What is Bird Breeder's Lung?
Bird Breeder's Lung or Bird Breeder's Disease is one of the many common names given to hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as allergic alveolitis. The condition is an inflammation in the lungs caused by exposure to a foreign substance, usually organic dust. The offending particles may come from bird dust, but birds are not the exclusive culprit. It can come from molds or even plants. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is frequently an occupational hazard. It is also known as , Pigeon Breeder's Lung, Farmer's lung, Mushroom Picker's Disease, Cheese Workers Lung, Humidifier or air-conditioner lung and many other names.
Although not a problem for most bird owners, bird dust and feather particles can cause serious damage to lungs. The situation is more likely to occur when many birds are kept in a confined space and exposure is over a prolonged period of time.
The best way to reduce the amount of allergens in the air and possibly prevent problems in the future, is to use a high quality air purifier. The right air cleaner can dramatically reduce the quantity of offending particles of bird dust as well as normal indoor pollutants like dust, dander and pollen.
We always recommend HEPA or better. HEPA (which stands for High Efficiency Particle Arresting) is a government standard. No manufacturer of air purifiers can claim to be HEPA unless their unit removes 99.97% of particles greater than .3 microns in size. Bird dust and dog and cat dander are large enough to be trapped in the HEPA material.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER AN IONIZER NO MATTER WHAT THE COMMERICIALS TELL YOU!!!
The units that boast of requiring no filter changes are the ionizers like Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze or ozone generators such as the Living Air Classic. Unfortunately, not only are they not effective in removing pollutants, they generate dangerous levels of ozone. Ozone changes lung tissue in humans and birds and triggers asthma attacks in people who have asthma. Ozone is especially damaging to children.
These units have no fans to draw air and have no filters to catch particles. The Ionic Breeze traps a very small amount of dust on its plates as long as the plates are cleaned very frequently. The Living Air Classic doesn't even do that. Although these manufacturers would have you believe that the chlorine-like smell their units produce is a good thing, in fact that is the by-product of ozone.
According to the EPA, ionizers are not effective in removing particles, chemicals or odors and, to add insult to injury, generate unwanted ozone. The EPA states:
"When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections."Both the EPA and the American Lung Association are very clear about the dangers of ozones -- any amount of it. Both organizations recommend HEPA units that do not generate ozone to clean indoor air.
If you own birds, you need an air purifier. To be effective, you'll need something with both good particle filtration and a significant amount of carbon. Here are a few excellent choices:
As a bonus, these air purifiers can also protect your bird from YOU! In addition to removing airborne particles, each of these units has a large amount of activated carbon that absorbs odors and chemicals. Many household items such as bleach, tobacco smoke, cleaning solutions, etc., can kill your bird. Over-heated Teflon is extremely toxic to birds and small animals -- and it isn't good for people, either. While there is no guarantee that toxins will never reach your pet, the significant amount of carbon in these air cleaners will remove vapors much faster than inferior units with minimal or non-existent amounts of carbon.
More choices of air purifiers can be found at airfilterstore.com: http://www.airfilterstore.com
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HotSpot for Birds
HotSpot for Birds
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Toll-Free Number: (888)246-8776
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