Is Your House Killing You? Are You Allergic To Your Home?

It's a world we barely see, but it is teeming with life and the causes of many home allergies. In the dust of a typical house, carpet beetles, mites, silverfish, and other creatures live and die, producing new generations every few months. Mold, bacteria, and yeast lurk undetected in heating and cooling systems.

Debris dispersed into the air from these organisms can cause runny noses, itchy eyes, coughing, headaches, and breathing difficulties. Some people, especially those made highly sensitive by allergies, suffer from devastating health problems and the worry that, as one such sufferer lamented, "My house is killing me!"

Scrutinizing house dust and air samples with a microscope, indoor air quality expert Jeffrey C. May has spent his career helping people identify what's causing their chronic health problems. In My House Is Killing Me! he draws on the dramatic personal stories of his clients' suffering and relief to help readers understand the links between environmental factors and problems like allergies and asthma.

Explaining how air conditioning, finished basements, and other home features affect air quality and allergies, he offers a step-by-step approach to identifying, controlling, and often eliminating the sources of indoor pollutants and allergens. If we could see this contamination, May observes, the air would look as murky as stagnant water, and we would know not to breathe it.

Reading My House Is Killing Me! lets you see your house the way an expert would. Just as he looks at spaces and systems during an indoor air quality investigation, May focuses first on the areas of daily life (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen), then looks into attics and basements (including heating and air conditioning), and finally moves outside to the garage and the exterior of a home. Along with offering a wealth of practical advice and proven solutions for various allergies related problems, he includes a glossary of terms and a list of valuable resources.

If dust mites, mold, or mildew trigger your allergies, you will find this book amazingly helpful.

My House Is Killing Me! The Home Guide for Families With Allergies and Asthma

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by: Jeffrey C. May Jonathan M. Samet Release Date: 23 November, 2001, Media: Paperback's Price: $12.32 prices subject to change.

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Reader Comments

Common Sense Steps to Combat Allergies in the Home

If you own a house or plan to buy one in the future then this book is a MUST read. The author takes you through a list of things to watch out for, room by room, section by section.

Is it possible to find the perfect home? Perhaps not, but the author takes you through a list of common sense steps you can take to improve living arrangements for you and your family, especially if there is a family history of asthma or allergies.

If you buy this book, be warned, it is hard to put down. The author does an excellent job of providing details when needed, but keeps the story line moving and interesting.

Suffer From Home Causing Allergies No Longer

When I heard about this often-referenced book, I wondered if it was just 'sensationalist'. It's not.  This book is alternately frightening and terribly funny. In his Closing Remarks, Mr. May says, "If you read this book and then go out and purchase a HEPA vacuum, I'll be pleased; but if you throw out your couch or mattress, I'll be upset. I wrote the book not to cause hysteria, but to help people suffering from allergies and asthma gain control over the air quality where they live, play and work. I believe firmly that taking simple steps can make enormous improvements, just as minor omissions can create major problems."

This book starts off with an introduction of allergy causing organisms, ranging from mold to mites. The microphotographs of carpet bettles and dust mites are like something from a scary movie. After that, Mr. May discusses the "Stage, Set and Crew" - rugs, furniture, bedding, pets, plants, and our own bodies. These make up our environment. Mr. May talks about a whole host of allergens including pets, mites, mold, and off-gassing. He also addresses important issues such as air-quality problems (such as carbon monoxide buildup) and home hazards, including improper wiring. Throughout the book, he discusses moisture and moisture control as it applies to specific areas of a home.

top worst city for spring allergies
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which annually puts out a list of the nation's top 100 Spring Allergy locations, list the following cities as the worst in the nation for spring allergies.

basic factors about allergies
When outdoors, we are exposed to pollens and other irritants. But when indoors, we are also exposed to "allergens". Allergens are proteins that originate from cockroaches, mold, pets, and dust mites.

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