Protecting Your Home from Hidden Allergens

Home Allergens

Are your allergies out of control? Have you considered the possibility that allergens may be hiding in your home? Most people have no idea that some home products may intensely aggravate skin and respiratory allergies.

If you have pet allergies, you’re probably already aware of them. Did you know, however, that certain pet shampoos could decrease or increase these sensitivities? Likewise, many carpet deodorizers, particularly those that contain talc, can heighten allergies, as well as allergy-induced asthma. Many veterinary clinics and animal specialty stores offer pet-related merchandise specifically for owners who are sensitive to pet dander or chemicals used in animal care items.

Many people are also sensitive to dust or dust mites. While removing this dust is necessary, many dusting and furniture polishes contain aerosols or other compounds that increase sensitivities to allergies. Usually, dusting with a damp cloth once weekly is sufficient to remove dust without harming your furniture. If your allergies are very severe, you may want to consider delegating this job to another member of the family.

Recently, office supply companies and home department stores have been selling aerosolized products designed to purge dust from computer towers and other locations that are hard to reach. If you have respiratory allergies, do not use these products; they have caused numerous severe allergy-induced asthma attacks. If these products must be used in your home, let someone else do this job, and leave your home while they are being used. In addition, be sure the room is well ventilated, and allow the product to dissipate completely before returning home or re-entering the room.

Be aware, as well, that aerosolized dust removers can be lethal to children and adolescents. These items are becoming popularly used as inhalants, for ‘getting high’, by schoolchildren. Furthermore, these aerosols remain in the air sacs of the lungs much longer than other commonly used inhalants or ‘huffing’ drugs. As the number of fatalities continues to rise steadily, manufacturers may be required to significantly restrict the sale or distribution of these products. If you have children in your home, consider whether having these chemicals around is really worth the risk.

Another home allergen is hiding in your laundry room. Many people know of their sensitivities to laundry detergents. Are you aware, though, that fabric softeners cause nearly as many allergic reactions as laundry soap? The synthetic chemicals from these items attach to clothing and are worn throughout the day, creating constant exposure for people with respiratory allergies.

Did you know you can purchase reusable fabric softening balls that do not contain chemicals? These balls are placed in the dryer with each load of laundry. They reduce static cling and soften clothing fabric without causing allergic reactions. They are an inexpensive, effective way to quickly reduce your exposure to domestic allergens.

Explore possible causes of allergies in your home. Eliminate or reduce them. If you and your family do not have allergies, know that people can develop sensitivities with repeated exposure to allergens. Protect your family from future allergies by decreasing their exposure!

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This article sponsored by PebbleArt’s line of naturally absorbent sandstone drink coasters.

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