Did you know that May is Asthma Awareness Month? I didn’t really either, but according to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) it is. With 25 million Americans being affected by asthma related symptoms it is important to be aware of what asthma is and how to treat it. Asthma is a serious, chronic respiratory disease that can be life threatening.
Since Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors (seriously people? I know we all have to work and who doesn’t enjoy a good day on the sofa watching TV – but 90% is a lot of time indoors!) we need to learn what inside our homes can be a trigger for an asthma attack.
Just a few of the Triggers:
Secondhand Smoke – We all know smoking is bad and secondhand smoke is just as harmful, especially to children. Keep your children away from anyone who is smoking and do not smoke (or let anyone else smoke) in your home or car.
Dust Mites – Every home has dust mites, no matter how much of a clean freak you are. These tiny little bugs feed on human skin flakes and can be found in mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, bedcovers, upholstered furniture, etc. – basically anything that has fabric on it, has dust mites in it. Want to minimize your dust mites? Yes, me too! You need to wash all bedding in hot water once a week and make sure it is completely dry. Get dust proof covers for your pillows and mattresses. Vacuum all carpet and furniture every single week and if you have children who have stuffed animals – you need to wash them in hot water and completely dry them as well before they play with them again. Not all stuffed animals can be washed so that is something to be mindful of. Also, some bedding is dry clean only so that is something to consider before purchasing bedding.
Mold – Mold spores float through the air (both indoor and outdoor) constantly. Once they find a damp place to land they begin growing. Whether you have asthma or not it is important to take care of mold and its source of moisture as quickly as possible. For more information on how to clean up mold go to www.epa.gov/asthma/molds.html.
Pets – Pet dander is another common trigger of an asthma attack. If a person has an allergy to animal dander, any warm-blooded mammal can trigger an attack. Unfortunately, the best way to avoid this trigger is to not have any furry friends around. If you must have a pet, it would be best to stick to reptiles and fish.
There are many other asthma triggers including outdoor air pollution, roaches, nitrogen dioxide, wood smoke and chemical irritants. If you or your child has asthma it is important to get a plan together so everyone knows what to do when an attack begins and even what the warning signs are that an attack is eminent.
Please give Carmine’s a call at 203-791-8089 for all of your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. We are happy to be of service to you.