AL­LERGY SO­LU­TIONS

IN­STEAD OF MAK­ING US FEEL HAPPY AND HEALTHY, HOMES CAN BE A SOURCE OF TRIG­GERS FOR AL­LER­GIES. HERE’S SOME TIPS TO AL­LE­VI­ATE WHEEZ­ING AND SNEEZ­ING

Life & Style Weekend - - BIG READ - WORDS: JAN­ICE JO­HANSEN

“There’s no place like home” – the cliché rings true.

It’s the place where we un­wind and re­cover from life’s ail­ments and episodes. Home makes us feel bet­ter.

But did you know that your home also can make you sick?

So, if you’re em­bark­ing on build­ing a new house and are prone to sneez­ing, wheez­ing and itch­ing, you may want to con­sider ways to al­lergy-proof your home.

Paint, floor­ing and fur­nish­ings in build­ings are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to al­ler­gies, as they can emit gases known as volatile or­ganic com­pounds (VOCS) – re­ferred to as in­door en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tants.

Re­search shows VOCS trig­ger al­ler­gic re­ac­tions in sen­si­tive in­di­vid­u­als and can cause headaches, dizzi­ness and nau­sea.

Sen­si­tive Choice is a com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­gram cre­ated by the Na­tional Asthma Coun­cil Aus­tralia in 2006 to help every­one breathe purer, cleaner, fresher air and re­duce asthma and al­ler­gic re­ac­tions.

It rec­om­mends low or no VOC prod­ucts and its web­site makes shop­ping for an al­lergy-free en­vi­ron­ment eas­ier with tips and rec­om­men­da­tions for build­ing and ren­o­vat­ing homes to be al­lergy-free.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion rec­om­mends and en­dorses man­u­fac­tur­ers of roof­ing, paint, plas­ter­board, in­su­la­tion, cabi­nets, bench­tops, frames, win­dows, doors and car­pets.

Re­cently ap­proved is a plas­ter­board by CSR Gyprock that is mould- and mois­ture-re­sis­tant.

CSR Gyprock spokes­woman Alisha Myky­towycz said the plas­ter­board had an anti-fun­gal agent through its core that pen­e­trated the pa­per and dec­o­ra­tive coat­ing.

“It also con­tains a unique wax emul­sion which makes it re­sis­tant to mois­ture and per­fect for wet ar­eas like the bath­room and laun­dry,” she said.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion ac­knowl­edges mould as a trig­ger for al­ler­gies and other health prob­lems.

Mould spores are car­ried in the air, and stud­ies show that when in­haled, they can cause al­ler­gic re­ac­tions such as a blocked nose, plus eye and skin ir­ri­ta­tions.

Ex­po­sure to mould also can cause eczema. Our warm and hu­mid coastal weather presents ideal con­di­tions for mould growth and is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when al­lergy-proofing your new home.

Sen­si­tive Choice spokes­woman Adele Tay­lor said mould could de­stroy your home and your health.

“En­sure your home is well-sealed, oth­er­wise ex­ter­nal mois­ture will get into your house,” she said.

“Good ven­ti­la­tion is im­por­tant for pre­ven­tion of mould growth.

“In­stall good-qual­ity ex­trac­tor fans in wet ar­eas and de­hu­mid­i­fiers are help­ful for ex­tract­ing mois­ture in the home.”

Per­haps sur­pris­ingly when it comes to floor­ing, Adele said car­pet could be a bet­ter choice for al­lergy-sen­si­tive in­di­vid­u­als.

“Sen­si­tive Choice has an ap­proved short-pile car­pet,” she said.

“The fi­bres don’t shed into the air.

“Hard floors don’t pro­vide a place for al­ler­gens to be trapped safely and re­moved with vac­u­um­ing.”

Most syn­thetic car­pets and vinyl emit VOCS.

Th­ese gases are higher dur­ing in­stal­la­tion, but grad­u­ally be­come less over time.

If you pre­fer not to have car­pet, low and ul­tra low-voc vinyl floor­ing is avail­able in Aus­tralia and Voc-free op­tions such as ter­razzo floor­ing or tiles are an op­tion.

“OUR WARM AND HU­MID COASTAL WEATHER PRESENTS IDEAL CON­DI­TIONS FOR MOULD GROWTH AND IS AN IM­POR­TANT CON­SID­ER­A­TION WHEN AL­LERGY-PROOFING YOUR NEW HOME.”

AID­ING AND ABET­TING AL­LER­GIES: Paint, floor­ing and fur­nish­ings in homes are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to al­ler­gies.

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.