Environmental Factors

Some indoor environmental factors have been shown to increase asthma symptoms and trigger asthma attacks in people who already have asthma. Common indoor environmental factors include house dust mites, allergens produced by cats, dogs and cockroaches, secondhand smoke, fungi or molds, and high levels of nitrogen dioxide from indoor sources such as stoves, heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces. In addition, research suggests that house dust mites and secondhand smoke may contribute to the development of asthma in susceptible children.

The relationship between outdoor air pollution and asthma is less clear, though an increase in asthma symptoms is known to occur when pollen counts are high. Current research is focusing on the role ozone, sulfur dioxide, diesel particulates, and other outdoor air pollutants may play.

Interventions to address environmental factors recommend identifying allergen exposures, assessing sensitivity to allergens, and reducing or eliminating exposure. Creating “asthma-friendly” environments to minimize or eliminate common allergens is something people in communities can do in their homes, schools, and workplaces.

Resources in New Hampshire

NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) Air Quality Forecasting – For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire,
Toll-Free: 800-935-SMOG

NH Environmental Health Tracking Program – The NH Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program is your source for State and National environmental health data.

Regional Resources

EPA Daily Air Quality Forecast

Environmental Health Watch’s Asthma Page – EHW is a non-profit organization that provides health and environment information, assistance and advocacy.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England

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National Resources

Dealing with Mold and Mildew in Your Flood Damaged Home – from FEMA

US Environmental Protection Agency Mold

America’s Children and the Environment Measures of Contaminants, Body Burdens and Illnesses, Second Edition. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Includes quantitative information from a variety of sources to show trends in levels of environmental contaminants in air, water, food, and soil; concentrations of contaminants measured in the bodies of children and women; and childhood illnesses (including asthma)that may be influenced by exposure to environmental contaminants.

Tools for Schools Action Kit. Managing Indoor Air Quality in the School Environment. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Helps schools identify, solve and prevent indoor air quality problems in the school environment.
Toll-Free: 800-438-4318