EPA Warns: Indoor Allergens Can Be Dangerous
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that our homes are the most allergic environments in the nation! In a report prepared jointly by the EPA’s Consumer Product Safety Commission and The American Lung Association, researchers explain that dangerously high levels of allergy-causing contaminants are present in many homes, offices, classrooms and even medical offices.
What Causes the Problem?
Although the complex causes of indoor allergies and asthma are somewhat mysterious, experts know that both can be cumulative. In other words, years of exposure to high concentrations of indoor contaminants will eventually lead to an allergic reaction in even mildly susceptible people.
We also know that most indoor contaminants come from household pets and invisibly small dust mites. The animals and insects themselves are not the problem. The real culprits are their “biological residuals” – animal fur, saliva, dander, feathers, urine and solid waste. It’s these microscopic protein allergens that actually provoke asthma and allergy in over 100 million Americans.
Often the problem manifests with cold-like symptoms: puffy-red eyes that burn and tear, runny nose, sneezing and coughing, and upper respiratory congestion. Sometimes the contaminants also cause itchy skin, hives and rashes, pronounced exhaustion, shortness of breath, pet allergy headaches, and even debilitating joint pain.
Allergens Can Never Be Eliminated
No matter how much cleaning you do, protein allergens will immediately begin to return. So don’t bother trying to eliminate them completely. A more realistic goal is to minimize the allergen count in your home because, for most sufferers, it’s the over-abundance of contaminants that triggers symptoms.
In addition, experts warn that youngsters living around very high levels of protein allergens are 5 times more likely to develop childhood asthma. As you develop your defense strategy, keep the following 3 tips in mind: