Asthma, Allergies and Your Floors

If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you probably already know that your environment is one of the key factors in triggering your symptoms.  And since Americans spend the majority of their time indoors, it’s important to know about the specific triggers your home or office might hold.

Because they are home to dust mites, carpets in particular can exacerbate asthma symptoms in those people that are allergic to the tiny bugs.  The EPA even says that “Exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.”

A better choice for flooring is a hard surface, but you still have to be careful of any finishing products that the flooring may have been treated with, as many finishes emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  VOCs are found in all sorts of materials and in varying amounts, and can irritate the eyes and airways.  VOCs generally dissipate within a few days, so when installing and for a couple of days after, open any windows and use a fan to get air flowing through the rooms. Flooring adhesives emit VOCs, too, so look for flooring products that don’t use any.  While you may not be able to find a product with zero VOCs, you can find products with low VOCs.

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