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COVID-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has infected very large numbers of people in a short period of time (since it was first recognised on 01/12/2019). It appears to be highly infectious with a significant mortality rate. Current estimates suggest it would be around 2%, much less than the fatality rate of other human Coronaviruses, such as SARS (9.5%) and MERS (37.1%), but greater than that of the seasonal influenza virus (0.04 – 0.088%).  

 

 

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Natasha Gordon was pleased to present her talk entitled "Health friendly air - in pursuit of environmental wellness" at The National Medtech and Biotech Summit in Dublin today. She discussed the importance of air quality and indoor health, described the testing services that are offered by airmid healthgroup and provided a case study of one of our R & D projects.

Fresh clean and healthy air

What do you do if you feel that your home or office is stuffy? There are some obvious benefits to opening a window. An open window helps provide a room with air changes, which means the air within a space is exchanged. Air from an open window can replace the stagnant room air, which may be contaminated with mold, bacteria or viruses that could cause illness. The increased ventilation can help decrease carbon-dioxide levels that build over time due to room occupants’ breathing. High levels of carbon dioxide can cause fatigue and headaches. Harmful chemicals that have off-gassed from paints, furniture, or cooking can also be removed with adequate air changes from an open window.

Bruce and DSRTE’s environmental awareness program Eco Eye enlisted airmid healthgroup’s help in their recent episode on “Hazardous Waste”. The episode examined the health and environmental impacts of common household chemicals and investigated less hazardous and “eco-friendly” alternatives. We were asked to compare the effectiveness of homemade cleaning products and more typical store-bought brands against bacteria.

This article originally appeared on the 11th December in the Irish Independent and online on www.independent.ie.

pablo 100There is increasing recognition that air pollution is not just an outdoors problem, it is important to also consider indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is significant because it can affect our comfort, productivity and, most importantly, our health. You can influence your indoor air quality in three main ways: source control (ie limiting the source of pollutants), ventilation, and cleaning of any pollutants that may be present. Here we break those three main strategies down even further to list 10 things you can do to improve your indoor air quality.

1. Be air aware

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Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 14.09.37.pngairmid healthgroup was pleased to attend and sponsor Cleaning Products US 2017, which was held in Alexandria, VA from the 10th to the 12th October. This annual event brings together researchers, experts and leaders from a range of companies across the cleaning products supply chain including Church & Dwight, P&G, Clorox, Kimberley Clark, SC Johnson, Unilever, Sun Products, Reckitt Benckiser, Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Research Innovation Conference and National Health ExpoThe Research & Innovation Conference & Exhibition was held earlier this week. It was a busy day, especially as this year the conference was co-located with the inaugural National Health Expo. Each of the events had a main stage and several seminar rooms where talks were held throughout the day. With a line-up of over 100 speakers it’s an event worth attending as a team, because so many interesting talks were on simultaneously!

Bed Bugs vs House Dust Mites 2Sometimes people can mix up these indoor pests, so this blog post will describe some of the differences between the two.

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HomesJune marked the first annual National Healthy Homes Month. This initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was launched to provide people with the opportunity to learn more about housing and its effects on health. The National Center for Healthy Housing estimates that approximately 35 million metropolitan U.S. homes have at least one health and safety hazard. As a means to tackle this issue, HUD set out eight healthy home principles that can be followed to make the home environment healthier.

Bugs vs Drugs Science GalleryYesterday the Science Gallery was the venue for a Health Research Board (HRB) sponsored talk on antimicrobial resistance entitled “Bugs versus Drugs”. It was an evening of insightful discussion between Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick (Consultant Microbiologist Beaumont Hospital and Senior Lecturer at RCSI), Dr Andrew Murphy (a General Practitioner and Professor in NUI Galway) and science journalist Maryn McKenna. The broadcaster Jonathan McCrea hosted the conversation. As the audience included non-scientists, Dr Fitzpatrick started by explaining that while “bugs” in microbiology include bacteria, viruses and fungi, antibiotics only work against bacteria and often only against a specific type of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance refers to the strategies bacteria develop to prevent antibiotics from acting against them.

Michigan State University logoairmid healthgroup is pleased to announce Dylan Johnston will be joining the business team on an internship program for the next two months. Dylan will be entering his 4th year as an undergraduate at Michigan State University this fall. He is currently a double major in Biochemistry and Biotechnology with hopes to continue his education after his undergraduate career to achieve a masters in business administration. Dylan is very excited to be part of the Digital Content and Marketing team and will be helping to plan and deliver various sales and marketing initiatives.

Asthma Allergy Awareness MonthMay is a busy time in the asthma and allergy world. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designates May as Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. The month starts off with World Asthma Day (May 3rd) and Air Quality Awareness Week (May 2nd to May 6th).

We updated this blog post throughout the month to keep track of some of the events held to raise awareness of asthma, allergies and air quality.

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World Asthma Day 2016Every year since 1999 the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) designates the first Tuesday in May as World Asthma Day. This year World Asthma Day is on May 3rd. The purpose of this annual event is to raise awareness of asthma and its care around the world. Since 2007 the theme of the day has been “you can control your asthma”.

ELISA and multichannel pipetteWe are setting up an Interlaboratory Comparison (ILC) for the quantification of Influenza A nucleoprotein. ILCs measure the ability of a lab to deliver accurate results and are an important part of quality assurance programs. Participating in an ILC or Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme is one of the criteria necessary to gain ISO 17025 accreditation for a particular testing method. As there is no PT scheme available for Influenza A nucleoprotein quantification, we are setting up an ILC.

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April 4th – 10th is World Allergy Week. This annual event is an initiative of the World Allergy Organisation (WAO). This year the theme is the effect of climate change on pollen and mold allergies.

Facilities Management Ireland 2016On the 7th of March members of the Health Friendly Air team went down to the RDS for the Facilities Management Ireland conference and exhibition. The conference was launched to respond to the increasing demand from Irish companies for solutions to improve their efficiency and reduce the cost of running their business environment.

2016 American Academy of Allergy Asthma Immunology ConferenceEarlier this month some of our team travelled to LA to present our latest bed bug research at the 2016 AAAAI Conference. The conference is the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. We were delighted to continue the tradition of presenting at this prestigious gathering of experts. This year the conference was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

2016 Research and Innovation Conference and ExhibitionOn the 3rd of March we attended the Research and Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Croke Park. It was a day packed with talks from leaders in research and innovation from the top industries in Ireland.

Every breath we take report coverToday the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) released the report “Every breath we take: The lifelong impact of air pollution”. The report covers the health effects of air pollution across our lifetime, from before birth to old age. The issue of air pollution is very important. In the UK around 40,000 deaths a year are estimated to be attributable to outdoor air pollution. However the report emphasises that air pollution is not just an outdoors problem. We spend most of our time indoors, so pollution of indoor spaces such as homes, workplaces and schools is just as crucial.

airmid healthgroup bids farewell to Christabel Lo as she completes a 2 month internship as a part of the business team.