During Florida’s cooler months, adults and children who suffer from asthma and allergies may experience symptoms similar to those felt in the spring. Spending more time indoors during the cool months increases exposure to allergens like dust mites and pet dander. Turning on heating systems can stir up dust that has settled into carpets, air vents and other areas throughout the home.
Because allergens play a significant role in triggering respiratory attacks, identifying and removing them is paramount in achieving a healthier home.
“If you find that your family members’ asthma or allergies are acting up this season, a do-it-yourself test kit can help you determine which allergens are causing the problem, so that you can address it,” said Rajiv Sahay, Ph. D., FIAS, CIAQP, Director of Laboratory Services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab), a division of Pure Air Control Services.
Affordable, at-home allergen test kits provide homeowners a tool to identify and quantify allergen levels within their place of residence and can also help them better manage these issues. In fact, according to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), parents who use at-home allergen test kits are more likely to participate in allergen reduction interventions for children than parents who do not.
“By understanding the nature of the allergens in the home, families can actively seek to reduce asthma and allergy triggers and improve symptoms year-round,” said Dr. Sahay.
The Screen Check Allergen Test Kit, available through www.IndoorAirTest.com, allows users to test for mold, pollen, dust mites, fiberglass, skin cells and other particles. The homeowner takes a sample from a surface within the home and mails it to the lab, where it is analyzed using state-of-the-art equipment. Homeowners receive a report with results.
There are a number of ways to reduce allergens identified in the home. For example, regular dusting, particularly in those hard-to-reach areas, will ensure that allergens are not accumulating in the home. Maintaining roughly 60 percent humidity in the home will also reduce the risk of these allergens becoming a problem.
For homes that have a high concentration of allergens, professional remediation may also be necessary. To determine if this is necessary, homeowners should contact a remediation service. A range of the DIY IAQ Screen Check test kits include: Formaldehyde, Mycotoxin, Mold, Allergen, Dust Mite, VOC, Radon, Lead, Bacteria, etc…