The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported a higher frequency of asthmatic attacks in up to one million children of cigarette IGET Hot Flavours. In the same report the EPA attributed up to 300,000 cases of bronchitis and other respiratory infections in small children to their exposure to secondhand smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is one of the most frequent triggers of asthmatic attacks reported by patients. In sensitive individuals, even brief inhalation of secondhand smoke may precipitate a severe asthmatic attack.
Asthmatic individuals frequently report that household family members continue to smoke despite the patient’s illness. Often the smoking individual will report that they only smoke “in another room.” Separating smokers and nqnsmokers in the home or workplace does not eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. To reduce exposure, smoking must be completely prohibited or restricted to a separately ventilated area in order to provide protection for all nonsmokers and especially those with bronchial asthma.
Wood smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces may also be an irritant and aggravate bronchial asthma. Approximately 6 percent of homes in the United States have wood stoves and 19 percent have fireplaces. Although the smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces is vented to the outdoors, emissions are found to contaminate indoor air during start up and when stoking. Particulate matter may also be produced from these sources, which may irritate bronchial asthma. Good ventilation is essential and an air filter will be helpful if a stove cannot be removed.
Gas stoves may also be a source of indoor pollution. Several airborne irritants may be released by gas combustion including nitrogen dioxide. Although some studies have not found an association between gas stoves and asthma, a recent report suggests that gas stoves may aggravate asthma. As a rule, asthmatic patients should avoid gas and wood-burning stoves.
Formaldehyde and other compounds that exist as vapors are found indoors as emissions from construction materials, furnishings such as carpeting, and insulation. Formaldehyde is used in many products including cosmetics, toiletries, medications, and in some foods as a preservative. This compound is known to be irritating to the lining of the nose and bronchial tubes and cases of occupational asthma due to formaldehyde have been reported.
At this time, it is not clear how great a role formaldehyde and similar compounds play in aggravating bronchial asthma. Th minimize your risk of exposure to these vapors, building materials and furnishings can be selected that do not contain formaldehyde and that have low rates of emission of similar compounds. Ventilation can be increased in areas that are suspected or known to have increased amounts of these substances. Existing sources of formaldehyde such as carpeting can be removed from the home or office. Cleaning solutions, gasoline, and similar materials’ are best stored in a separate area with excellent ventilation.