10 Tips to Reduce Household Dangers for People With COPD

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
  • smoking, cigarettes, ashtray
    Improve indoor air quality by reducing these household triggers.
    If you have COPD, you know that smoking or being around secondhand smoke can make your condition worse. Keeping your home smoke-free helps. But other COPD triggers may be lurking around your house, as well. Read on to learn about these common household hazards—and how to sidestep them.
  • Cleaning supplies
    1. Avoid aerosol spray cans.
    Many health, cleaning, and beauty products come in aerosol cans. These may emit chemicals linked to respiratory problems. Whenever possible, opt for pump sprays or lotions instead.
  • mold in the corner of a room
    2. Watch for mold.
    Mold is a danger to respiratory health. Prevent mold by keeping your kitchen and bathroom well-ventilated. Seal your basement from water leaks. And make sure indoor humidity levels stay between 30% and 50%.
  • Paint
    3. Keep harmful chemicals out.
    Harmful chemicals may be found in several household items—from paint and pesticides to car exhaust. Whenever possible, reduce or eliminate them. Don’t let your car idle in the garage. Remove air fresheners, and keep your house well-ventilated.
  • fireplace
    4. Don't use a fireplace.
    In addition to maintaining a smoke-free house, you may need to put out the flames in your hearth, as well. Avoid using the fireplace. If you do, consider switching from firewood to gas logs. And make sure the fireplace is properly ventilated.
  • cleaning
    5. Clean naturally.
    Although keeping your house clean is important, cleaning supplies can be full of toxic chemicals. Products containing volatile organic compounds—as well as ammonia, bleach, and even some fragrances—can be harmful. Instead, clean with natural ingredients like baking soda, or vinegar and water.
  • air conditioner unit
    6. Service your appliances.
    Home appliances can release harmful gases and other irritants. Make sure they’re inspected and cleaned regularly. This includes furnaces and central air conditioning.
  • Janitors, Housekeepers, and Hospital Workers
    7. Avoid dusty activities.
    If possible, leave your house and get someone else to do chores that are extra dusty, such as vacuuming. If you must do the cleaning, reduce airborne particles as much as possible. Using a damp cloth or mop when dusting can be helpful.
  • Carpet
    8. Be wary of carpet.
    If you can, remove carpeting from your home. New carpet and carpet padding can emit toxic gases. Old carpeting can collect pollutants like dust, mold spores, and pesticides. If you can’t get rid of your carpeting, be sure to keep it clean and dry. Regular vacuuming can help.
  • smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector
    9. Monitor for carbon monoxide.
    If you don’t already, start monitoring your home for carbon monoxide gas—an odorless gas caused by the burning of fuels. Breathing in the gas can cause serious health problems and even death. People with respiratory problems are especially at risk. Install carbon monoxide alarms near sleeping areas.
  • air filter
    10. Consider cleaning the air.
    Some air purifiers on the market can produce air that’s 99% particle-free. Just be sure to research your options, if you choose to buy one. Not all available products are effective.
10 Household Triggers for COPD
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Last Review Date: 2022 Feb 10
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.