The Air Filter I Use and Recommend: Air Filter Info For Those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
I’ve noticed that when my husband gets sick now, I don’t always catch it! This has been great for me.
As my body has been healing, I’m not as prone to catching everything like I was when my immune system was all out of whack.
I’ve done a lot of work to get to this stage. I’ve worked on:
- nervous system balancing
- addressing root triggers
- foods and supplements
- and cleaning up my environment
And a good air purifier has been a big part of cleaning up my home environment.
A professional quality air purifier can help prevent illness by filtering out airborne contaminants like viruses and bacteria.
And it can filter out a lot of other things that can trigger the mast cells, too…things like VOCS.
VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds. They are found in a lot of building materials, carpets, and furnishings among other things. And when they off-gas, they release toxic chemicals into the air you breathe.
We got some new furniture recently. I was really excited about it. We’d had the old furniture for a long time, and it was mismatched.
But it had a strong smell when it arrived. This smell was from the VOCs in the furniture off-gassing.
In the past, we would have had to keep the furniture in the garage until it finished off-gassing. Those toxins being released in the air would have made me sick.
But sometimes that off-gassing process could take days. And that’s no fun!
When you get something new, you want to start enjoying it right away.
So this time, I decided to try turning on my air purifier to its high setting as soon as the furniture came into the house. The smell from the new furniture started to go away in a few hours!
The air purifier trapped those VOCs coming off the furniture.
With Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance, you want to pay close attention to keeping your home environment healthy. This especially includes the air you breathe.
If you think about how much time you spend in your home, your air quality is really important…Especially with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
That’s because a lot of things that float around in your air can actually make your symptoms much worse.
These airborne triggers include:
- mold spores
- mold toxins
- smoke from fires
- dust mites
as well as other toxins like VOCs.
Your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance can worsen with exposure to any of those triggers.
So, reducing airborne triggers is a critical step in addressing Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.
Remember that mast cells are an important part of the immune system. They are one of your body’s first lines of defense against things that can harm you. This includes toxins.
And breathing in these airborne particles can trigger your mast cells to flare up in a big way. And if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, your mast cells are already haywire. You don’t want to keep them in a state of over-activation.
You want to do whatever you can to keep supporting the mast cells and keep them calm.
And that includes cleaning up your environment…including clean air.
And did you know that some airborne toxins can linger for a long time?
Next, we’ll look at how germs like bacteria and viruses stick around in the air. Then we’ll look at how mold exposure can be through spores in the air.
And then we’ll look at what can be done to help clean the air in your home.
How Germs like Bacteria and Viruses Stay in the Air and Their Impact on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
You probably already know that germs can be spread through:
- Physical contact with another person
- Touching contaminated surfaces
- Breathing in droplets from the air
It’s fairly easy to avoid touching someone who is sick. And it’s not hard to clean a contaminated surface.
But germs can remain airborne for hours.
Aerosols are particles that leave your mouth and nose when you cough, sneeze, and even breath or laugh. And these aerosols can spread germs.
Those aerosols can stay suspended in the air for a few minutes or up to several hours! They can even travel up to 200 feet!
These aerosols are microscopic. Airborne particles are measured in microns. A virus is .06-1 microns. Mold is 10 microns. Pollens range from 10-20 microns.
This is important when you go to address cleaning the air in your home. We’ll talk about that more later.
Indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And there can be a range of health issues that result from poor air quality.
You might have experienced anything from short term issues like runny nose to fatigue to itchy eyes. And these types of airborne toxins can trigger the mast cells, too.
After all, the mast cells are your body’s first line of defense. And any of those toxins can trigger them.
And like I said earlier, with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, your mast cells are probably already in a state we call “haywire.”
You can read more about that here:
And that’s why we want to look at cleaning up our environment. It’s one step toward calming those haywire mast cells. Fewer triggers = calmer mast cells.
Next, let’s look at another toxin that might be affecting your air quality…mold.
Then we’ll look at how to clean this all up.
Mold Exposure from the Air You Breath – What to Know When You Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
Mold toxicity is the top root cause of Mast Cell Activation and Histamine Intolerance I see in my practice. I see it in over 90% of my private clients. I’ve dealt with this myself.
One reason mold exposure has increased is how homes are built now. Houses are sealed very tightly. This is great for energy efficiency. But it means condensation gets trapped.
Condensation is moisture. And where there is moisture, there is mold.
Mold spores land on wet surfaces and reproduce. Then they throw out more mold spores and toxins into the air.
It’s amazing how quickly mold can grow when there are a lot of spores in the air.
The toxins produced by mold in your body are called “mycotoxins.” “Myco” comes from the Greek word for “fungus.”
As the mycotoxins build up in your body, you can develop more and more health issues.
There are a number of different types of mold toxins or mycotoxins.
You can read more about those here:
They also act as a trigger for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance by:
- dysregulating the immune response
- disrupting hormones
- disrupting the nervous system
- clogging up detox pathways
So you definitely don’t want to be breathing in mold spores from your air!
So how can you get your home environment and air cleaner? Let’s look at that next.
Professional Grade Air Purifiers - What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
You are probably familiar with standard air purifiers. They are well known for removing dust, and pollen. And some might be able to help with smoke, and odors.
But only certain air purifiers are made to also tackle microorganisms like viruses, mold, and bacteria.
Remember when we talked about the different sizes (microns) of different pollutants? Different air purifiers trap different pollutants of varying microns.
HEPA filters are the type of air filters most people use. You can get free-standing HEPA air purifiers. And you can get HEPA furnace filters.
A regular HEPA filter can trap particles and germs down to 0.3 microns. This includes germs, dust, and other allergens. This can include a lot of bacteria.
Viruses and many mold spores are much smaller than bacteria, though. So, normal HEPA filters won’t usually be as effective for viruses or all mold spores, unfortunately.
Professional Grade Air Purifiers use HEPA filters, too. But they aren’t the normal HEPA filters. They can be UltraHepa™ filters which can be 100x more effective than regular HEPA filters.
The best quality Professional Grade Air Purifiers can trap microns as small as .003 microns. That removes most of the smaller particles like viruses. And it removes the bigger ones like dust mites, too.
Let’s look again at the sizes of some of the more common pollutants:
- Smoke: 0.1-1 microns
- Bacteria: 0.02-0.2 microns
- Viruses: 0.06-0.1 microns
- Pollen: 10-20 microns
- Mold: 10 microns
- Dust mites: 50 microns
Now, what about VOCs?
Professional Grade Air Purifiers can also remove most VOCs.
These common household materials can emit dangerous chemicals and VOCs into the air you breathe in your home:
- Particleboard in new furniture
- Plywood in new construction
- Glues and adhesives in furniture
- Insulation materials
- Flooring, like carpet, vinyl, and wood
- Fire retardants, like on pillows and mattresses
People with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance can be sensitive to all of these chemicals.
And let’s not forget about mold. I know we talk about mold a lot. But again, that’s because I see mold toxicity in over 90% of my clients. It’s the most common root cause of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome I see in the Mast Cell 360 practice.
Mold is a huge trigger and you definitely need to address it, especially if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.
Air purifiers are a great way to do this.
Now, if you have water damage or leakage in your home, you’ll need to address that, too. The air purifier alone won’t remove all the mold. You have to get to the root of the problem.
But a professional grade air purifier is a step in the right direction.
And an air purifier can help anyone in the household…not just those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
Lots of people suffer from seasonal allergies from pollen and ragweed. An air purifier will help them breathe easier, too.
The air purifier I’m going to tell you about can filter out toxins like mold, VOCs, pollens, and bacteria and viruses.
There is a huge difference between most Air Purifiers, Furnace Filters, and Professional Grade Air Purifiers.
It’s important to know what to look for. You want a machine that will filter out as many toxins as possible.
There is so much marketing and hype surrounding air purifiers, too. So I researched a bunch of different products to get beyond the hype.
I wanted to find just one machine that could tick all these boxes:
- Does it filter mold spores?
- Can it handle VOCs?
- What about viruses and bacteria?
- What about pollution?
- Can it handle smoke from forest fires?
- What is the warranty?
- How good is their customer service?
- What are the costs?
After lots of reading, talking to experts, and trying out 5 different models, I found some really good ones.
My favorite is AirDoctor. I’m constantly comparing products. Though there are other good purifiers out there, this one ticks all the boxes.
First, there is no Wifi on these machines. This was a big part of my decision.
Some other popular air purifiers come with WIFI automatically turned on. But they don’t advertise this part. So unless you have an EMF detector, you might not know.
I had a few private clients who bought some of the other brands of air purifiers. They kept getting worse after they got their air purifier unit.
It took months to figure out the WIFI in the unit was triggering inflammation. When I learned about this, I stopped recommending those brands.
The AirDoctor has these great features:
- UltraHEPA™ Filter which is 100x more effective than regular HEPA filters. The UltraHEPA™ captures particles as small as .003 microns. That means it is able to filter out pollen, ragweed, smoke, dander, dust mites, mold, and most bacteria and viruses. AirDoctor captured 99.99% of tested viruses and bacteria, including influenza viruses and others.
- Dual Action Carbon/Gas Trap/VOC Filter removes dangerous gas and VOCs like formaldehyde.
- 100% Sealed System means that no air is bypassing the filter by escaping through unsealed leaks in the machine. That means all the air you breathe is filtered.
Other benefits include:
- Auto-Mode: A professional-grade air quality sensor detects the air quality in the room and adjusts to the correct level of filtration.
- Change Filter Alert: a small indicator light lets you know when it is time to change the filter. A clean filter is important in maintaining clean air. This light makes it easy to keep track of when it is time to change.
- Quiet performance: WhisperJet fans are 30% quieter than fans found in ordinary air purifiers.
- Great customer service
- 1 year warranty from defects in materials and workmanship
- And it’s more affordable than the other air purifiers in the same class
And when I met with them, they gave us a link for our community for up to $300 off their newest and improved air filter units!
AirDoctor has a few different models. You want to make sure you get the right size model for the space you have. Here are the 3 models:
For the AirDoctor 1000:
Filters the air in 235 square feet every 12 minutes.
For the AirDoctor 3000:
Filters the air in 505 square feet every 12 minutes.
And for the AirDoctor 5000:
Filters the air in 868 square feet every 12 minutes.
How do you know which unit to get?
First, measure the length and width of the area where you want to put an air filter. Then multiple those 2 numbers.
For example, if your combined living room and kitchen area is 18 feet wide by 25 feet long, then you multiply 18 x 25 = 450 square feet. Then pick the model that is closest to the square feet of the area.
So in this case, for a combo kitchen and living area, you might want the Air Doctor 3000 for that space.
Then, let’s say your bedroom is 12×10. That is 120 square feet. So you would get the AirDoctor 1000 for that room.
And if you have a large basement that is 25 feet by 32 feet. That equals 800 square feet. So you would get the AirDoctor 5000 for that space.
AirDoctor ships within the United States, Canada and Mexico.
For additional international options, you might consider looking into shipping with a forwarder.
Here are two different international shipping options you may consider for more affordable international shipping options from the United States.
If you use them, you of course, do so at your own risk, and you’ll need to know your countries’ laws and customs regarding shipping.
That said, a few of our clients have shipped other products to their homes outside the United States using these services, and had a good experience.
Always do your own research as we aren’t involved with these companies and we can’t be responsible for, or able to help with any issues you might encounter with shipments through them.
The Airdoctor ships with a US plug and US voltage. If your country uses the same plug and voltage, so make sure it works for your country.
Breathing clean air can make a huge difference in your health. It can make a huge difference in allergies and breathing. And breathing easier can mean better sleep, too.
And of course, clean air means fewer triggers for your mast cells.
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