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Pollen is easily airborne. Can be tracked by people, animals, or a gust of wind indoors. People allergic to pollen exhibit symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, or itchy throat. As with any allergen persons with asthma from moderate to severe can experience sinus and ear infection. air filters help to greatly reduce this threat. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are said to work best for this type of allergen.
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that feed on dead skin. They infest beds and carpets by the tens of millions, and there can be as many as 1,000 mites in one gram of dust. They are a major problem because they cause can some wheezing, itching, other allergic reactions, and possibly asthma. Dust mites are small arachnids that are known by their scientific name, Dermatophagoides farinae. They have a maximum life span of 80 days, but the average life span is between 20 and 30 days. Characteristically, they are creamy white in color and globed-shaped. They are so small that they can't be seen without magnification from a microscope. The largest of dust mites are the females which measure, at the most, 0.015625 of an inch. Females lay one to two eggs per day, and in the most favorable conditions, it takes 30 days from the start of development for a dust mite to reach adult maturity; their habitat consists of humid surroundings such as bedding, carpets, and clothes.

Dust Mites


The EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards define particulate matter as "both solid particles and liquid droplets found in air." Further, particles are differentiated into "fine" and "coarse" classifications. Fine particles (PM2.5) are those less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, while coarse particles (PM10) are between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter.
Typical sources of fine particles include motor vehicles, power plants, wood burning, and certain industrial processes. Coarse particles are commonly created from crushing or grinding operations, and they appear as dust from both paved and unpaved roads. Both types of particulate matter put heavy machinery at risk of premature repair and replacement.
From a health standpoint, PM10 particles are small enough to be inhaled into the respiratory system, where they can accumulate. PM2.5 particles, due to their extremely small size (less than one-seventh the width of a human hair), can lodge deeply in the lungs, according to EPA documents. Health dangers from long-term exposure to the larger, coarse particles are unclear, but the tiny, fine particles are associated with multiple ailments including asthma attacks and cardiovascular disease, particularly for the elderly and children.
Decreased visibility is another concern with excessive fugitive dust, putting both drivers and pedestrians at risk. Thus, adequate dust control remains an important issue for a variety of construction sites, farming operations, and other businesses and municipalities.


Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

Pet Dander

According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America dogs and cats secrete fluids and shed dander that contain the allergens . This dander collects on fur and other surfaces. The strength of these allergens can last up to months. Symptoms of allergy to dander include swelling and itching of the membranes of the eyes and nose as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath if entered into the lungs.


Secondhand smoke is the combination of both side stream and mainstream smoke emissions. These emissions contain more than 50 carcinogenic chemicals. According to the Surgeon General's latest report on the subject, "Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart variability, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack". The American Cancer Society lists "heart disease, lung infections, increased asthma attacks, middle ear infections, and low birth weight" as ramifications of smoker's emission. In children, secondhand smoke causes the following; Ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath), respiratory infections (i.e., bronchitis, pneumonia), a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
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