November is National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month, and to recognize it and the people with this disease, the testing laboratory EMSL Analytical reminded patients of indoor air quality pollutants, irritants, and allergens that can aggravate their condition.
According to EMSL, indoor air pollutants and allergens that may exacerbate COPD include dust and dust mites; pet dander; pollen; mold and bacteria; fumes from cleaning and other chemicals; dry cleaning chemicals; smoke from fireplaces and wood stoves; dirty heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts; dirty carpeting; some perfumes, scented soaps and shampoos; and infiltrated outdoor pollution.
“For those with COPD, identifying the presence of any of these in a work or home environment could help them manage their condition,” Joe Frasca, EMSL Analytical senior vice president of marketing, said in a press release.
“Results from indoor environmental quality testing can provide the necessary information about pollutant exposure risks that could then be mitigated or eliminated from a home or workplace to improve the respiratory health of people who have COPD,” he added.
According to Frasca, EMSL offers “environmental testing services, sampling supplies, test kits and air monitoring instrumentation to help in these efforts.”
The company also sponsored the production of an educational video about indoor allergens and pollutants, and their association with COPD.
COPD is considered the third-leading cause of death by disease in the United States. According to a 2017 report from the American Lung Association, roughly 15.3 million U.S. residents have been diagnosed with COPD, and millions more are likely to have the condition but are unaware of it.
While genetics are a factor in rare cases, the risks of COPD can often be reduced by avoiding respiratory infections, indoor air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. Between 85 and 90 percent of all COPD cases are caused by cigarette smoking.
Although the disease can be treated and managed, it currently has no cure.
National COPD Awareness Month, observed every November, was created with the goal to increase awareness and educate the public about the disease.