Allergies
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Clear the Air: Home Allergies

Coughing, sneezing and wheezing in your home? Find out if you know how to clear the air of allergens with our quiz.

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Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 1 of 20 Correct

What percentage of time do average Americans spend indoors?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Most Americans spend nearly 90 percent of their time indoors, which increases our exposure to indoor pollutants from sources such as cleaning products and dust mites.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 2 of 20 Correct

What is the largest source of pollution inside homes?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Cigarette smoke is the single largest source of particulate pollution inside homes: it contains more than 4,000 chemicals. Keep cigarette smoke at least 500 feet from your home and you'll reduce your risk of several cancers, heart disease, asthma attacks and other conditions.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 3 of 20 Correct

In which of the following home areas can mold thrive?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Mold thrives in warm, moist environments -- especially in basements, on drywall and in bathrooms and kitchens. Be watchful for signs of possible mold growth in these areas. Mold can cause wheezy, sneezy, eye-itching allergies and even asthma.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 4 of 20 Correct

Which of these home treatments can get rid of mold?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: For small spots of mold, you can use bleach. However, if the mold has grown and is covering a larger portion of your home, you should call in professional help to make sure the mold is removed completely and safely.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 5 of 20 Correct

Which of these devices may spew air particles into the air, irritating allergies?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Vacuum cleaners and heating/cooling vents spew particles into the air. When you vacuum, you stir up dust and allergens from the carpet. This may cause allergy problems in people who are sensitive to these allergens. And if you haven't properly cleaned your air/heat intakes and replaced the filters, they may be returning more allergens on the other end, which can trigger allergies.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 6 of 20 Correct

Which is better for cleaning floors?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Vacuuming can remove dust mites from the floor, but it also stirs them up. Steam cleaning your floors, furniture, carpets and drapes gets them clean without introducing new allergens into your home's air.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 7 of 20 Correct

What might cause you to have a runny nose when you wake up?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If you regularly wake up feeling stuffy or with a runny nose and itchy eyes, you may be allergic to something in your pillows or mattress. Start by replacing your pillows and see if your symptoms improve.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 8 of 20 Correct

Which of these is a strong-smelling, colorless chemical used in the manufacturing of many different products?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling chemical that is used in many manufactured products, despite the likelihood that it causes cancer at high exposure levels. In home environments, the biggest source of formaldehyde is typically pressed-wood products, such as plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 9 of 20 Correct

Which of these items may contain formaldehyde?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above are examples of products that may contain formaldehyde. Be sure to use these products in well-ventilated areas or avoid them all together if you are sensitive to formaldehyde.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 10 of 20 Correct

True or false: Breathing in air fresheners can reduce your lung function.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Air fresheners and spray-on cleaners contain a volatile organic compound (VOC) called 1,4-dichlorobenzene. If you breathe these in regularly, you could reduce your lung function by 4 percent. To freshen your home or living areas, use 100 percent essential oils instead.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 11 of 20 Correct

How often should you wash bed linens to avoid problems with a dust mite allergy?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Dust mites collect in your sheets easily. Wash your bed linens at least once a week in hot water, detergent and bleach (if possible).

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 12 of 20 Correct

Which of these things may increase the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above are linked to elevated levels of VOCs. However, hundreds of products emit VOCs, including fabrics, swimming pool water and tap water.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 13 of 20 Correct

Which of these furniture options is better for people who are sensitive to VOCs?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Stainless steel and solid wood furniture emits fewer VOCs. When possible, buy alternative products containing lower levels of formaldehyde and VOCs, especially if you or someone in your home is especially sensitive to VOCs.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 14 of 20 Correct

Where should you store paints and solvents to avoid polluting your home with VOCs?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Store paints, solvents and other material with high VOC levels in a garage space or workshop area, not inside the house. Further, keep cleaners, paints and solvents tightly sealed when not in use so fumes cannot escape.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 15 of 20 Correct

True or false: You can suffer immediate health effects after being exposed to VOCs.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Immediate health effects of exposure to high levels of VOCs may include ear, nose and throat irritation; headaches; dizziness; nausea; fatigue; loss of coordination; and allergic skin reactions. Exposure to elevated levels of VOCs in the home may also put your children at an increased risk of developing asthma.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 16 of 20 Correct

Mothballs emit VOCs. What can you use instead to keep pests away from clothes and linens?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Use cedar chips instead of mothballs, which emit unhealthy VOCs, to keep insects away from your clothes and bed linens.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 17 of 20 Correct

Which of these may be a source of radon?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in America, is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil, rock, groundwater and well water. It can also be found in some building materials made from stone and earth.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 18 of 20 Correct

How many American homes have elevated levels of radon?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: More people than you might think have elevated levels of radon in their homes -- an estimated 1 in every 15 homes. If you're concerned about radon in your home, you can conduct radon testing for very little money.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 19 of 20 Correct

True or false: You should hang dry-cleaned clothes outside for an hour before bringing them into your home.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Hang dry-cleaned clothes outside for at least an hour before bringing them into your home to reduce their VOC levels. Dry-cleaning solutions deposit chemicals like trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, or PERC, on your clothing. These chemicals have been linked to kidney and nervous system damage as well as cancer.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
Question 20 of 20 Correct

True or false: Opening your windows introduces more pollutants into your home and should be avoided.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Opening your windows regularly can be healthy. Newer homes are more tightly constructed than older homes, so VOCs and other pollutants can't escape as easily.

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
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You got out of 20 correct. You're a health wiz!

Clear the Air: Home Allergies
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Clear the Air: Home Allergies
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Allergies

Allergies

About one out of five Americans suffers from allergies. An allergy is an exaggerated response from the immune system to a substance such as dust, pollen, pet dander or mold. Other common triggers include foods such as peanuts and ...milk; insect bites; and certain ingredients in cosmetics and jewelry. Allergies can cause anything from rashes and hives to itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and wheezing. More