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Get Ready for the Fall with These Tips from Stanely Steemer and AAFA
This fall could be a problem for people living with asthma and allergies, as global warming conditions boost ragweed levels and fall storms and tornadoes disperse allergens and outdoor mold. The most common outdoor allergen in the fall is ragweed, which pollinates from mid-August to early October through most of the United States. It can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms in millions of adults and kids. But, it’s not just an outdoor problem – weed pollen also makes its way indoors and families who are fighting asthma and allergies need to avoid pollen from getting in their homes, and removing it when it does get in. Visit www.aafa.org/certified to learn more about asthma, allergies and how to remove triggers like pollen from your home.
More than 45 million Americans have nasal allergies and the vast majority are allergic to ragweed. Additionally, 25 million Americans have asthma and pollen can be a trigger for them, too. Pollen from weeds is a greater problem in the fall than in the spring, and fall weeds are surprisingly more prevalent than spring gardens in major urban areas and locations with significant construction. The primary fall allergy trigger – ragweed pollen – causes itchy runny nose, nasal congestion, repeated sneezing, watery eyes, inflamed sinuses and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing. Recent studies suggest that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could be extending ragweed season by as much as a month or more. This is especially true in the northern states in the U.S. where there are now longer periods of warm weather than before. In various parts of the country, goldenrod, curly dock, lamb’s quarters, pigweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush can all cause fall allergies
Mold is more common in the air in the autumn as decaying leaves and other vegetation fall to the ground. This worsens allergy symptoms because as mold particle counts climb higher, they become increasingly irritating to people with allergies. Outdoor mold resulting from previous storms can continue to grow and could be spread further by fall weather and wind patterns.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is quick to remind that no matter what city you live in allergies can be a problem all year long, indoors as well as outdoors. A little bit of planning and some good cleaning habits, you can keep your home as allergy-friendly as possible. AAFA offers these tips no matter where you live:
- Keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from blowing into the house
- Use a Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products and services – like Stanley Steemer carpet cleaning – that has been proven through independent scientific testing to be highly effective at removing allergens from carpets in the home.
- Control dust mites on the bed. Look for Certified mattress cover and bedding, and wash sheets weekly in hot water (130-degrees F) to kill mites and their eggs.
- Change the air filter in your furnace regularly. Filters can trap lots of dust and allergens, so replace them every 30-90 days. Look for Certified asthma & allergy friendly filters.
- Reduce the presence of mold by decreasing moisture around the house, keeping indoor humidity below 50% and clearing the yard of damp firewood and leaves.
Visit www.aafa.org/certified for more tips.
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