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Healthy Homes: Reduce Chemical Irritants

Step 1: Learn about chemical irritants

  • chemical irritantsChemical irritants are compounds that usually have a noticeable smell and can irritate your child’s lungs and make their asthma worse even if you child is not allergic.

  • Chemical irritants are found in:

    • Scented air fresheners
    • Scented candles
    • Incense
    • Household cleaners
    • Paints
    • Adhesives/glues
    • Perfumes
    • Car exhaust
    • Building materials such as vinyl flooring and particle board


Step 2: Take action

  1. Do not use air fresheners, scented candles, incense, or cleaning chemicals with strong odors in your child’s bedroom.

  2. Make sure your child is at school or out of the house when painting, using glues or adhesives, or cleaning chemicals with strong odors.

  3. Use non-fragranced cleaners or polishes you rub on rather than spray.

  4. Store paints, glues, and cleaning chemicals in a closed cabinet in the garage or an area far away from your child’s bedroom.

  5. When buying new furniture allow it to “air out” in the garage or other non-occupied space for a few days before bringing it into the house.

  6. When replacing carpet or painting, open the windows and provide plenty of outside air for several days after the work is completed.

  7. Do not allow your car to run in an attached garage.

  8. Always use the fan on your stove or open a window when cooking.