Hidden Home Allergens
Pets: Even if you are not allergic to your cat or dog, when they go outside they can collect pollen and mold spores on their fur and track them inside. Try to wipe your pets down with a clean towel after being outside. Clean their fur and paws to reduce the amount of allergens that may be hitchhiking indoors with your best friend. Be sure to wash the towel after being used. Set up a regular hygiene regimen for your pet (bath, nail clipping, brushing). This will help keep you both clean and healthy.
Indoor Plants: Plants can give off pollen, harbor allergy-triggering mold, and even collect dust. Be sure to wipe the leaves with a clean cloth on a weekly basis to help remove possible allergens.
Furniture: A lot of household products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Your upholstered furniture and even your carpets can emit these compounds into the air over time. Although they don’t cause allergies, they can aggravate your nasal passages and throat. This can make it seem like you are having seasonal allergies or worsen an existing allergy flare up. You can have your carpet and furniture tested for VOCs (search for “VOC testing Lab” online to find one nearby). The most common offender is 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC). If you are looking for new carpets/furniture be sure to look for low-VOC labels. VOCs could be the reason you are having allergies where you haven’t been able to identify a cause.
It’s in the WALLS: Latex paints are known to release VOCs. Mold can also grow beneath sheets of wallpaper. Bathrooms and kitchens are hot spots for mold growth. When possible use tile to help fight mold. You can also look for paint with low or no VOCs.
Links to more information on allergies:
Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
“Your Secret Allergy Triggers”