Spring is in the air! Unfortunately, that doesn't bring warm and fuzzy feelings to everybody. If you're someone who suffers from allergies in the spring time, you know how these conflicting emotions come into play. We're here with some information on why this happens and how to lessen the impact this spring.
What causes allergy symptoms to rise in the spring, anyway? The most common trigger for these symptoms is the rise of pollen in the air. If you weren't aware, plants in the environment release these small particles into the air to fertilize other plants. When someone is allergic to pollen, breathing it in triggers the release of histamines in the body to protect against the perceived attack to the immune system. This is precisely what gives you those annoying common allergy symptoms such as sniffling, rash, sneezing, eye and throat irritation.
Did you know that indoor and outdoor air quality have an effect on the severity of allergy symptoms? For example, there are other factors that have a negative impact on outdoor air quality such as smoke, emissions, dust, and ozone in the atmosphere. When these combine with high pollen, you're looking at a pretty miserable time for allergy sufferers. This is why you see an increased rate of allergy sufferers in busy city environments with high pollution. It's important for allergy sufferers to reduce their exposure to pollutants, particularly indoors. Since there isn't as much circulation indoors as there is outdoors, improving your indoor air quality should be a top priority if you suffer from allergies.
Mold can also be a cause for allergies. The respiratory irritation that we associate with spring time allergies is another symptom of mold exposure. If there is increased humidity and insufficient circulation of air in your house, it's a good idea to diligently check for mold. It thrives in damp conditions that come with the spring time. There are other possible causes for an increase in symptoms, too. Dust mites are another common indoor allergen that can cause trouble for allergy sufferers!
You don't have to continue suffering through allergy season every year! We all know to keep the windows closed when those high pollen days roll around, but there are also different treatments and ways to prevent it from becoming too intense. Be sure to keep an eye on the pollen count with your favorite weather channel so you're never taken by surprise. Spring cleaning is another way you can tackle indoor allergens head on! Be sure to clean from top to bottom to ensure you're getting all the allergens and dust that escape from surfaces as you're cleaning. Be sure to replace the filters on your furnace, air conditioners, and air purifiers if you have them. It's also a good idea to team up with a local air quality assessor, like AQA, to ensure that you're doing all you can to keep your house free of indoor allergens.
While you might think of the outdoors when the topic of air pollution comes up, that's certainly not the only place where it can occur. The air quality inside of your home can suffer when there are certain triggers inside of the household. We are here to talk about the signs of low air quality and the most common things that can trigger this. When you should bring in a professional and how to prevent it from happening in the future? Find these answers below!
Given how concentrated the air is inside of a home, it's common to experience unpleasant health symptoms when the air quality is low. Some health symptoms of low air quality in the household include respiratory irritation like coughing and sneezing as well as congestion and shortness of breath. If you have poor air quality in your home, you could experience fatigue, asthma symptoms, allergies, and general hypersensitivity. It's not uncommon to experience dizziness and chronic headaches when exposed to poor air quality. If you notice stale and stuffy air inside the home and lingering unpleasant smells along with some of these health issues, you could very well be dealing with indoor air pollution.
What is causing the decreased air quality in your home? There are common household items and practices that can trigger bad air quality. For example, if somebody is smoking cigarettes inside the home, you probably don't have the best air quality. This is especially true if your home doesn't have proper circulation. Household building materials and substances like cleaning products can include pollutants like asbestos, formaldehyde, radon, and other chemicals that reduce air quality. If you do not have proper ventilation and circulation in a home or issues with humidity levels, you could be dealing with poor air quality.
There are some air quality issues that only a professional can solve. When you're dealing with health concerns associated with poor air quality, or your home has recently experienced water damage that reduces air quality, professionals should be brought in. They can accurately diagnose and treat mold, bacterial issues, humidity issues, and excessive allergens in the home. Companies such as Air Quality Assessors can help solve these concerns by thoroughly testing the quality of the air and coming up with a unique plan of action to tackle the problem that is causing the concern so you will not have to deal with the issue in the future.
There are some tricks to prevent future household air quality problems. Keeping your house clean will cut down on dust and debris that can make its way into the air and reduce air quality. Stay on top of changing the filters in your household systems as well as investing in a quality air purifier. Avoid using strong chemicals in the house, or make sure there is proper circulation when you do. Following this plan of action is sure to make sure you're on top of your household air quality.
That's almost half of the entire country, which is alarming! Air pollution is especially common in cities where a lot of traffic and corporate entities emit pollutants into the air. That pollution has to go somewhere, and most times it's right into the air that you breathe.
Climate change is another factor that contributes to pollution. The American Lung Institute has said that warmer temperatures can worsen the air quality and makes ozone damage harder to clean up. You can find air quality reports of your exact zip code by doing some research online.
Living in a city, it can be hard to avoid pollution, even while you're in your own home. If you live in a building that is close in proximity to a business such as a nail salon, huge corporation with billowing smokestacks, or any entity that uses a lot of chemicals, your health could very well suffer. These chemicals can make their way into the air in your home and wreak havoc on your health! This is especially true if they're in the same building as you. Mixed-use buildings are extremely common in large city areas. If you are moving into one of these units, be sure to verify what type of businesses also occupy the structure.
June is National Healthy Homes Month. This serves as a reminder of the importance of air quality in your home. Did you know that American spend nearly ninety percent of their time indoors on average? To thrive and stay healthy, it's vital to begin with adequate household air quality.
If there are harmful substances in the house, like mold or any other organic or chemical pollutants (VOC's), health conditions can arise. Your symptoms could be as simple as nagging, persistent respiratory irritation. With repeated exposure, it can be as serious as cancer or cardiovascular issues. If there are children or immune compromised individuals in the household, it becomes that much more of a pressing issue. These groups are more likely to become negatively affected by poor air quality.
There are some signs you can look out for to give you a better idea if you need to get the quality of your air tested. Is anybody in the home experiencing unexplained allergies or a sudden change in health? It could be a reaction to a pollutant in the house. Perhaps you've recently dealt with a flood or household leak and smell a musty odor, but you're not sure where it's coming from. There could be a mold issue lurking in an unseen spot such as behind the walls or underneath floorboards. Simply being curious about the overall safety of your home is reason enough to get your air tested!
If you're concerned about the quality of your air and want to get it tested, there are options to consider. There are home testing kits available online which offer a convenient starting point. The most common kits test for mold, radon, and other VOCs. If your test results show poor indoor air quality, don't panic! There are different steps you can take immediately. You can ventilate the area, balance the humidity level with a dehumidifier, and change the filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
Regardless of how bad your air quality issue is, it's always the best idea to get in touch with a professional as soon as you can. Air quality test kits can give you a general idea of the issue. However, you won't truly know the severity of the damage until an expert evaluates the problem at hand. Plus, if you don't understand the kit completely, you could get false results. From dust mites to tobacco smoke and pesticides, there are a lot of potential sources of pollutants in a home. This can make it hard to narrow down the source of the issue.
Professional air quality assessors can accurately diagnose the problem and give you the best plan of action to fix the issue as soon as possible. You will feel great peace of mind when you're completely informed about the quality of the air in your home! Get in touch with a professional, such as Air Quality Assessors, today for steps you can take to make sure the air is the best it can be for the health of your family.
Mr. Common Combative
Cladosporium is one of the most widespread molds because it can be found in nature as well as indoors.
Mr. Common Combative is one popular bad guy who loves to pick on humans who have allergies and asthma. He attends parties where the Respiratory Rival (Aspergillus) and his friends (Penicillium and Wallemia Sebi) will be since he is a secondary wall colonizer- aka a follower! Never underestimate Mr. Common Combative for he can be found in almost every nook and cranny of your property (bathroom, carpets, air ducts, attics, furniture and more).
Mr. Common Combat has around 40 different disguises (species) and each disguise has its own act (place to be found)! Listed below are his 4 most favorite disguises.
Cladiosporium sphaerospermum- This frequently encountered species has been isolated from air, soil, gypsum board, acrylic painted walls, painted wood, wallpaper, carpet and mattress dust, HVAC fans, wet insulations in mechanical cooling units, foodstuffs, paint and textiles.
Cladiosporium Cladosporioides- A cosmopolitan species which has been isolated from meat, soil, air, textiles and paint.
Cladiosporium Macrocarpum- A cosmopolitan species which has been isolated from dead plants, soil, indoor air, apple juice concentrates and seeds.
What is most dangerous about Mr. Common Combative? As mentioned earlier, he loves to pick on humans that suffer from allergies and asthma. He has the ability to trigger allergic reactions in humans with compromised immune systems which can cause rashes, itchy eyes, sudden muscle spasms, breathing difficulty, congestion and more! Some humans can be immune to him if they do not have the certain sensitivities that other humans possess (Cladiosporium emits no toxins).
Having homes/properties assessed by a licensed Air Quality Assessor is always a great weapon to use, because they can tell how much of Mr. Common Combative is around or in the air. For humans suffering from asthma or allergies, it is very important to keep the home/property at a safe level to lower the chances of an allergic reaction or respiratory problems from occurring. Mr. Common Combative produces more than 10 types of antigens (any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it) which increases the risk of an asthma attack. If a human notices an increase in his or her asthma symptoms and believes the reason to be Mr. Common Combative or his friends, contact an Air Quality Assessor to come in immediately!
Part 1 of the "Mold-ifying" Series
“The Quiet Killer”
This killer has no boundaries and shows no mercy for homeowners/businesses. Don’t dare think you can stop all of it with regular bleach or other household disinfectants. A trained team will be needed in order to catch and eliminate this quiet killer. Mold hides in non-porous materials like drywall and hardwood flooring or where moisture and water is/has been present (moisture & water are the Quiet Killer’s life source). It can be lurking, growing and producing mycotoxins for weeks until found. “Mycotoxins” aka the killer’s minions: extremely toxic, take 8-12days to make their appearance and then they slowly break down your body’s defense, causing very serious health issues (sore throat, headaches, chronic muscle pain and in worse cases they can/will kill you)…malicious little monsters! Signs that the Quiet Killer has marked his next target include: the smell of its musty cologne, its yellow moisture stained drawings on the wall or show signs of his curse (coughing, nausea, headaches and more). Its nasty, greenish-black demeanor means business!
How does one win against this “Quiet Killer”?
The killer can grow where there is or has been moisture or water related problems. Look for places in your home/business that are susceptible to water or moisture damage like: A/C unit, Bathroom, Laundry Room or Attic... This is where the battle will take place. The best way to eliminate the Quiet Killer is to have a specialized team come in to destroy it! Since no one ever knows the extent of damage the Quiet Killer has caused, having an Air Quality Assessor on your side is the best way to know what you are up against! The assessor’s findings helps him conjure up a strategic battle plan (protocol report for remediation services) for you to use against/destroy the Quiet Killer. Since the killer is very toxic, it is necessary to have a licensed removal force (remediation companies) fight on your side during the battle! The removal team sticks to the battle plan drawn up by the assessor and removes all traces of the killer and his minions. Once the removal team has done the fighting/killing, the Air Quality Assessor comes back into play and makes sure, once and for all, the Quiet Killer has been defeated and all is safe.