Blog Archives

Environmental Asthma Triggers

Posted by Titan on August 6, 2013

Indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. When American’s spend up to 90% of their time indoors, it’s no wonder asthma is on the rise.

If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers.

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Common Asthma Triggers:

Secondhand Smoke– This asthma trigger contains more than 4,000 substances, including several compounds that cause cancer. Children’s developing bodies make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke and, due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke.
Dust Mites– Found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and droppings from these tiny bugs can trigger asthma. Exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.
Molds– For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can trigger an asthma attack. Found almost anywhere when moisture is present, these tiny spores reproduce quickly and can live on plant and animal matter as well.
Cockroaches and Pests– Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins found in cockroach feces and saliva can also trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals.
Pets– Proteins in your pet’s skin flakes, urine, feces, saliva and hair can trigger asthma. A safe measure is to keep pets out of the sleeping areas, off of upholstered furniture, carpets and away from stuffed toys; as well as keeping the pets outdoors as much as possible and isolating sensitive individuals from the pet as much as possible.
Nitrogen Dioxide– This odorless gas can come from anything that burns fuel such as gas, kerosene and wood. Smoke from your stove or fireplace can trigger asthma. Exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections as well.
Chemical Irritants– Cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics or air fresheners may trigger asthma. Green cleaning is a safe alternative!
Outdoor Air Pollution– Small particles and ground level ozone from car exhaust, smoke, road dust and factory emissions; as well as pollen can trigger asthma.
Wood Smoke– Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles that can trigger asthma. If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn’t working as it should.

Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers. But, as a precautionary step, always maintain a clean indoor environment and do your best to avoid common asthma triggers.

Energy Upgrades for the Home and EPA’s Protocol to Protect Health

Posted by Titan on August 1, 2013

According to the EPA, there is a set of best practices when it comes to improving indoor air quality in conjunction with energy upgrades in a home.

EPA_Protocols_healthenergy

This isn’t new information, but it isn’t old news either. In fact, we’re recapping nearly two-year old information:

In November 2011, the EPA came out with the new guidance to help ensure home energy upgrades would protect the health of Americans while saving energy and money.

While home energy upgrades make a home more comfortable and affordable, there are an abundance of benefits all around—improving quality of life for occupants, protecting the environment, and sustaining American jobs.

However, if the appropriate home assessment is not made before the work begins or the work isn’t performed properly, the home energy upgrade activities might negatively affect indoor air quality.

The EPA’s Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades focus primarily on the health and safety of the building occupants. The document identifies priority indoor environmental issues and includes Assessment Protocols to evaluate existing problems. Minimum Actions to be taken during home energy upgrade activities, and Expanded Actions, which provide opportunities to promote improved occupant health through home energy upgrades.

Titan recommends work done in pre-1978 homes and buildings, be performed by an EPA certified Lead-Safe Firm or by home energy upgrade workers who have sufficient resources and are properly certified to work with lead paint.

Indoor Plants to Purify Air

Posted by Titan on July 17, 2013

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Indoor plants clean air naturally and return oxygen to the air. They regulate air humidity, eliminate toxins, and filter chemicals.

These ten plants are the most effective, all around, in counter-acting off-gassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity:

* Areca Palm * Reed Palm
* Dwarf Date Palm * Boston Fern
* Janet Craig Dracaena
* English Ivy  * Peace Lily
* Rubber Plant * Weeping Fig
* Australian Sword Fern

Environmental Awareness-101

Posted by Titan on June 27, 2013

DID YOU KNOW?
* The average person spends 90% of their time indoors.
* The air indoors is 2-to-5x more polluted than the air outdoors.
* Children breathe in 50% more air than adults.
* According to the CDC, at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to lead.
iaq_house_epa
Factors that compromise an indoor environment include:
* Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) * Carbon Monoxide
* Lead Paint and Lead Dust * Asbestos * Mold * Dust Mites
* And scores of other common indoor pollutants.
Common signs of indoor toxicity:

* Allergies, asthma, headaches or fatigue worsen when
you are in your house or another building.
* You generally feel sick or tired indoors.
* Unsuccessful attempts to feel better.

Spreading knowledge is key to these very serious problems.

CARE FOR YOUR AIR!