Clean indoor air can help reduce asthma attacks
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Did you know that, according to the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention,
more than 25 million Americans, including
roughly seven million children, have asthma?
It’s true, and those numbers have steadily risen
in recent years.
Asthma is more than occasional wheezing
or feeling out of breath during physical activity.
Asthma is chronic and can lead to coughing,
wheezing, shortness of breath, fast breathing,
and chest tightness, states the Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America. In the 21st century,
people spend significant time indoors at home,
school, or work, and indoor air environments
could be triggers for asthma. Improving indoor
air quality can help people breathe clearly. The
AAFA notes that the following agents can adversely
affect indoor air quality, potentially triggering
Allergens such as mold, dust mites, pet dander
and fur, and waste from insects or rodents thrive
in many homes. Ensuring indoor air quality is
high can cut back on the amount of allergens in
the air. People with asthma can invest in an air
purifier and vacuum regularly, being sure to use
a HEPA-equipped appliance. Routinely replacing
HVAC system filters can help prevent allergens
from blowing around the house. Also, frequent
maintenance of HVAC systems will ensure they
are operating safely and not contributing to poor
indoor air quality.
Mold can be mitigated by reducing moisture in
a home. Moist environments in the kitchen and
bathroom may promote mold growth. Ventilation
is key to keep mold at bay.
Thirdhand smoke may be unfamiliar to many
people. A 2011 report published in Environmental
Health Perspectives says ir is an invisible combination
of gases and particles that can cling to
clothing, cushions, carpeting, and other materials
long after secondhand smoke has cleared
from a room. Studies have indicated that residual
nicotine levels can be found in house dust where
people smoke or once smoked. Studies have indicated
that smoke compounds can adsorb onto surfaces
and then desorb back into air over time.
Keeping tobacco smoke out of a home can improve
indoor air quality and personal health.
Volatile organic compounds
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are
gases released from commonly used products.
These can include paints and varnishes, cleaning
supplies, air fresheners, new furniture, and new
carpet. People with asthma may find that these
can trigger attacks. Airing out items, reducing
usage of products that are heavily scented, and
choosing low- or no-VOC products can help. Making
cleaning products from baking soda, vinegar,
and liquid oil soap also can keep indoor air quality
Homeowners who plan to renovate their homes
Improving indoor air quality can help people breathe clearly.
can consider using the appropriate specifications
for HVAC systems to promote good indoor air, as
well as address any other potential problems that
may be compromising indoor air quality.
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