Some Things To Beware In Your Home's Air

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October is National Indoor Air Month, and the American Lung Association in North Dakota is offering a few tips about health concerns that could be in lurking in North Dakota homes.

While the big weather story this year has been drought, not flooding, mold is still a real concern for many homeowners. It can grow unseen inside of walls, ceilings and floors, wherever there is enough warmth, moisture and food for the mold to consume – and mold isn't a picky eater. Homeowners can prevent mold by sealing leaks and cleaning up water spills as quickly as possible. If wallboard or carpeting does get soaked, they should be removed as quickly as possible, before mold growth begins. Use a humidistat-controlled dehumidifier to monitor interior relative humidity (RH); keeping it below 50 percent will discourage dust mites and insects that can trigger asthma.

In addition to mold,there are many other indoor air pollutants that can trigger many North Dakotan's allergy symptoms. These can pose a risk for the tens of thousands of adults and children in the state who have asthma, as many common indoor allergens can also trigger asthma episodes.

According to the American Lung Association, asthma is the leading cause of emergency room visits and missed days of school for children. It can also be deadly – an average of 11 people die every day in the United States because of asthma.

To protect against these allergy triggers such as dust mites and pet dander, clean floors, furniture and bed linens frequently and use a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma, so if you or others at your home smoke, please take it outside, especially if children are present.

Detailed information on indoor air quality in homes is available on the American Lung Association website, lungusa.org.