Friday 19 December 2014

Is your home making you ill?

So many people, like myself, have allergies.  I have asthma, hayfever and sinus problems.  Hayfever we know is caused by pollen and asthma is a lung condition but what about my sinus problems? At first I was certain it was just one of those things, however, now I think there could be another reason for this, house borne allergens.

Dust, condensation and mould can cause health conditions, such as respiratory conditions, worse.

I always thought polishing,  hoovering and general cleaning would stop allergens like dust from causing issues but it seems there is a lot more that can be done.  

The My Health, My home campaign tells us more.

As we move towards winter, condensation and mould become more prominent as we close windows and make our homes more airtight- which can have implications for our health. Moulds release allergens, irritants and toxic substances that have been linked to immune system disorders such as asthma and allergies & other pollutants released by items around the home – such as fireplaces, candles, air fresheners, textiles, furniture, cleaning products paint and detergents - add to this, creating a potent airborne ‘pollutant soup’.

A recent study has shown that 81% of people are at risk of suffering from a respiratory or dermatological condition because of their home & experts are calling for an increased awareness of the issue, which is being termed ‘Toxic Home Syndrome’. Professor of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine Peter Howarth comments: “There is a lot of noise about how outdoor air pollution affects your health, but we should look closer to home as this is where we spend most of our time. Indoor air can be more hazardous than outdoor air. ‘Toxic home syndrome’ occurs when families are exposed to a potent mix of airborne pollutants arising from poor home ventilation, causing respiratory and skin diseases to occur more frequently.”

Top Tips for a Healthy Home

Tip 1.Look into different ventilation options such as household mechanical ventilation systems which provide clean air or extractor fans. The bathroom is the most common place in the home where condensation builds up so it is essential that it is properly ventilated to reduce the risk of mould spores growing

Tip 2.Use eco friendly cleaning products - some everyday cleaning products contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be dangerous for your respiratory health

Tip 3.Consider wood flooring - carpets can harbour dust, dirt, dander, bacteria and cleaning products which can be hard to get out and release potentially harmful substances into the air, worsening your indoor air quality

Tip 4. Dry your washing outside otherwise make sure your windows are open if you have to dry it inside to reduce VOC levels indoors

Tip 5.Take your shoes off at the door so pollen, dirt, soil etc from outdoors is not spread around your home

Find more expert advice and to see if your own home is at risk of Toxic Home Syndrome please visit

If you follow the above tips and advice you can make your home a healthier place for you and your family.

Here are some facts and figures.

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