Hidden Household Allergens
Hidden Home Allergens
1. Houseplants.The soil can be a breeding ground for mold.
The fix:Consistent dampness in the soil is what leads to mold, so avoid overwatering and consider using a dehumidifer in your home, says Rebecca Piltch, MD, an allergist in San Francisco.
2. Nonslip bathtub mats and shower curtains.They're also mold hot spots.
The fix:Clean them regularly (once every two weeks) with a 10 percent bleach solution (1 part bleach, 9 parts water). Of course, if you see mold (make sure you look underneath and in the crevices!), scrub it down ASAP , says Dr. Rambasek. Another way to keep mold at bay? Keep your bathroom ventilated, either by opening a window or installing a fan, which will help get rid of mold spores in the air.
3. New paint or furniture.Both can give off VOC s (volatile organic compounds, which are gases emitted into the air that can trigger asthma attacks) for more than a year after you use or get them.
The fix:The next time you repaint or remodel your home, choose lowor no-VOC paint and furniture. It's usually a little more expensive and the furniture in particular may be difficult to find (check out the shopping tips at GreenYour.com; the paint can be found at home stores), but it's worth it, especially if you have asthma, says Dr. Rambasek. If you're concerned about the current paint on the walls or items you already own, consider buying a heat recovery ventilator (HR V).
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