COPD & Your Home: 9 Health Risks

household risks copd( — Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 43 that are known to cause cancer. No wonder it poses as an enormous threat to the lungs of people with COPD. But those are not the only threats to people with COPD. Many homes harbor dust, fumes, germs, and other irritants that aggravate symptoms like wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. You might be surprised at some of the things around the house that can cause trouble.

Here are nine household hazards for people with COPD:

1. Air Ducts Filled With Dust

The forced-air heating and cooling systems found in many homes can blow dust and other irritants throughout the house. Cleaning the air ducts periodically can help alleviate this problem.

2. Carpets That Collect Dust and Dirt

Rugs and carpets are another major source of dust and dirt. For example, when you walk on a carpet or rug, you stir up a cloud of dust that you may or may not be able to see. Wall-to-wall carpets cause more trouble than rugs, because they tend to be bigger (and therefore harbor more irritants) and harder to clean than rugs (which can simply be rolled up and taken to a cleaner). New carpets can be especially irritating, because they can “out-gas” formaldehyde and other noxious organic compounds for an extended period of time after installation.