People with asthma are exposed to a variety of asthma triggers at home. Find out what may be causing symptoms in your your home.
Housing, Health and AsthmaAsthma triggers in the home may include dampness and mold, cockroaches and rodents, pesticides, cigarette smoke, dust mites, some cleaning products, and other indoor air pollutants. People with asthma may be more vulnerable to asthma symptoms when living in multi-unit housing since smoke and fumes can be carried from one unit to another through the ventilation system. In many cases, there are simple things that residents can do to deal with these issues. In other cases, it may be necessary for a property owner or building manager to get involved.
Here is some basic information and links to resources about specific health hazards commonly found in the home:
MoldMold occurs naturally in the environment all the time. When a home is damp or poorly ventilated, it can cause mold to grow quickly and create problems for people with asthma or allergies. Dampness and mold can be prevented by ensuring a dry, well-ventilated environment. Safe effective clean-up of mold includes eliminating sources of moisture, and taking simple precautions while cleaning the mold that is there. We recommend these websites for more information.
The California Department of Public Health’s Indoor Air Quality program offers information on mold , mold clean-up and how to find a reliable professional to help with clean-up if that is needed.
The EPA has basic information on mold, its health impacts, and how to do safe effective clean-up. Resources are also available in Spanish.
The EPA has comprehensive information on mold prevention and remediation. This was written for schools and commercial buildings, but most of the information applies to residential properties as well.
Pests and Pesticide UseCockroaches, mice and rats are common household pests that can produce allergens and asthma triggers. We recommend the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to prevent and eliminate pest problems. IPM is an approach to managing pests that minimizes the need for pesticides, some of which can also be asthma triggers. IPM focuses on limiting the ways pests can enter a home, and eliminating or reducing sources of food, water and shelter for pests. We recommend these websites for more information.
The EPA has resources to guide residents, property owners and building managers on safe effective pest management.
The Training Center of the National Center for Healthy Housing has resources about pest management and many other housing-related health topics
Other Indoor Air Pollutants
The California Department of Public Health Indoor Air Quality Program offers resources on number of indoor air issues.
The CDC offers general information about indoor air quality