Philips commissioned new research to address some of the most common perceptions surrounding indoor quality in Australian households and found that 42 per cent of the 1,000 Australians surveyed in their study are concerned about the quality of air they breathe, yet only a small fraction 5 per cent consider it the most important aspect of their home.
In fact, only a quarter of respondents in the study knew that cooking with a gas stove or oven can release air pollutants into your indoor environmental, and that having pets in your homes, candles or incense, can impact indoor air quality.
We spoke with Adele Taylor, Sensitive Choice Program Manager at the National Asthma Council Australia about the importance of good indoor air quality, and what you can do to reduce symptoms of allergies and asthma.
“Indoor air triggers such as dust mites, mould and pet dander have the potential to trigger asthma, hayfever and allergies,” says Adele. “These are often invisible to the human eye, which is why we encourage people with asthma or allergies to look at products such as Philips Air Purifiers to help filter out the airborne pollutants in their home.”
What are the most common aggravators of asthma and allergies in the home?
“There are many different triggers and aggravators in and around the home that can cause asthma or allergic reactions. These include dust mites, pollen, pets, smoke, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and mould.”
"Dust mites and pollen are the two biggest asthma and allergy triggers in Australia, however with effective planning, education and understanding, an allergy diagnoses can be well managed.”
How can we reduce the effects of air pollutants on asthma and allergy sufferers?
“It is important to consult a health professional to investigate what causes you and/or your family’s allergic reactions, so you can create an effective plan to avoid those triggers. Common causes can be dust mites, pollen, pets, smoke, and mould. If you remove those causes from your home environment it will reduce the chance of a reaction.”
Are there any products or things your organization suggests people buy or do to keep their homes allergy free?
“There are lots of different things you can do to reduce allergens in your home. One thing to do is to consider an air purifier,” says Adele. “When shopping for an air purifier, it’s critical to look for one with a HEPA filter that will remove any air borne particles such as pollens, dust mites, pet dander and mould spores, along with an activated carbon filter which removes gasses and chemicals including smoke from the air. Other products that can also be very helpful is having the right vacuum cleaners and manchester for the beds.?
Tips for improving your indoor air quality at home
- Buy an air purifier
- Pick furniture and paints that have low levels of, or are VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) free, as many new pieces of furniture, carpet, flooring and paints continue to emit polluting gases into the environment long after installation.
- Add some indoor plants to your home. Research from NASA discovered that many houseplants improve the air quality, absorb carbon dioxide and can improve your feelings of wellbeing.
- Gas stoves can negatively impact your home’s air quality. Ensure you have a strong extractor installed.
- Open the windows and doors regularly to ensure there is a fresh and consistent airflow through your home.
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