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 COPD Support News Feb 18, 2011
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4372 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2011 :  12:28:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 11, Issue 7
February 18, 2011

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCS) IN PAINT AND OTHER PRODUCTS
Due to recent discussions concerning paint fumes and requests for copies of an article from the September 3, 2010 newsletter on the subject, here's an updated version of the original article including a new link to a list of the available brands :

Before you start painting, or before you have someone paint your home, you will probably want a paint that is safe—or safer—for your lungs. Unfortunately, paints, as well as a host of other substances found in most homes, can irritate our lungs. The toxic culprits to blame are called Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOCs are gasses that are emitted from either solid or liquid materials. Exposure to these VOC gasses may adversely affect our health. Sometimes the VOCs emitted from a product are directly the problem. At other times, the VOCs that are released interact with other substances and produce entirely new compounds that can be harmful to us. VOCs can be found in everything from paints and home cleaning supplies to permanent markers. The list of adverse health effects is long, but among them is one particular consequence that is important to us—irritation to the respiratory system. You will find a good overview of VOCs, a list of the many negative healtheffects, and the surprisingly long inventory of products that contain VOCs on this page on EPA's web site:
http://tinyurl.com/yu3fa

Myths About Paints with VOCs
One of the myths about VOCs is that they all emit an odor. This myth leads people to conclude that if you can eliminate or mask the odor of paint, you are removing VOCs. According to an article in "Northwest Renovation: A home Improvement Magazine", this is simply not the case. They point out two popular misconceptions: First, that you can smell VOCs. The truth, they say, is that many VOCs have no detectable odor. Adding a scent such as vanilla to mask the odor of the paint therefore does nothing to address the problem. It does not change the harmful nature of the VOCs. The second myth is that once the paint dries, there is no longer a VOC problem. The article points out that paints with VOCs continue to emit VOCs long after they dry. The author states, "it is estimated that more than 50% of the VOCs in paint are still being emitted one year after application." They have much more to say on the subject of paint and VOCs, and the article can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/4cpzpme

Brands Available
Because of demand, most major paint brands now produce Low VOC or VOC Free paints. For a list of about 20 VOC Free paints (they may have traces of VOCs, but still meet EPA labeling standards), and an even longer list of Low VOC paints, see the Earth Easy website at:
http://tinyurl.com/2fcazpc

Buying Other VOC Free Products
There is an increasing number of other Low or VOC Free products on the market—everything from cleaning supplies to bathtub caulk. Salesmen no longer look at you like you have two heads when you ask for VOC Free paint or other VOC Free products, so you can now comfortably discuss your needs with your local salesperson. We trust you will also double check the accuracy of the salesperson's statements against the information on the can or container.

Household Products with VOC
Now that you are convinced that VOCs are lurking around every corner to irritate your lungs, it is time to bring your attention to an article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) about how air fresheners and other household products with VOCs may reduce lung function. Put your cleaning supplies down and read:
http://tinyurl.com/2ojjeo

Unfortunately, fear of VOCs is not a valid excuse to give up cleaning. There are plenty of VOC Free cleaning supplies available. Recipes for cleaning with lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and other common products can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/kjf8w

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

- VACCINE TO KILL ALL FLU
- WHY SOME OF US DON'T USE OUR PORTABLE OXYGEN
- NIH PROPOSES GRANTS OF $12 MILLION FOR STUDY OF SARCOIDOSIS AND AATD
- TARGACEPT ANNOUNCES PHASE II STUDY OF ASTHMA AND DIABETES DRUG
- STUDY SHOWS ONBREZ PLUS TIOTROPIUM A GOOD COMBO
- BIOMARK COMPLETES STAGE II OF NEW COPD TREATMENT
- SMARTPHONE CAN TRACK POLLUTION
- AUTOMATED FLU SURVEILANCE SYSTEM TO BE CERTIFIED
- POWER MOBILITY PROVIDERS CLAIM CMS MISMANAGEMENT
- MISCELLANEOUS
UNDERSTANDING ACUPUNCTURE
FRUIT SALAD AND BLOOD SUGAR METERS DON'T MIX
ICE FISHING IN MICHIGAN
BRAIN TRAINING GAMES

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SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.
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VACCINE TO KILL ALL FLU
Oxford University (UK) scientists successfully tested a universal vaccine on humans that could work against all strains of flu. The vaccine targets a component of the flu virus that is common to all types of flu, possibly making annual vaccinations unnecessary in the future. Currently, new vaccines are developed each year as new strains emerge due to mutation. There is still no guarantee that it will be 100% effective, and, in some cases, it may still need to be mixed with the regular annual vaccine to increase the extent of protection. The traditional vaccine is effective in 70-80% of younger people, but it is only 30-40% effective in older people. For more information please see this article published by Guardian.co.uk:
http://tinyurl.com/4kozx5h
You can also read the original study in PDF format at:
http://tinyurl.com/4aph2zc

WHY SOME OF US DON'T USE OUR PORTABLE OXYGEN
Newsletter readers may not be typical COPDers, but for the average COPDer, portable oxygen can be even more intimidating for a number of reasons. This British study looks at reasons why portable oxygen users in the UK don't use their portable systems. Keep in mind this study was conducted under circumstances perhaps a bit different than exists in other counties. Based on interviews, it was concluded that COPD patients did not use their portable O2 systems because:
-they were poorly instructed on how to use it
-they were uncertain about the benefits of using it
-they didn't trust the gauge and were afraid they'd run out of O2
-they were embarrassed to be seen with it
-they were unable to carry it because of the weight
-they were less likely to use it if they did not have immediate caregivers to accompany them outside their homes
For more information, see this 7th Space Interactive report at:
http://tinyurl.com/45f4wtv

NIH PROPOSES GRANTS OF $12 MILLION FOR STUDY OF SARCOIDOSIS AND AATD
The NHLBI of NIH (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health) is planning a three-year study of two serious lung diseases: sarcoidosis and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). AATD, sometimes called inherited emphysema, is a genetically inherited condition that can cause lung and liver disease. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can affect any organ, however it most commonly targets the lungs and lymph nodes.
For information about the grant, see NIH's announcement at:
http://tinyurl.com/45jze8k
For information on AATD, visit the Alpha-1 Foundation at:
http://tinyurl.com/4g6cf
For the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/dkzjcz

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COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
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TARGACEPT ANNOUNCES PHASE II STUDY OF ASTHMA AND DIABETES DRUG
Yes, a drug to treat diabetes, as well as asthma and other inflammatory diseases. It is all about targeting something called the alpha7 receptors that mediate in "pro-inflammatory molecules known as cytokines." Medical News Today does their best to explain this highly technical subject, but you don't have to fully comprehend it to appreciate the advances that are being made in understanding and treating COPD. The article can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/4f8j99o

STUDY SHOWS ONBREZ PLUS TIOTROPIUM A GOOD COMBO
The drug company Novartis has announced that its study shows their once-daily COPD medication Onbrez Breezhaler, when used with tiotropium (brand name Spiriva), greatly improves lung function. The two medications belong to different classes of medications. Onbrez Breezhaler is the only once-daily, long-acting beta-2 agonist. Tiotropium is a long-acting anti-muscarinic. They are both used to treat COPD. Onbrez Breezhaler is approved in the EU and in 50 other countries, and has been launched in a number of countries. It is currently undergoing review by the FDA in the U.S., and the FDA advisory committee will be discussing it next month (March 2011). For more information, see Pharmabiz, from India, at:
http://tinyurl.com/4v2fnyc
You can also see a Reuter's article at:
http://tinyurl.com/4echykk

BIOMARK COMPLETES STAGE II OF NEW COPD TREATMENT
The drug manufacturer Biomark has completed phase I trials for its COPD medication BIO-11106, an inhalation solution. This medication is unique in that it works in two ways: it is an anti-inflammatory and also suppresses mucus secretion. The clinical trials show lung function improvements, reduced cough, and reduced sputum production. It also appears, thus far, to be safe and without significant side effects. More studies are needed to look further into its safety as well as determine the best therapeutic dose. For more information, see the Pharmalive website at:
http://tinyurl.com/4qt6vox

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MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.
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SMARTPHONE CAN TRACK POLLUTION
It is only a matter of time before your smart phone will be able to warn you of air pollution. As you roam around, your smart phone will be able to track your location via GPS and keep you informed of the air quality at your location. The University of Buffalo, thanks to a grant form the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be working on this innovative smart phone application. For more information, see this Buffalo Rising article at:
http://tinyurl.com/4okhphd

AUTOMATED FLU SURVEILANCE SYSTEM TO BE CERTIFIED
The Los Alamos National Laboratory at the University of California and HighRes Biosolutions have entered an agree to work on an automated, compact and self-contained unit—in effect a modular laboratory—that can analyze strains of deadly infectious diseases such as influenza. These self-contained units can be placed throughout the world to monitor the spread of diseases, hopefully helping to stem potential pandemics. For more information, please see this Medical News Today article at:
http://tinyurl.com/4zthuwm

POWER MOBILTY PROVIDERS CLAIM CMS MISMANAGEMENT
The American Association for Homecare, a trade association, claims the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS's) power mobility program is outdated, mismanaged, and wasting taxpayer dollars. They assert that CMS's policies make it too difficult to get power mobility devices. They also claim that the paperwork process is in disarray, and cite processing error rates as high as 82%. It is an interesting read, and pertinent to many of us, but be reminded that it is written from the mobility providers' perspective. The American Association for Homecare article can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/4bp7tko

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JOIN US? Subscription to this Newsletter is free and we hope that it serves your needs. For more Newsletter information, go to: http://copd-support.com/signup-news.html

The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs, is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at: http://copd-support.com/membership.html
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MISCELLANEOUS

UNDERSTANDING ACUPUNCTURE
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) weighs in on this traditional, mainly Chinese, form of medicine. Studies often show that it is effective, but there are some real problems when it comes to finding an adequate placebo for the control group. This interesting read can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/4rb5nf3

FRUIT SALAD AND BLOOD SUGAR METERS DON'T MIX
Invisible bits of fruit on your hands can affect your blood tests results, and if you think you can outfox the problem with your alcohol swab, you are in for a surprise! Diabetics might want to visit:
http://tinyurl.com/4rbmhzl

ICE FISHING IN MICHIGAN
Okay, Michiganders will claim these pictures were taken in Wisconsin, and Wisconsinites will point their finger at Minnesota, but regardless of the location, you'll laugh and cry at the same time for these poor blokes:
http://tinyurl.com/48jkouf

BRAIN TRAINING GAMES
You'll have to enable "pop-ups" but it is worth it. These are some great brain exercises!
http://tinyurl.com/4qg546r

For comments and questions, or to contact Richard D. Martin, please send your email to: newsletter@COPD-Support.com

Until next Friday,

Richard D. Martin, Editor

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info


My Site: http://lungresources.com
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