Environmental control includes doing something about allergens and irritants in the home, school and workplace.
The environmental allergens that you could do something about are the perennial allergens (allergens that are present year-round). It is very hard to totally avoid pollens. Pollens come from trees, grass and weeds from the outside world. In Indiana, the outdoor allergy season begins in early March and ends after two killing frosts in the fall or winter.
Indoor allergens include:
- House dust mites
House dust mites are small insects that thrive on mold and the human skin that we shed. The fecal pellet of the house dust mite contains the allergen. House dust mites favor fiber filled items such as:
- Box springs
- Stuffed animals
Dust mite allergen particles are heavy and settle to the ground quickly. This property makes unit air purifiers of questionable use. Barriers do help, such as plastic covers for bedding. Stuffed animals should be removed because inch for inch, they harbor more house dust mites than most other items and are usually carried close to a child’s airway.
Cockroaches are significant allergens in certain environments. Severe asthma has been linked to cockroach sensitization. Extermination, cleaning and prevention help control this allergen.
Molds are a very controversial area. Mold spores are everywhere. What can be found in a home is a reflection of the outdoor environment. If mold is an issue, the health department and private companies can evaluate for mold in the home.