According to the Washington State Department of Public Health, Washington’s asthma prevalence as among the highest in the nation, and steadily increasing. In Washington, more than 600,000 people have asthma.
- Nearly 120,000 of these are children.
- More than 5,000 people with asthma are hospitalized each year.
- Nearly 100 people die each year of asthma.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified
- More than half a million adults and 120,000 youth in Washington currently have asthma.
- About 1 in 8 women and 1 in 14 men currently have asthma.
- Between 8 and 11 percent of children in middle and high school have asthma.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Indoor and outdoor air pollutants, stress, changes in temperature, colds and other infections, and exercise can trigger asthma attacks.
The home environment has a big impact on people with asthma. Exposure to mold, dust mites, pests, and secondhand smoke can cause asthma symptoms and lead to emergency department visits or hospitalizations. Asthma home visits, and policy and environmental changes – like smoke-free multi-unit housing – reduce asthma symptoms
and improve quality of life. Asthma advocates can partner with programs that address other home hazards to build a coordinated healthy homes strategy. A healthy homes approach addresses a variety of environmental health and safety concerns, in addition to asthma, including, lead, carbon monoxide, radon, and injury prevention.
What is Indoor Air Quality?
Check out this short 2 minute video that explains the basics of Indoor Air Quality.
What can you do?
When making improvements to your home consider updates that improve indoor air quality. If you are a landlord, double these efforts when improving your rental properties. For example, install hard surfaces such as Marmoleum instead of vinyl or hardwoods instead of carpet. See my post on which flooring is best here. Make sure filters are regularly updated on furnaces. Use and promote Green cleaners that use plant-based solutions over toxic chemicals. Avoid the use of unknown substances in your home, things that indoor air fresheners that don’t list the ingredients. If you belong to a condominium HOA, urge your board to implement no smoking policies as well as educational opportunities on controlling mold and pet dander.
Not only will taking these steps minimize the triggers for those with Asthma, you’ll also benefit from the better air quality yourself and you’ll improve the resale value of your home as you go. If you are in the market for a home and indoor air quality is important in your home search, call me today. I can help.