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Are You Allergic to Your Home?

People with allergies tend to blame their troubles on the great outdoors, but the skyrocketing number of allergy and asthma cases may be due to all the time we spend indoors. Find out how to clear the air in your home.

1 Indoor air quality is mainly a concern for people who've been diagnosed with breathing problems. TRUE or FALSE

2 Which of the following may be allergenic?

a) firewood

b) houseplants

c) humidifiers

d) all of the above

3 You can rid sheets and pillowcases of allergy-causing dust mites by washing them in hot water. TRUE or FALSE

4 You should avoid using roach spray. TRUE or FALSE

ANSWERS

1 False. Even if you're healthy, poorly vented furnaces, gas appliances, and woodstoves can produce noxious gases that irritate your airways. Have them cleaned and inspected annually. While you're at it, get your home checked for radon: This underground gas seeps into houses and can cause lung cancer.

2 D. Damp firewood is capable of generating mold spores. Keep a watch on the soil around houseplants, which provides a friendly environment for fungi; repot as needed. A humidifier encourages mold and dust mites; if you must use one, clean it weekly.

3 True. But few home water heaters are set high enough (130 degrees) to do the job. Try a Laundromat.

4 True. But while sprays can be an Irritant, so can roaches, a leading cause of asthma in children. Use a boric acid roach-killer and clean up thoroughly.
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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 1, 2000
Words:249
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