12 Steps to an
1. Second-Hand Smoke – If someone in the home smokes, take it outside of
the home and car. Cigarette smoke is one
of the most common
trigger for asthma.
2. Control the moisture, Control the Mold. Fix leaks: roof, plumbing or
windows. Use exhaust fans or open windows
when cooking and
showering. By controlling moisture, (below 60%
relative humidity) you control mold, dust mites
cockroaches which can not live without it.
3. Sleep tight with No Dust Mites. Encase mattress and pillow cases with
dust mite covers. Wash sheets and blankets
once a week in
hot water to control mite population. Damp wipe all
surfaces to reduce dust build-up.
4. Clear out Cockroaches, a “major asthma trigger” by keeping your space
clean: clean up messes, take out garbage
and clear the
clutter to minimize cockroaches. Store food in
airtight containers. Use baits or sprinkle non-toxic
acid under the refrigerator, in the back of cabinets and around the perimeter of the house to
and ants. Do not use bug sprays, foggers or
bombs instead use (IPM) Integrated Pest Management principals that
non-toxic and bait methods of controlling pests.
5. Clean with non-toxic fragrance-free cleaners. Bleach and other harsh
cleaners have toxic chemicals which linger in
the air for
hours, irritating the airways or asthmatics. Clean has no
smell, find the source of the odor and eliminate
Fragrances in products such as plug-ins and fabric sheets trigger asthma.
6. Renovations create dust and toxic fumes from building products.
Carefully plan and mask off areas so it is in an
from the living space. Select new products that are formaldehyde
free and low-voc to minimize the
off-gassing of paints,
building materials, flooring and cabinetry.
7. Remove carpet and use hard-surface flooring which does not allow dust
and allergens to live. Washable area rugs
can be vacuumed
with a hepa-filter at least 2-4 hours before
asthmatics come back into the space. Remove
and drapes which collect dust and allergens if possible. If there are a few favorite
toys, wash them in hot water or freeze them
24 hours to kill mites.
8. Keep pets outdoors if possible, but definitely out of the bedroom.
Skin flakes, urine and salvia are major asthma
animals must remain in the home, keep the bedroom door closed.
9. Personal care products such as hair-spray, nail polish and perfumes
bring toxins into the air that irritate the lungs.
other toxic activities such as candle and incense burning
10. Air out your home: open windows on a regular basis to bring in fresh
air and reduce toxin build-up. Air conditioners
the same air. On high pollen or high pollution
days, keep windows closed.
11. Regularly maintain your air conditioner and change filters monthly.
Make sure the system is keeping the relative
60% to control the moisture.
12. Nitrogen dioxide is an odorless gas from indoor fuel-burning
appliances such as gas stove, gas or oil furnaces or
un-vented gas heaters. Always vent these appliances and do not use
gas cooking stoves for heating a home