Dr Chiu has served as medical expert witness in evaluating adverse health effects from water damage/mold exposure. For further information, please visit www.hgexpert.com/article.asp?id=18325
We have been asked by www.everydayhealth.com to provide answers on Expert Tips to Minimize Indoor Allergies:
Q 1: Every day home allergy culprits:
By far house dust mite droppings from the millions of spider-like insects living inside your mattress, box spring, and pillows are the things most allergic sufferers have problem with.
Molds or fungi are also potent allergens usually from excessive indoor moisture with undetected water leaks often the source. Houses located adjacent to a body of water are more prone to have humidity problem as well.
Other obvious sources are pet dander and bird droppings. Believe it or not, some people actually have pet Medagascar hissing cockroach and cockroaches are also allergic.
Q2: Which rooms in your home are especially important to keep clean?
If you can only keep one room clean, make sure it is the bedroom. This is the room in which you are spending most of your time. If you are allergic to pets, be sure to keep them outside of the bedroom- no exceptions. For those who allergic to house dust mites, be sure to cover the mattress, box spring, and pillows with mite-proof encasing.
Q3: Which household cleaners contain toxic products?
Most household products sold in the US are relatively safe. Obviously some would serve as irritant for susceptible individuals. For example, products containing chlorine or volatile chemicals will like trigger asthma symptoms with excessive exposure. The odor from these products may also aggravate your respiratory tracts.
Q4:Can I keep my home clean without using harmful chemicals?
You can do pretty much most of the cleaning with just soap and water. If you have hard wood or tile floor, all the better. Use shutter or blind in place of drapes whenever possible.
Q5. Is there such a thing as keeping a home too clean?
The house is never too clean but one must balance the benefit vs the efforts involved in compulsively keeping the house clean. When excessive amounts of chemicals are used to keep the house "clean" , it may actually be detrimental to your health. Be sure to keep the windows open for a few hours each day to vent out the volatile organic compounds and pollutants in your household. Avoid using wood-burning fireplace indoors.