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Health Tip: Controlling Mold

Is it making you sick?

(HealthDay News) -- If you suffer from seasonal allergies, your doctor probably has recommended staying indoors when pollen levels get too high.

But there may be little relief from sneezing, itchy eyes and other allergic symptoms if your home is cluttered with indoor allergens such as dust mites and animal dander.

And then there's mold, which can lead to allergy and respiratory problems that can prove deadly. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) offer these tips for keeping mold growth in your home under control:

  • Keep the indoor humidity level at less than 40 percent. A hygrometer can help you monitor the indoor humidity level. A dehumidifier and/or air conditioner may be needed, especially in damp areas of the home.
  • Fix the source of any water leaks that allow mold spores to grow on windowsills or in refrigerator drip pans.
  • Try to identify areas where molds and mildew reside on hard surfaces, and clean these areas with a bleach-based product.
  • Make sure your home has adequate ventilation. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, and ventilate clothes dryers to the outside.
  • Wipe down your shower curtains frequently.
  • Reduce the number of live indoor plants.
  • Keep windows closed, if possible.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements, especially if there are mildew problems in these rooms.
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