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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Clean With The Steam Team

Many of my family members smoke. Some of them have animals. Because of my allergies, I cannot visit many of my loved ones, even for an afternoon.

My reaction to pet dander and smoke is so strong, that just one visit with someone who smokes or who has animals can put me in the hospital – and that's after a daily dose of Advil, Singulair, and Atrovent.

As much as I try to stay away from smokers, I can't – I live with a smoker. He is not alone in believing that by opening a door and by standing in the doorway, he is preventing smoke from entering my home. No argument, no matter how strongly supported by research, will convince him that his smoke is adversely affecting me; he thinks that by standing inside and holding his cigarette outside, all of his smoke is going outdoors.

What he and others who think like him don't know is that when the tiniest amount of smoke enters my home, it also enters my lungs and chokes me with spasms of coughing. I have asthma, and I can feel my lungs constrict every time the sting from smoke enters my lungs.

Smoke damages my home as well as my lungs. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, and even in the 70s, nobody thought to go outside to smoke. What happened to the walls in our home (and other homes where smokers resided) was so grossly ugly, it gave everything a mustard yellow cast.

No paint color and no number of paint coats helped remove the ugly mustard layer. And what it did for the smell of the home was enough to cause me and other nonsmokers to gag.

Another problematic situation that develops over the winter months is moisture that seeps into the home. Mold can develop. For me, mold is not just a problem, it is life-threatening. In addition to all of my other allergies, I am highly allergic to mold.

I smoked when I was a young adult, which was really stupid, considering I've had asthma since I was 5. Though I no longer smoke, I'm concerned about the proliferation of allergies among young children. More children today are allergic to pets, smoke, and mold than ever before.

As parents and grandparents, we need to educate themselves on ways to make our homes as hypoallergenic as possible. And Spring is a perfect opportunity to freshen the home and to get rid of odors.

Begin with:

1) Getting rid of smoke stains and odors.
2) Cleaning air ducts.
3) Cleaning furniture (smoke seeps into furniture too).
4) Searching for and destroying mold.

Fortunately, I've found help online for do it yourself air duct cleaning. I've also found furniture cleaning tips online. You can click on the links for information on how to clean your ducts and your furniture.

Also, if you live in the Austin, Texas, area, The Steam Team offers cigarette smoke odor removal in Austin and also mold odor removal in Austin. Click those links for more information.

Before I leave this blog, I would like to ask a favor of all of you smokers. Please believe me when I say that when you smoke by an open door, your smoke WILL blow inside. Please be considerate of young children, of people who don't smoke, and especially of people with respiratory problems. Thank you.

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

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Help For Single Parents 


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Theresa Wiza's Blog 


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