Page 34 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • April 15, 2009
Home Improvement & Gardening
Making homes friendly to asthma and allergy sufferers
(ARA) Asthma and allergies affect almost 60 million Americans, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Both conditions cause adults to miss work, children to miss school, and are a leading cause of emergency room visits and hospital stays. Allergies and asthma affect those suffering from the illnesses, and family members and loved ones. Whether you have asthma and allergies, live with someone who does, or have frequent asthmatic or allergic visitors, it pays to make your home a safe environment. Eco-friendly practices and environmentally sensitive products cannot only help minimize the symptoms of allergies and asthma, but also make your home healthier in general for you and your family. The experts at the asthma and allergy friendly certification program offer some tips on how to keep your home healthy and free of allergens and irritants: Cleaning People with asthma and allergies often have triggers that can set off a reaction in the lungs, according to the American Lung Association. Often those triggers are particles carried in the air. Other common triggers include smoke, perfume and products with heavy fragrances, dust mites, mold, pollen, and more. Look for fragrance-free, natural cleaning products that do not contain toxic chemicals. is also eco-friendly. The flooring panels and squares simply click together for an easy, glueless installation so there are no harmful chemicals or coatings necessary. The anti-static properties of the materials repel dust and dirt making it easy to clean, reducing exposure to allergens and contributing to better indoor air quality. For more information visit themarmoleumstore.com. Bedding The average bed is home to millions of dust mites, which feed off dead skin. Breathing in dust mite waste particles can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Dust mite covers for mattresses and pillows provide a barrier While more expensive than a traditional vacuum cleaner, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum contains a special filter that traps very fine particles and keeps them from getting back into the air. While HEPA vacuums can help people breathe easier, it is still very difficult to keep pet dander, dust mites, and other triggers out of carpeting. So for people with asthma and allergies, carpeted floors are not recommended. Flooring Solid surface floors should be at the top of the list for people with asthma and allergies. Hardwood, laminate and tile are all options, but the more natural a flooring product is, the better its health and hygienic qualities tend to be. Marmoleum click, for example, is made of natural linoleum with a cork backing for a warm and comfortable floor that to keep out the microscopic critters. Organic cotton or bamboo bedding is not only stylish and earth friendly but is made without chemicals that can irritate airways. Whether you are trying to make your home friendly for people with asthma and allergies or just generally trying to improve your indoor air quality, keep in mind that the smallest things can make a difference. Stuffed children’s toys can hold dust mites and allergens. Bedding, blankets, pillows, furniture coverings and more should be washed weekly in hot water as an allergen control measure. Paints should be nontoxic and zero-VOC to prevent harmful offgassing. For more information on how to make your home safer for those with allergies and asthma, visit AsthmaAndAllergyFriendly.com.
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