Age Healthier Breathe Easier
Preventative Steps to Avoid Environmental Hazards for those with Lung Diseases
Exposure to indoor and outdoor environmental hazards can worsen the health of persons living with lung disease. This page offers information on steps you can take to reduce your exposure to these environmental hazards. For more detailed information, please see our series of easy-to-read facts sheets and brochures.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It is characterized by obstruction to airflow making it difficult to breathe.
- Outdoor air pollution: Particle pollution may aggravate lung diseases including, COPD and asthma, and may be responsible for serious health effects, including hospitalization ad premature death.
- Indoor air pollution: Many older persons spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, often at home. Common indoor environmental hazards that may trigger COPD and asthma attacks include tobacco smoke, animal dander, dust and pollen. Other sources of environmental triggers include combustion products, pressed wood, pesticides and household cleaners.
- Reduce exposure to outdoor air pollution: Pay attention to Air Quality Index (AQI) forecasts to know when the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Lower your outdoor activity level when the AQI is high.
- Reduce exposure to indoor air pollution: Avoid smoke from tobacco. Encourage smokers to smoke outdoors. Avoid or limit use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Fix water leaks promptly and eliminate mold, dust mites and cockroaches in your home.
- Use caution when working around the house: Improve ventilation when painting by scheduling indoor painting for times when windows can be left open and by using fans. Take frequent fresh air breaks when painting.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning: Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door open.
Keep gas appliances properly adjusted. Install and use exhaust fans. Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up your central heating system annually.
- Age Healthier Breathe Easier poster printable (PDF) (1 p, 4.4MB)
Publication Number: EPA-100-H03-001
- Spanish translation - Envejezca de manera más saludable: Respire con mayor
facilidad. (PDF) (1p, 347K)
Publication Number: EPA 100-H-08-002
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