Indoor Air Asthma Triggers
Read more on the types of environmental health issues that can trigger an asthma attack.
Tobacco Smoke (Secondhand Smoke)
Environmental tobacco smoke or secondhand smoke is the smoke created by a smoker, which is inhaled by a second person nearby. Parents, friends, and relatives of adults and children with asthma should try to stop smoking and should never smoke around a person with asthma. Smokers should only do so outdoors and not in the family home or car or anywhere else where the carcinogens from cigarettes could attach to surfaces asthmatics could be exposed to (surface relay of these carcinogens is known as third-hand smoke). Smokers should not allow others to smoke in the home and they should ensure their child's school is a smoke-free campus.
More on Secondhand Smoke: http://www.epa.gov/asthma/shs.html
Dust mites are tiny bugs that are too small to see. Every home has dust mites, but they don’t necessarily cause everybody to have asthma attacks. To help prevent asthma attacks, use mattress covers and pillowcase covers to make a barrier between dust mites and yourself. Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts or comforters. Stuffed animals and clutter from your bedroom and living areas. Cleaning surfaces and carpets and regularly washing linen in your home can go a long way in preventing asthma attacks triggered by dust mites; however, if regular cleaning isn’t enough, use of a quality HEPA or hyperHEPA air purifier can improve the air quality inside the home.
More on Dust Mites: http://www.epa.gov/asthma/dustmites.html
Cockroaches and Pests
Cockroaches and their droppings may trigger an asthma attack. Get rid of cockroaches in your home and keep them from coming back by taking away their food and water. Cockroaches are usually found where food is eaten and crumbs are left behind. Remove as many water and food sources as you can because cockroaches need food and water to survive. At least every 2 to 3 days, vacuum or sweep areas that might attract cockroaches. You can also use roach traps or gels to decrease the number of cockroaches in your home.
More on Cockroaches and Pests http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pests.html
Furry pets may trigger an asthma attack. When a furry pet is suspected of causing asthma attacks, the simplest solution is to find the pet another home. If pet owners are too attached to their pets or are unable to locate a safe, new home for the pet, they should keep the pet out of the bedroom of the person with asthma.
Pets should be bathed weekly and kept outside as much as possible. People with asthma are not allergic to their pet’s fur, so trimming your pet’s fur will not help your asthma. If you have a furry pet, vacuum often to clean up anything that could cause an asthma attack. If your floors have a hard surface, such as wood or tile, and are not carpeted, damp mop them every week.
More on Pets http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pets.html
Inhaling or breathing in mold can cause an asthma attack. Get rid of mold in all parts of your home to help control your asthma attacks. Keep the humidity level in your home between 35 percent and 50 percent. In hot, humid climates, you may need to use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier or both. Fix water leaks, which allow mold to grow behind walls and under floors.
More on Mold http://www.epa.gov/asthma/molds.html
Smoke from burning wood is made up of a mix of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing in too much of this smoke can cause an asthma attack. Wood smoke indoors or outdoors can be problematic and trigger an asthma attack.
More on Wood Smoke http://www.epa.gov/asthma/woodsmoke.html
Outdoor Air Pollution
Pollution caused by industrial emissions and automobile exhaust can cause an asthma attack. Pay attention to air quality forecasts on radio, television, and Internet and plan your activities for when air pollution levels will be low if air pollution aggravates your asthma.
Visit our Outdoor Air page to learn more about outdoor air pollution in Indiana. http://www.injac.org/health-care-providers/environment/outdoor-air
More on Outdoor Air Pollution: http://www.epa.gov/asthma/outdoorair.html
. . .
To learn more about all environmental asthma triggers and more, visit www.epa.gov/asthma and www.cdc.gov/asthma.