Triggers in your home

Mold grows on damp thins such as shower curtains, bath items, tubs, basins and tiles.

What you can do?
--If you see mold, clean it up with soap and water.
--Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom when showering and the
  kitchen when cooking or washing dishes.
--Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water as soon as possible.
--Dry damp or wet items within 1-2 days to avoid mold growth.

Dust Mites
Dust mites are tiny bugs you can't see.  They live in sheets, blankets, pillows,
mattresses, soft furniture, carpets, and stuffed toys, such as stuffed animals.

What you can do?
--Wash bed sheets and blankets once a week. Dry completely.
--Use dust-proof covers on pillows and mattresses..
--Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture often.
--Wash stuffed toys. Dry completely.

Secondhand Smoke
Asthma can be triggered by the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette,
pipe, or cigar, or the smoke breathed out by a smoker. Choose not to smoked
in your home or car, and don't allow others to do so either. 

What you can do?
--Don't smoke in your home or car.
--Don't let anyone smoke near your child.
--Please to make your home and car smoke-free - take the smoke-free pledge
Wood Smoke
Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a mixture of harmful
gases and small particles.  Breathing these small particles and cause asthma
attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lungs disease and may
increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses.  

What you can do?
--To help reduce smoke, make sure to burn dry wood that has been split, stacked,
  covered and stored for at least 6 months. Never burn garbage, plastic or
  pressure=treated wood. 
--Have your stove and chimney inspected every year by a certified professional 
  to make sure there are no gaps, cracks, unwanted drafts or to remove dangerous
  creosote build-up.
--If possible, replace your old wood stove with a new, cleaner heating appliance.
--Consider using a HEPA filter in the same room as your stove or fireplace.
  Studies indicate that HEPA filters can reduce indoor particle pollution by 60%.
--Visit for more information..

Cockroaches and Other Pests
Cockroaches and other pests such as mice may trigger asthma attacks.

What you can do?
--Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean.
--Clean dishes, crumbs and spills.
--Store food in air tight containers.
--Cover trash cans.

Cats and Dogs
Warm-blooded animals may trigger asthma attacks.

What you can do?
--Keep pets outside if possible.
--If you have a pet inside, keep them out of the bedroom and off the furniture.
--Vacuum carpets and furniture open.

Nitrogen Dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide is an odorless gas that can irritate your eyes, nose and throat
and may cause shortness of breath.  This gas can come from the use of
appliances that burn fuels, such as gas and kerosene. 

What you can do?
--If possible, use fuel-burning appliances that are vented outside.  always follow
  the manufacturer's instructions on how to use these appliances.
--Gas cooking stoves; Never use these to keep you warm or heat your house.
  If you have an exhaust fan, use it when you cook.
--Unvented kerosene or gas space heaters: Use the proper fuel and keep the
  heater adjusted the right way. Open a window slightly or use an exhaust fan.

Chemical Irritants
Chemical irritants found in some products in your hours, such as scented or
unscented products, including cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics
or air fresheners may make your child's asthma worse. 

What you can do?
--Use these products less often and make sure your child is not around when you
  use the products. Also, consider trying different products.
--Take great care to follow the instructions on the label.  If you use these products,
  try to make sure that windows or doors are open and that you use an exhaust fan.


Department of Public Health
Phone: (951) 358-4977 Fax: (951) 358-7165
Nutrition & Health Promotion - Asthma Program
Riverside University Health System—Public Health
4210 Riverwalk Parkway, 4th Floor, Riverside, CA 92505