It is the time of the year that a lot of people do spring cleaning. It is particularly important for those people who suffer from asthma. In the United States that includes more than 22 million.
Asthma attacks are triggered by tiny airborne particles called allergens. These allergens are found in dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches and their droppings, mold and mildew and pollen. Good cleaning habits can cut down the amount of allergens in the home.
Some strategies to cut down on allergens are as follows:
Do you have stacks of mail sitting around? What about a pile of newspapers or magazines? These stacks are great places for dust and its allergens to accumulate and for mold, mildew and cockroaches to live and grow. Get rid of the stacks. Then take a good look at the other things you own. Recycle some of the items if you can. Get rid of what you no longer use. Getting rid of the clutter gets rid of some dust and makes it easier to clean.
Items stored in boxes or plastic containers are less likely to collect dust and mold. Keep items such as CDs tapes, DVDs, book figurines and stuffed animals in enclosed storage containers, drawers or closed cabinets.
Have a system for handling your mail. Open the mail and toss it in a paper recycling bin or put bills in a special drawer where they can be found when it is time to pay bills.
Keep magazines or newspapers in a bin for recycling.
You want to reduce dust and not re-distribute it. Be aware that dust particles can stay in the air for up to 2 hours. Choose a dusting product or a special cloth that attracts dust for dusting. Use an upright vacuum or canister style with a power nozzle. They pick up two to six times as much dust from a rug as canisters without a power nozzle.
Exchange heavy draperies for lightweight washable curtains. Wipe special mite-proof covers to help keep dust from going through pillows and mattresses.
Source: Clean Matters Newsletter.