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Make Your Bedroom a Haven From Allergens

By HERWriter
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Ideally your bedroom should be a haven, a place to escape to and relax and recharge. If it can be an allergen-free zone, so much the better.

"If allergies are getting you down, expand your spring-cleaning routine to create an allergen-free bedroom for you or other family members who are suffering. Your bedroom can serve as a controlled sanctuary where you enjoy clean air and freedom from pollen, dust mites, pet dander and dreaded mold or mildew."

There are some things you can do toward this end. You can keep your pets out of your bedroom, and resist the impulse to decorate with fresh flowers. Regular vacuuming, and occasionally steam cleaning will help to keep your haven pristine.

You can invest in bedding that is designed to repel pests and that don't contain allergens like down feathers. Avoid the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde. Proper ventilation and the right humidity and moisture levels will prevent mold.


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EmpowHER Guest

I would encourage everyone to test their bedroom for formaldehyde concentration. Using the passive asc badge that the Sierra Club used to discover the FEMA trailers, testing is not expensive ($39 including lab analysis) and easy enough to do yourself.

Why test?

The California Air Resources Board's report published December 15, 2009 states:

"Nearly all homes (98%) had formaldehyde concentrations that exceeded guidelines for cancer and chronic irritation..."

Smmary: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past/04-310exec_sum.pdf
Report: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past/04-310.pdf
Researcher's PowerPoint: http://iee-sf.com/resources/pdf/ResidentialVentilation.pdf

State of CA recommends not exceeding 7 ppb in a home. Formaldehyde has been shown to decrease lung function in children at 30 ppb and increase the risk of asthma at 50 ppb.

In bedrooms controlling formaldehyde can be as simple as sealing backs of dressers, desks, bookcases and bottoms of drawers. The unfinished pressboard used in these locations is typically a source. Cribs often have a piece under the matteress. Miniumize MDF by not having molding. Move furniture out of the bedroom or at least as far from the pillow area as possilble. Increase ventilation.

May 4, 2010 - 8:24am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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