Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Learning about causes of asthma

As many as 20M people in the US alone have asthma. And, no one knows why people get asthma or exactly what causes an attack.

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have built a portable air sensor that can be used to monitor the air around people with asthma. The goal is to better understand what causes asthma attacks.

With this device, researchers can see look at the quality of the air and look for things such as formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, temperature, relative humidity and volatile organic compounds including gases from products such as paints, cleaning supplies, pesticide formulations, building materials and furnishings, office equipment and craft materials.

If one could identify the one or two things that tend to lead to asthma attacks, then those items could be removed or avoided, making life much easier for asthma sufferers.

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