CANYON, Texas — Air purifiers may be highly effective at reducing the effects of allergies on dogs, according to newly published research by a West Texas A&M University professor.


Dr. Nabarun Ghosh, professor of biology in WT’s Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences, presented his research in June at the Hawaii University International Conference in Honolulu.


The study dates back to 2009, when Ghosh began working with graduate student Alicia Aranda Guzman on dogs’ allergies. Guzman works as a veterinary technician at Coulter Animal Hospital and began collecting data on dogs admitted there for allergy treatment. Since then, Ghosh has continued the research with more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students.


“I was actually not comfortable with dogs when Alicia first approached me with this idea, even though we have a dog at home,” Ghosh said. “But Alicia assured me she would handle the animals while I helped her design the project and supervised her research.”


Working with Air for Life, which produces nanotechnology-equipped air purification systems, Ghosh and his students began investigating factors that caused dogs’ allergies and how seasonal variations of air-borne allergens can contribute.


“Dogs actually suffer from the same types of inhalant allergies as humans, caused by pollen, mold and other allergens,” Ghosh said. “We found a significant correlation between aeroallergen concentrations and the incidences of dogs’ allergies.”


The team worked with Air for Life’s Mini Sanifier II, which is fitted with a UVC lamp that, combined with a nanometal that acts as a catalyst, destroys carbon-based molecules, including dust, pet dander, pollen and more. The system, called photocatalytic oxidation, can destroy particles as small as .001 microns, including carbon-based impurities in air like dust mites, fungal spores and even bad odors, Ghosh said.


The data shows that using the air purifier reduces allergy symptoms in dogs, as well as in humans.


Ghosh and his team continue to assess the Air for Life purifier and others for their effectiveness against bacteria, molds and viruses. He hopes to publish in the peer-reviewed European Scientific Journal in the near future.


Such impactful projects are key to WT’s quest to become a Regional Research University, as laid out in the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.

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