Asthma Triggers in Your Home
Asthma is a problem for millions of people. Here is a list of asthma triggers in your home and ways to take care of them
Mold grows on damp things such as shower curtains, bath items, tubs, basins and tiles.
- If you see mold, clean it up with medical grade hydrogen peroxide that you can find at most health food stores.
- Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom when showering and the kitchen when cooking or washing dishes.
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water as soon as possible. Check under the sink periodically to see if it is dry, even a small leak can cause a big problem over time.
- Dry damp or wet items within 1-2 days to avoid mold growth. If you have had a flood, don’t allow items or carpets to remain wet for an extended period of time.
Dust mites are tiny bugs you can’t see. They live in sheets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, soft furniture, carpets, and stuffed toys, such as stuffed animals.
- Wash bed sheets and blankets once a week. Dry completely.
- Use dust-proof covers on pillows and mattresses.
- Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture often with a hepa filtered vacuum. The hepa filter will stop the dust mites and mold spores from being blown back into the air after you suck them up.
- Wash stuffed toys. Dry completely. If they can’t be washed put them into a plastic bag and then into the freezer for a few hours.
Asthma can be triggered by the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, or the smoke breathed out by a smoker. Choose not to smoke in your home or car, and don’t allow others to do so either.
- Don’t smoke in your home or car.
- Don’t let anyone smoke near your child.
- Pledge to make your home and car smoke-free – take the smoke free pledge
Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses.
- To help reduce smoke, make sure to burn dry wood that has been split, stacked, covered and stored for at least 6 months. Never burn garbage, plastics or pressure-treated wood.
- Have your stove and chimney inspected every year by a certified professional to make sure there are no gaps, cracks, unwanted drafts or to remove dangerous creosote build-up.
- If possible, replace your old wood stove with a new, cleaner heating appliance.
- Consider using a HEPA filter in the same room as your stove or fireplace. Studies indicate that HEPA filters can reduce indoor particle pollution by 60%.
Cockroaches and Other Pests
Cockroaches and other pests such as mice may be an Asthma Triggers in Your Home.
- Keep counters, sinks, tables, and floors clean.
- Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills.
- Store food in air tight containers.
- Cover trash cans
Cats and Dogs
Any Warm-blooded animal may trigger asthma attacks.
- Keep pets outside if possible.
- If you have a pet inside, keep them out of the bedroom and off the furniture.
- Vacuum carpets and furniture often.
Nitrogen Dioxide NO2
Nitrogen dioxide is an odorless gas that can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and may cause shortness of breath. This gas can come from the use of appliances that burn fuels, such as gas, and kerosene.
- If possible, use fuel-burning appliances that are vented outside. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use these appliances.
- Gas cooking stoves: Never use these to keep you warm or heat your house. If you have an exhaust fan, use it when you cook.
- Unvented kerosene or gas space heaters: Use the proper fuel and keep the heater adjusted the right way. Open a window slightly or use an exhaust fan.
Chemical irritants found in some products in your house, such as scented or unscented products, including cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics, or air fresheners, may make your child’s asthma worse.
- Use these products less often and make sure your child is not around when you use the products. Also, consider trying different products.
- Take great care to follow the instructions on the label. If you use these products, try to make sure that windows or doors are open and that you use an exhaust fan.
If you are having trouble identifying what asthma triggers in your home are giving you problems don’t hesitate to call Fresh Maintenance at (866) 543-3257 to speak to us about setting up an indoor air quality test.