A family’s home should be their sanctuary where people can relax and enjoy their lives. However, for the millions of people with respiratory allergies, asthma or COPD, their home can sometimes be the source of allergens that can trigger or aggravate their condition.
Some of the most common indoor allergens are associated with mold, dust mites, latex, pollen, pets, rodents and cockroaches. Fortunately, there are indoor environmental quality professionals and testing services that can help identify known allergens in the home. These services can help to pinpoint specific indoor allergens so that corrective actions can be taken to eliminate or reduce exposure to these substances.
There are also simple steps that can be taken to reduce allergen levels in the home. They include the following:
• Use exterior and interior doormats and remove shoes before entering the home.
• Dust the home frequently, but do not simply aerosolize the dust during cleaning.
• When cleaning, use products that do not emit harsh chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
• Vacuum frequently using a machine with a HEPA filter.
• Regularly wash bedding and children’s stuffed animals in hot water to control dust mite concentrations and to remove other allergens.
• Don’t forget to have drapes and window blinds cleaned on a regular basis.
• Install quality furnace filters and regularly change them. Consider using a portable air filtration device, but steer clear of machines that produce ozone.
• Be sure the home is properly ventilated so that pollutant concentrations do not build up indoors and that excessive humidity in bathrooms can exit the home. Also use exhaust fans in the kitchen while cooking.
• Keep the home cool and the relative humidity low to decrease mold growth and dust mite populations.
• If allergic to outdoor pollen, keep windows closed during times with high pollen counts.
• Check for signs of leaks and water damage throughout the entire home.
• Don’t allow smoking indoors.
• Minimize or eliminate the use of candles and air fresheners.
• Don’t leave food out that could attract cockroaches or rodents into the home.
• Keep indoor plants to a minimum if people are allergic to pollen or mold that can grow on the plants or in their containers.
• Bathe pets regularly and keep them out of bedrooms.
These are just a few things to know about indoor allergens and ways to allergy-proof a home. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, health, safety, occupational or property damage issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com