According to the Environmental Protection Agency roughly 25 million people suffer from asthma each year. Seven million of these sufferers are children. Air pollutants commonly found in homes, schools and other buildings trigger asthma symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing, coughing and breathing problems. Left untreated, asthma attacks can be life-threatening.
Some of the major asthma triggers include:
- Second hand smoke: Second hand smoke is the leading cause of asthma triggers for children. The pollutants in cigarette smoke can come from adult smokers in the home, or travel through vents and cracks in windows and doors from conjoined housing units.
- Mold: Mold grows in damp, poorly ventilated places such as kitchens and bathtubs. Toxic spores linger in the air, adhere to damp surfaces and grow. Touching these toxic spores can trigger asthma and symptoms of hay fever, which includes sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes.
- Dust Mites: Dust mites are tiny critters invisible to the naked eye. They live in bedding, stuffed animals, upholstered furniture and other places. Dust mites can easily make their way into homes and schools.
- Pet Dander: While many people love their pets, furry animals leave dead skin flakes, urine, hair, feces and saliva that can trigger asthma. Urine or saliva from warm-blooded animals including cats, dogs, mice, rats, gerbils, birds have been reported to trigger asthma episodes in individuals who are sensitive to animal allergens.
- Nitrogen Dioxide: This odorless gas is a byproduct of indoor fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, gas or oil furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves. Nitrogen Dioxide can cause irritation in the eyes, nose and throat and trigger shortness of breath.
You can prevent asthma triggers by taking proactive measures to maintain a clean environment with optimal indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency advises there are three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality:
- Source Control
- Improved Ventilation
- Air cleaners
Additionally, the EPA, has an asthma program, recommending the following steps for source control:
- Don’t allow smoking in your home or car.
- Dust and clean your home regularly.
- Clean up mold and fix water leaks.
- Wash sheets and blankets weekly in hot water.
- Use allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom and off soft furniture.
- Control pests—close up cracks and crevices and seal leaks; don’t leave food out.
For ventilation and air cleaning, the best choices are air exchangers with filtration devices that introduce fresh, filtered air into your home.
The RecoupAerator® exchanges the stale, polluted air of an average-sized home with clean, fresh, healthy air about once every two hours. It provides both ventilation and filtration (air cleaning) – removing the many contaminants created from inside the home and capturing pollens and mold spores. And, it maintains your home’s air temperature while refreshing indoor air.