What Is Apartment-Induced Asthma?

(DGIwire) – People with asthma who live in big cities prone to pollution might feel that the dirty air outside the window represents the primary trigger for their condition. But this is not necessarily the case. In fact, a substantial contributor could be the presence of contaminants inside their apartments. What are the risks regarding apartment-induced asthma—and what can be done to mitigate it?

With Americans spending approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality matters. As the EPA notes, an apartment might have mold growing on the shower curtain; dust mites on pillows, blankets or stuffed animals; secondhand smoke in the air; and cat and dog hairs on the carpet or floors. Or there could even be these triggers hiding in the walls or out of sight. Any of these substances, along with others, can act as asthma triggers, reports the EPA, with symptoms that can include coughing, chest tightness, and wheezing and breathing problems.

“If people start experiencing asthma, it is important to identify the source so it can be remediated,” says Greg Sancoff, founder and CEO of Live Pure, a designer and manufacturer of products that help consumers assess the quality, health and safety of their indoor environments. “As it happens, advances in the air and water quality testing arena have made this easier, cheaper and more practical than ever before.”

Live Pure has developed an indoor air quality test, called the yogi™, that can help determine which of several contaminants in the air and water might be present.

In just a few easy steps, the yogi allows apartment dwellers to sample for the presence of nine environmental contaminants and toxins across a 2,000-square-foot area in their apartments—including mold, allergens, radon, lead, asbestos, VOCs and formaldehyde, as well as lead and copper in water. For larger spaces, or to test specific rooms, extra test components can be purchased and utilized separately.

The test is extremely simple to use and comes with an easy-to-operate instrument, color-coded sampling system and step-by-step instruction manual. Tenants can collect their samples in just minutes (radon testing takes 48 hours), then send the samples to an independent, accredited laboratory, which then emails a full lab report and results summary back to the tenant within 10 business days. The tenant will then be better able to decide on whether any subsequent remediation steps are necessary.

The yogi kit includes a complimentary phone consultation with Live Pure’s certified industrial hygienists should a tenant receive a report with high contaminant levels. This unbiased consult equips them with the key information needed to address these challenges, potentially mitigating the contaminant levels in the apartment. The yogí test kit made its debut to clinicians attending the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston in October 2017.

“Remember, indoor air is different from outdoor air. People should begin by testing the spaces where they spend most of their time—inside—and the yogi makes doing so a practical possibility,” Sancoff adds.