RainSoft of Pasco – RainSoft Water Treatment Stops Hard Water Damage to Pipes and Appliances

RainSoft of Pasco, an authorized RainSoft Dealer

Locate a RainSoft Dealer near you or read what RainSoft customers near you are saying at RainSoft Reviews.

RainSoft water conditioning and water softening systems soften and polish the water used throughout your home. Soaps and shampoos rinse out more completely, leaving skin and hair cleaner and more residue free. Water conditioners allow you to use less soap, and your water-using appliances will last longer without that scale build-up present in hard water.

It’s simple to have a RainSoft water test performed in your home. A RainSoft water treatment professional can assess a home’s water treatment needs with a complimentary, in-home water analysis.

RainSoft of Pasco – Prepare Supplies Kit Before a Disaster Happens

RainSoft of Pasco, an authorized RainSoft Dealer

312 W. A Street
PascoWA 99301

Phone: 509-545-5025
Toll-Free: 877-540-5025

Locate a RainSoft Dealer near you.
See what people in your area are saying about RainSoft at RainSoft Reviews.



A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional Emergency Supplies

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

What’s the Air Quality in Your Neighborhood? See This Map to Find Out if You’re in the RED

Check out the map of air quality in the United States. The RED areas have some of the worst air quality in the nation. To take a closer look click on the map below and then your state.United States Air Quality Map

You may not be able to do anything about outdoor air quality, but you can inside your home. Some simple steps you can take are:

  • Take smoking outside
  • Wash sheets and blankets weekly to reduce dust mites
  • Reduce dust build-up by dusting regularly with a damp cloth and vacuuming
  • Control pests by using bait and traps instead of spraying insecticides
  • Control moisture in your home to control mold
  • Use exhaust fans when cooking and showering
  • Fix leaky plumbing or other unwanted sources of water

If you’re interested in doing more for your indoor air quality RainSoft air purification systems treat the entire home, not just one room. Our systems mount directly into the ductwork of your home, providing cleaner, fresher air throughout the entire house. With advanced UV light and ozone lamp technology, the AirMaster Ultra system eliminates airborne contaminants in your home.


RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
PascoWA 99301

Phone: 509-545-5025
Toll-Free: 877-540-5025
RainSoft of Pasco, an authorized RainSoft Dealer.

Or you can locate a RainSoft Dealer near you.

To read what people in your area are saying about RainSoft, check out RainSoft Reviews.

Fitness Water – Worth the Extra Cost?

Super Waters: Health or Hype?

Will these new waters actually get us to drink up?

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Expert Column
These days, bottled water is not necessarily simple H2O. Store shelves and vending machines are filled with plain and so-called “fitness waters,” chock full of vitamins, minerals, and herbal potions. Some super waters not only come with nutrient additions but contain soluble fiber, fruit essence, caffeine, and believe it or not, oxygen.

Drink Up

Everyone has heard the age-old advice to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. More of us need to heed this sage advice to keep our bodies well hydrated and our energy level up. The problem is, we get bored with large volumes of plain water. Enter the age of fitness waters. Savvy marketers have picked up on the need for low-calorie beverages and have developed fitness waters to help us meet our fluid requirements. The real question is, are fitness waters any better than plain water? And the simple answer is, only if they help you drink up. Otherwise, plain water is just fine.

Most of the fitness waters are low in calories and pose little threat to the daily caloric intake or eating plan. If you enjoy drinking them and they help you meet your fluid needs, enjoy one or two per day. For best selection, read the label or check out the following chart of the most popular fitness waters on the market:

Fitness Waters

Product Name
Calories/8 ounce serving
Aquafina Essentials
4 flavors
Dasani NutriWater
4 flavors
e20 Energy Water
10 or 40
Elements Enhanced Water
4 flavors
6 flavors
Fruit20 Plus
3 flavors
glaceau vitaminwater
14 flavors
Propel Fitness Water
6 flavors
3 formulas, 8 flavors
Reebok Fitness Water
0 or 10
4 flavors, 1 natural
6 flavors

Coffee, Tea, or Fitness Water?

You can satisfy approximately half of your fluid requirements with beverages other than water, such as low-fat milk, coffee, caffeine-free tea, 100% juice, sports drinks, or sparkling water. Not only can drinking these beverages satisfy your fluid needs, so can water-rich foods and fluids such as soup, fruits, and vegetables. The additional benefit of eating water-rich foods is all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals they provide, which will not only quench thirst but also keep you feeling full. Consider these dieters’ dream foods!

  • Foods that melt at room temperature, such as gelatin, frozen yogurt, or low-calorie frozen novelty bars, contain plenty of fluids.
  • Broth-based vegetable soup is a winning combination, low in calories, chock full of nutrients, and very filling.
  • Fruits and vegetables can contribute up to 3-4 cups of fluid to your diet. Choose produce with high fluid content such as grapes, watermelon, grapefruit, orange, squash, broccoli, or eggplant.

Oh, you want to be kind to your wallet and get your fluids the good old-fashioned way, with plain drinking water? You can always consider these options to help you jazz up plain water and meet your fluid needs:

  • Create your own flavored water with the addition of fruit slices such as lemon, lime, or orange. They will all add great flavor with virtually no added calories.
  • Freeze chunks of fruit or citrus zest in ice cubes that you then use to flavor plain water.
  • A splash of cranberry or fruit juice and a wedge of lime to turn plain sparkling water into a delicious treat.
  • Make iced tea from a combination of flavorful teas such as mint, mango, or cherry.
  • Herbal teas are soothing and come in a variety of flavors without extra calories.
  • Flavored seltzer waters without added sugars are wonderfully refreshing water alternatives.
  • Try some homemade lemonade — low-sugar, of course!

Remember to limit your intake of caffeinated, artificially sweetened, and alcoholic beverages to fulfill your requirements as these beverages can rob your body of fluids and contribute to dehydration.

In the end, regardless of your choice of beverage, the most important thing is to drink up for good health!

RainSoft Drinking Water Systems

Bottled water quality without the bottle. You’ll enjoy deliciously fresh drinking water all the time with one of our reverse osmosis systems. And with RainSoft drinking water purification systems, there are no heavy bottles to lug or deliveries to schedule. Just turn on the faucet and enjoy. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor!

Coffee, tea, ice, soups, juices…you name it! Anything made with water from RainSoft home water filtration systems will taste noticeably better. So will your prepared foods. After all, water is the number one ingredient in your kitchen. You’ll taste the difference every time you use water from your RainSoft drinking water system.

Home Water Treatment

With two premium drinking water systems, RainSoft water treatment delivers a higher quality and better tasting drinking water experience. Not only will the water from a RainSoft drinking water system in your glass taste distinctly better, but so will all of the food and beverages you make with it.

Ultrefiner reverse osmosis water systems are RainSoft’s premier drinking water system. Using advanced RO technology, the Ultrefiner provides highly polished drinking water that filters out smaller particles that can be missed by less refined drinking water systems.

For out-of-the-way convenience, Hydrefiner drinking water systems deliver a continuous supply of clean, fresh water from right under your sink. Utilizing a compressed carbon-block filter, the Hydrefiner eliminates bad tastes and odors from home drinking water.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-5025

Locate a RainSoft Dealer near you.
Visit RainSoft Reviews to find out what people in your area are saying about RainSoft.

Breathe Easier: Improve Indoor Air Quality with These 5 Steps

Breathe Easy: 5 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality

By  | Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD
WebMD Feature provided in collaboration with Healthy Child Healthy World

We tend to think of air pollution as something outside — smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners. Some pollutants are tracked into the home. Some arrive via a new mattress or furniture, carpet cleaners, or a coat of paint on the walls.

In that mix, you’ll also find microscopic dust mites — a major allergen — plus mold and heaps of pet dander, says David Lang, MD, head of Allergy/Immunology at the Cleveland Clinic. “Even if you don’t have pets, you’ve probably got pet dander,” he tells WebMD. “It’s become what we call a community allergen. Pet owners carry it around on their clothes and shed it throughout the day. You can’t get away from it.”

Children, people with asthma, and the elderly may be especially sensitive to indoor pollutants, but other effects on health may appear years later, after repeated exposure.

Indoor allergens and irritants have become much more important in recent decades because we’re spending more time indoors, Lang says. And because modern homes are airtight, these irritants can’t easily escape. “We’re all exposed to a greater degree than we were three or four decades ago,” he says.

5 Simple Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality

1. Keep your floors fresh.

  • Suck it up. Chemicals and allergens can accumulate in household dust for decades. By using a vacuum with a HEPA filter you can reduce concentrations of lead in your home. You can also get rid of other toxins, like brominated fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs) as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Using a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter ensures that dust and dirt won’t get blown back out in the exhaust. In high traffic areas, vacuum the same spot several times. Don’t forget walls, carpet edges, and upholstered furniture, where dust accumulates. For best results, vacuum two or more times each week and wash out your filter regularly.
  • Mop it up. Mopping picks up the dust that vacuuming leaves behind. You can skip the soaps and cleaners and just use plain water to capture any lingering dust or allergens. New microfiber mops (and dust cloths) reportedly capture more dust and dirt than traditional fibers and don’t require any cleaning solutions whatsoever.
  • Keep it out. Put a large floor mat at every door.People track in all sorts of chemicals via the dirt on their shoes. A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home. If the mat is big enough, even those who don’t wipe their shoes will leave most pollutants on the mat — not the floors in your home.

Read the entire article…

RainSoft Has Air Purifying Systems

RainSoft air purification systems treat the entire home, not just one room. Our systems mount directly into the ductwork of your home, providing cleaner, fresher air throughout the entire house. With advanced UV light and ozone lamp technology, the AirMaster Ultra system eliminates airborne contaminants in your home.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-5025

Or locate a RainSoft Dealer near you.

Prevent Kidney Stones in Kids With Hydration

Daily Checkup: Drinking water cuts youngsters’ risk of painful deposits

Summer is peak dehydration season, so now is a good time to make sure your kids are drinking enough water. Besides the familiar problems of irritability and heat exhaustion, dehydration can lead to the formation of kidney stones, even in children.



Summer is peak dehydration season, so now is a good time to make sure your kids are drinking enough water. Besides the familiar problems of irritability and heat exhaustion, dehydration can lead to the formation of kidney stones, even in children

“Most people, adults and kids, just aren’t drinking enough water to properly process the minerals that are coursing through our body,” says Mount Sinai’s Dr. Grace Hyun.

“Kidney stones are salt deposits that form in the urinary tract when urine concentration is off balance, which in kids is usually due to dehydration,” says Hyun. In the last few decades, it has become increasingly common for kids to be diagnosed with kidney stones.

A body’s normal hydration can be disrupted in three ways. “The most common ways are the intake of too little liquid or too much salt,” says Hyun. “A minority of patients are born with a faulty mechanism for maintaining correct salt levels.”

The kidney stone is made of a combination of the minerals normally found in the blood. Despite the presence of  calcium, drinking milk is not a primary factor that leads to kidney stones.

When kids develop urological problems, whether urinary incontinence or kidney stones, the underlying cause is almost always that they aren’t drinking enough water. “It can be hard to get kids to drink water — so often they say, ‘Water doesn’t taste good,’?” says Hyun. “I know it’s a challenge for parents, so I recommend drinking water with every meal and not keeping any other beverages in the refrigerator.” To prevent urological problems, Hyun recommends drinking four to five glasses of water a day, which should lead to urination every two and a half to three hours.


Some children form kidney stones due to an underlying cause they were born with. “If the stones are due to an inborn metabolic disorder, they could drink all the water in the world and still have kidney stones,” says Hyun. “In these cases kids need to receive medical treatment.”


Kidney stones present themselves in the same way in children and adults. “The symptoms can be quite acute: flank pain, nausea, vomiting and sometimes blood in the urine,” says Hyun. “The classic kidney stone pain is a renal-colic pain that starts in the flank and radiates around to the lower abdomen — you can’t get into a comfortable position and it is very painful.” Usually doctors use ultrasound or a noncontrast CT scan for diagnosis.

It’s not the kidney stones themselves that cause pain. “It’s when the stone suddenly blocks the ureter or flow of urine, which causes a backup of pressure that patients feel real pain,” says Hyun. “It’s tougher to diagnose kidney stones in those kids who have vague abdominal pain — because lots of healthy kids have a nonspecific pain.”


Get Informed. Start with the American Urological Association (www.urologyhealth.org) for user-friendly search engines and a toll-free hotline: 1-800-828-7866.

Eat Less Salt. “There’s a lot more salt in processed foods than in a home-cooked meal,” says Hyun, “Poorer diets and the obesity epidemic probably play a role in the increase we’re seeing in pediatric kidney stones.”


Recognize DehydrationThe rule of thumb for maintaining urological health is that everyone–men, women, and kids–should urinate every 2.5-3 hours. “Urine that’s bright yellow, dark, or has a strong odor is a sign of dehydration,” says Hyun.

Grace Hyun Grace Hyun is a pediatric urologist who treats children for problems ranging from congenital disorders to kidney stones. An assistant professor of urology and pediatrics, she performs over 300 surgeries a year.

To Read the entire article click here.

The RainSoft Water Difference

RainSoft drinking water systems are a simple, cost-effective solution to providing cleaner, better tasting water right from the tap. And don’t forget environmentally friendly! With home water filtration systems from RainSoft, you can get bottled-water quality water, without the bottle. Our premium drinking water systems include:

Ultrefiner II Premium Drinking Water System - advanced home water filtration systems that deliver highly polished “ingredient water” for all kitchen uses.

Hydrefiner Water Filtration Systems - a compressed carbon block filters out bad tastes and odors and reduces harmful contaminants.

Locate a dealer near you.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-5025

Harvard Study Finds Fluoride / IQ Link

Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ – Published in Federal Gov’t Journal

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2012 – 5:57 am

NEW YORK, July 24, 2012 – /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Harvard University researchers’ review of fluoride/brain studies concludes “our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.” It was published online July 20 inEnvironmental Health Perspectives, a US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ journal (1), reports the NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF)

“The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas,” write Choi et al.

Further, the EPA says fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Fluoride (fluosilicic acid) is added to US water supplies at approximately 1 part per million attempting to reduce tooth decay.

Water was the only fluoride source in the studies reviewed and was based on high water fluoride levels. However, they point out research by Ding (2011) suggested that low water fluoride levels had significant negative associations with children’s intelligence.

Choi et al. write, “Although fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in animal models and acute fluoride poisoning causes neurotoxicity in adults, very little is known of its effects on children’s neurodevelopment. They recommend more brain/fluoride research on children and at individual-level doses.

“It’s senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment to satisfy the political agenda of special-interest groups,” says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President.  “Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health? It’s time to put politics aside and stop artificial fluoridation everywhere,” says Beeber.

After reviewing fluoride toxicological data, the NRC reported in 2006, “It’s apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.”

Choi’s team writes, “Fluoride readily crosses the placenta. Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature.”

Fluoride accumulates in the body. Even low doses are harmful to babies, the thyroid, kidney patients and heavy water-drinkers. There are even doubts about fluoridation’s effectiveness (2). New York City Legislation is pending to stop fluoridation. Many communities have already stopped.

Infant formula when mixed with fluoridated water delivers 100-200 times more fluoride than breastmilk.(3)

Read more here

RainSoft has drinking water solutions.

Home Water Filters and Problem Solving

Reverse Osmosis Water Systems

It’s important for home water filtration systems to remove minerals that cause hard water and other impurities from drinking water. Homes with sodium, ferrous iron, nitrates, lead, fluoride or organic contaminants often benefit from reverse osmosis water systems, which provide premium water fit for a wonderful cup of coffee or for cooking a fine meal.

These drinking water systems filter water multiple times to ensure your good water is even better. Reverse osmosis systems differ from regular faucet-mounted systems because RO is a much more advanced method for providing pure, premium water to a dedicated faucet. Find out if sodium, ferrous iron or other organic contaminants are affecting your water’s quality with a free drinking water analysis from RainSoft.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-5025

Water Gets Harder as Demand Goes Up

Excerpt form WarrenPatch | by John Patten

“Over the years there has been an increase in the hardness of the water, especially around springtime (May)—this year, there is a very noticeable difference in the water quality over the last six weeks where even the use of a water softener is unable to overcome the greatly increased hardness,” Warren resident Alice Lin Yang said in an email.

She said she contacted New Jersey American Water in late-May to check a sample of the water, and was told the hardness level of 380mg per liter of calcium carbonate (the primary cause of water hardness) is within state and federal guidelines for safe drinking water—but is a “concern.” Lin Yang said the recommended level of calcium carbonate is 250mg per liter.

New Jersey American Water spokesman Richard Barnes said water hardness is considered an “esthetics” issue, but Lin Yang notes the many problems it’s causing Warren residents.

“The hardness has been effecting the dishwashers and faucets causing a chalky residue that is difficult to remove; it has caused itchy rashes of the face and body in others,” she said, adding some have told her they replaced dishwashers because they thought something was wrong with the machine.

Lin Yang, a doctor, also said she and others she knows have been having issues with skin rashes that appeared at about the same time this spring.

“The onset of the rashes coincide with the appearance of the white residue from the water,” she said.

Barnes said the company generally draws water from surfaces sources, but when temperatures rise and demand increases, the company will supplement the water supplies by drawing on wells, which typically have higher mineral content.

“When demand is not as high, we’re able to draw from our surface sources,” Barnes said, reducing the calcium carbonate in the water.

He added residents who have water softeners in their homes should check the settings to make sure they are set for a water hardness between 350mg per liter and 400mg per liter. “That’s really the best thing to do,” he said.

Read the full article at Township’s ‘Harder’ Water Raising Concerns

To find out more about what you can do about hard water contact your RainSoft dealer.

RainSoft Air and Water Conditioning Products

RainSoft water conditioning and drinking water systems are designed to meet a variety of water quality challenges, providing you with effective, affordable water conditioning solutions for achieving the best possible water quality for your home.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301
Phone: 509-545-5025


Ozone Alerts and What They Mean

Health Impact Of Air Quality Alerts

KERA news for North Texas

Air pollution watches are common this time of year. They’ve been around since 2000, but rarely does anyone say what they mean. In a KERA Health Checkup, Robert Kent, Director of Environmental Programs for the North Texas Commission, explains the alerts are a warning about ozone in the North Texas air.

Robert Kent: Ozone is basically three oxygen molecules that have been bonded together. It’s highly reactive and unstable and so when it gets into the lungs then it ends up causing coughing, throat irritation, pain and burning in the chest and chest tightness. Additionally, if you have asthma or emphysema it can aggregate those conditions.

They’ve done some studies about what happens when we have ozone in the area and they’ll find that trips to the emergency room increase. There are more people who call in sick to work. There are more students who take absent on days when we have those. And so ozone definitely has an impact on the health of the general population.

Baker: Usually when the media gives those various levels, they just basically say, “We have an ozone alert at level orange.” But no one ever really says what that means. So what does each level represent?

Kent: So they’re color-coded on a scale so green, no problem at all. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups – sensitive groups would be anyone that has respiratory problems. This would be people with asthma, emphysema, or other type of lung conditions.

Baker: So on an orange alert day, what should such people do?

Robert Kent: Individuals who are sensitive to ozone pollution should limit their outdoor activity. People who are not sensitive to ozone pollution, who don’t have asthma or emphysema or other lung conditions, they may have some effects if they are doing a lot of outdoor exertion. So if they’re working out a lot, or running, or playing basketball, they may end up feeling some of the impacts from ozone pollution on days like that.

Then you move up to red, which is unhealthy for pretty much anyone. And then you can move on to higher levels of maroon and purple, which are hazardous and very unhealthy. We haven’t had a level above red in many, many years. But this year we’ve already had one or two days that were red, and last year we had one day that was red as well.

Baker: I was just wondering, what would all of this mean for someone who is in reasonable good health? Read more…

RainSoft offers AIR PURIFICATION for the entire house, not just one room. RainSoft air purification products mount directly into the duct, providing protection and peace of mind…silently and out of sight. Visit our website RainSoft of Pasco for more information.

Understanding Air Purification

Did you know that the EPA has found that the air within homes and other buildings can be more polluted than the outdoor air—even in the largest and most industrialized cities?
Government research also indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, for many people, the risks to health from indoor air quality may be greater than the risk from outdoor pollution

What can I do to protect my family and home against airborne contaminates?

Doctors Recommend the AirMaster DFS as the World’s Most Advanced Medical Grade Air Cleaning System. RainSoft AirMaster DFS-effective and powerful air purification for your family’s health!

…a 90% cleaner home in just 30 minutes! Say good night to dangerous indoor contaminates. The AirMaster DFS is the world’s most powerful Disinfecting Filtration System with a germ killing destruction rate of 94% or higher and a better than 99.99% particle capture at 0.3 micron size.

RainSoft of Pasco

312 W. A Street
Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-5025

Avoid Pro-longed Exposure to Ozone

Ozone Can Harm the Heart in as Little as Two Hours

A new study shows just how quickly exposure to air pollution can trigger dangerous changes in the heart, even in otherwise healthy young people.

By ALICE PARK | @aliceparkny | June 26, 2012 

Jarek Szymanski / Getty Images

Healthy, young volunteers with no history of heart disease showed unfavorable changes in their heart function after just two hours of exercising while being exposed to ozone, report researchers in the journal Circulation. The changes included surges in markers of inflammation, as well as drops in levels of enzymes that break down clots in the blood vessels — alterations that may explain the link between exposure to air pollution and heart risk.

The study is among the first to document the physiological changes caused by exposure to ozone, a major pollutant formed when volatile organic compounds from industrial waste or car exhaust reacts with sunlight. Previous studies have linked exposure to ozone to heart problems, but had not quantified the precise effect of the pollutant on biological markers of heart and lung function.

(MORE: Mom’s Exposure to Air Pollution Can Increase Kids’ Behavior Problems)

In the study, 23 young participants participated in two hours of intermittent exercise in a lab while being exposed first to “clean” air, and then to air containing 0.3 parts per million of ozone, which is higher than the amount found in average U.S. cities but about the peak level calculated for heavily polluted cities like Beijing, China and Mexico City. (However, the level is equivalent to the amount of ozone someone in an average American city would be exposed to over the course of seven to eight hours.) Scientists then compared readings on various biological markers of heart and lung function between the two sessions, to get a sense of ozone’s impact. Under the ozone conditions, the participants experienced a nearly 99% jump in levels of interleukin-8, an marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. They also showed a 42% drop in plasminogen levels, which lowers the body’s ability to break up blood clots. The study recorded the participants’ readings for only 24 hours after the experiment, and the changes were temporary and reversible: once the volunteers stopped breathing the heavy concentration of ozone, their measurements returned to normal levels. But the results show that ozone can have potentially harmful, and even deadly effects on the heart, say the authors. “This study provides a plausible explanation for the link between acute ozone exposure and death,” Robert Devlin, a senior scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

(MORE: Traffic Noise Linked to Heart Attack Risk)

“The results complement what are suspicions are, and help us to apply what we know about pollution risk to populations we think are at especially high risk,” says Dr. Tracy Stevens, a cardiologist at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and a spokesperson with the American Heart Association. The findings highlight the dangers of pollution to people who might already have unstable plaques in their heart vessels, she says, since ozone can trigger a surge in inflammatory markers that drive these plaques to rupture, causing a heart attack. While Stevens says the risks of pollution in aggravating inflammation are known, having data that quantifies the risk as the current study does may help more people to appreciate and address ways to reduce inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease avoid going out on high-ozone days, and lower their risk of exposure to heavily polluted air, including cigarette smoke.

Read more…