03 December 2013

Quick Tips to Decrease Allergen Exposure at Home

Photo Courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

  1. Houseplants – Keep slightly dry to decrease mold growth.  Avoid placing them in the bedroom due to mold sensitizing
  2. Christmas trees - Unfortunately they grow mold quickly.  Use artificial instead of live trees if you have allergies.
  3. Nickel Allergy?  Use clear nail polish on the back of blue jean buttons to keep from skin exposure to nickel.  You may also paint the backs of jewelry such as earrings to protect your skin.
  4. Perfume – Avoid using commercial perfumes...many contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful ingredients.  Instead try applying essential oils to your neck & wrists.
  5. Candles & air fresheners – These may be as allergenic as cigarettes and they pollute the indoor air.  Try using natural essential oils, like peppermint, eucalyptus, or cinnamon or burn soy-based candles instead.
  6. Spices – Use caution with key offenders: coriander, poppy seeds, pepper, paprika, cumin, saffron
  7. Soaps and detergents – Choose those without phthalates, parabens and sodium laureate sulfate (SLS).  Check out EWG's guide to healthy cleaning products.
  8. Carpeting – Install hardwood flooring wherever possible and get rid of the carpet due to build up of dust mites and other allergens.
  9. Wall paint – Avoid volatile organic compounds in your air by using low VOC emitting paints
  10. Declutter  – Take a good look around the house and eliminate “dust catchers" like silk flowers, stuffed animals & knick-knacks. 
  11. Dry-cleaned clothes – Air them out outside with plastic off before bringing inside to let the chemicals off-gas.  Better yet use a green dry-cleaner, like Revolutionary Cleaners.
  12. HVAC filters – Change filters every 1-2 months minimum.  Install HEPA filters with higher allergen rating.  Switching frequently allows the filter to catch more allergens and prevent them from re-circulating.
Final word?  Love your pets but don't sleep with them if you have allergies...

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