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Healthy Living

Asthma Triggers

Resource materials from other organizations.

Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers - Molds
Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant and animal matter. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they grow on virtually any substance when moisture is present. For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can cause an asthma attack.

Secondhand Smoke: Indoor Air Pollutant
Secondhand smoke, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), consists of exhaled smoke from smokers and side stream smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, including over 40 compounds that are known carcinogens.

Dust Mites:  Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers
Dust mites are tiny insects that are invisible to the naked eye. Every home has dust mites. They feed on human skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and feces from dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with allergic reactions to dust mites, and exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.

Cockroaches, Other Pests and Asthma
Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma attacks. Cockroach allergens likely play a significant role in asthma in many inner-city areas.

Pets and Asthma
Your pet's dead skin flakes, urine, feces, saliva and hair can trigger asthma. Dogs, cats, rodents (including hamsters and guinea pigs) and other mammals can trigger asthma in individuals with an allergic reaction to animal dander.

Asthma Home Environment Checklist (PDF)
This checklist contains questions and action steps to assist in the identification and mitigation of environmental asthma triggers commonly found in and around the home.

60 Second Check-up: Holiday Allergy and Asthma Triggers and Ways to Avoid Them (mp3)
Registered Respiratory Therapist Tom Kallstrom, discusses holiday allergy and asthma triggers and ways to avoid them.

© 2005 American Association for Respiratory Care