INDOOR ALLERGEN

There are many different influences within a home or office that can produce indoor allergens. It is important to have CMI perform an inspection and testing of the environment to understand how wide spread the issue may be, as well as, identify a potential source of the problem.

What are indoor allergens?

Indoor allergens can be biological or chemical substances that trigger the immune system, causing an allergic reaction to occur.

Some biological sources of allergens include:
• Pets
• Insects
• Dust mites
• Plants
• Bacteria
• Mold

Some chemical sources of allergens include gases or particles released by: items such as
• Building materials
• Fabrics
• Glues
• Paints
• Solvents
• Dyes
• Perfumes
• Cleaning products

How am I exposed to indoor allergens?

There are several ways a person can be affected by an indoor allergen. These include:
Inhalation
Digestion
Contact with the skin or eyes

What are the effects of exposure to indoor allergens?

An allergic reaction develops when a person who is sensitive to a particular substance, comes into contact with that substance. Severe allergic reactions can be life threatening and require immediate medical treatment. Sensitivity to allergens varies between people. Exposure to other chemicals (e.g., tobacco smoke), in addition to the allergen, can sometimes worsen the symptoms. Repeated or long exposure to the allergen will often make the symptoms worse.

What are the symptoms of an allergen exposure?

• Exposures to an allergen can cause:
• Runny nose
• Sneezing or coughing
• Difficulty breathing
• Skin rashes
• Watery eyes
• Head aches

All symptoms should be discussed with a medical professional for proper diagnosis.

How can I avoid being exposed to indoor allergens?

• Eliminate sources of allergens that are to be known triggers.
• Keep your environment clean of mold, cockroaches, and dust.
• Keep areas dry and clean, such as bathroom window sills, basements, and refrigerator doors.
• Keep the relative humidity level in your home between 30-50%.
• Use a HEPA Vacuum regularly in order to eliminate allergens in dust.
• Wash bed sheets in hot water every 7 to 10 days to kill dust mites.
• Impervious mattress covers will help keep dust mites from getting inside mattresses.
• If sensitive to pollen, keep windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen.
• Use unscented or low-odor detergents and paints to reduce exposure to chemical allergens.
• If possible, remove carpeting from home. Machine washable throw rugs can be cleaned frequently to remove dust and other allergens.
• Use fiber-filled pillows instead of feather-filled pillows.