Tampa, FL—Each Year the first Tuesday of May is dedicated as “World Asthma Day” to create awareness of the causes, symptoms and treatments for asthma. Asthma is one common respiratory disorder often characterized by difficulty in breathing, chest congestion, wheezing and coughing. Asthmatics, who suffer from this ailment, are diagnosed with narrow airways and inflamed lungs. The symptoms may be triggered or exacerbated due to allergens, infections, exercise, stress, chemical irritants and other environmental or clinical factors.
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, released in December 2016, there were 383,000 deaths due to asthma in 2015. Most of these deaths occurred in low and lower-middle income countries. Approximately 235 million people currently suffer from asthma and it is more common in children than others. According to the CDC, Vitalsigns™ May 2011, 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) have asthma and the numbers are increasing every year. The CDC National Current Asthma Prevalence (2015) estimated 24,633 individuals suffer from this chronic disease. The National Asthma Mortality (2015) rate is estimated at 10.3% per million. Asthma costs the US about $56 billion in medical costs, lost school, work days, and early deaths in 2007.
The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are inhaled substances and particles that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways. Medication can control asthma, but avoidance of allergens responsible for asthma triggering can also reduce or limit the asthmatic attack. Some commonly identified environmental allergens that may cause asthma are, but not limited to; molds, pollen grains, dust mites, cockroaches, rodents, pet dander, chemicals, dusts and other biogenic or abiogenic particulates besides environmental factors. These allergens are dispersed in our surroundings and one can be easily exposed to them. An adequate and appropriate management for preventing asthma due to the above allergens, apart from medical intervention, requires proper identification and prevalence.
To avoid suffering due to seasonal asthma, it is a good idea to know and understand the allergens perpetuating in the surroundings responsible for symptom exasperation. Asthmatics, may consider collecting air and surface samples using Do-It-Yourself screen tests and, with laboratory assistance on the collected samples, can reveal valuable information to strategize asthma managements including the available treatment options. A simple Building Health Check evaluation can also be performed to evaluate and mitigate the allergens that may initiate asthmatic symptoms.
Contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS at (800) 422-7873, Ext. 304 for additional information.
Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab):
Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.