Allergies Are in the Air!

New CA-Modern story looks at your home as a lively breeding ground for allergens
Allergies Are in the Air
'Oh, to be Allergy Free' is our concise room-by-room story on how to reduce allergy and asthma triggers in your home. You can access it here.
Allergies Are in the Air

In the spring, a homeowner's fancy lightly turns to pollen. And allergies. And dust and asthma—and mold and hay fever—and bugs and pet dander—and, oh, where is the love?

Fear not, gentle homeowner, even if you are one of the more than 70 million Americans who takes medication for such conditions and triggers.

Tanja Kern, our Home Improvement Editor, has compiled a concise room-by-room survey of expert opinions on how to reduce allergy and asthma triggers in your home. Here's a PDF version of 'Oh, to be Allergy Free,' a sneak preview of the spring '16 issue of the Eichler Network's CA-Modern magazine, coming mid-April.

Not that we want to be vilify pollen here, what with its role in sustaining the world's fragile bee population. It just is a frequent culprit when people are tormented by allergies, even indoors.

However, the aforementioned suspects are only some of the triggers that Tanja found out how to suppress by changing or cleaning your home smartly. She reports that even such seemingly innocent items as knickknacks, magazines, and shoes are items to look at as possible trigger sources.

Take shoes, for example. The tradition in some cultures to remove shoes at the door may seem quaint, but it actually has a strong foundation in health science.

"Imagine walking on the sidewalk where animals, insects, and chemicals have been dropped," says allergist Warner Carr in the CA-Modern story. Carr, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, alluded to the toxins, bacteria, and other allergens potentially carried into your house by shoe soles.

Of course, cleaning floors and other surfaces regularly is key to limiting dirt, dust, and bacteria in the home, but certain nuances to home cleanliness are not so obvious.

"A house built with materials that are easy to clean and less likely to contain irritants, such as hard-surface floors and non-toxic paint, may have a positive impact on a family, especially one dealing with asthma," says Carter Oosterhouse, carpenter and HGTV host, working on a campaign to raise awareness about asthma triggers in the home.