Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Asthma and allergy alert: Dusty and moldy holiday decorations

Many people look forward to the holiday season – not only because of the gifts, but also because of the food, the festive decorations and the stunning lights.

But storing the decorations and lights for almost a year can lead to a buildup of dust and mold, experts warn, so this time of year can be challenging for asthma and allergy sufferers.

In fact, storing decorations in the attic may even cause them to be contaminated by asbestos dust, a mesothelioma awareness group says.

Many homes were built with asbestos-containing materials in the 20th century and an estimated 33 million U.S. buildings contain vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos, the United States Environmental Protection Agency warns.

Asbestos was also a main ingredient in many holiday decorations themselves, including snowflakes. These are not being sold on the market anymore, but heirloom decorations may still be contaminated.

Storing decorations in the basement or garage often leads to dust and mold problems in the home as mold counts go up. Even bringing in a real Christmas tree can trigger allergies or asthma flare-ups.

Experts suggest wearing a mask when handling dusty or moldy decorations, using an artificial tree and storing holiday decorations in a way to minimize dust and mold infiltration.

Air purifiers for mold, dust and other contaminants

When the temperature gets below freezing outside and you turn up the heat and keep the windows tightly closed or even sealed, indoor air quality often deteriorates over time.

Running a portable, powerful air purifier on low 24/7 can help keep the air clean and healthy.

AllerAir’s specialized air purifiers for dust and particles (allergies and asthma), mold and chemical or odor concerns feature many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA and other filters such as UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

Keep your family safe this holiday season with an AllerAir air purifier. 

Contact us for more information or recommendations.