cancro ai polmoni.
L’inquinamento outdoor causa ogni anno 3,2 milioni di morti premature. Se si tiene conto del fatto che l’inquinamento indoor è di gran lunga più nocivo rispetto a quello esterno, diventa necessario adottare dei mezzi efficaci di trattamento dell’aria.

I ricercatori si sono concentrati sulle emissioni di polveri sottili sotto i 2,5 micron (note anche come polveri fini PM 2,5): questi inquinanti sono causati da centrali a carbone, scarichi di auto, lavorazioni industriali e, nei paesi a basso reddito, anche dalla combustione di carbone, legno o scarti alimentari per cucinare o riscaldarsi.

Pure Air Zone rappresenta una risposta efficace all’inquinamento interno.