From WebMD’s slideshow: 10 Ways to Reduce Mold

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can experience negative effects when they come in contact with the mold and allergen in many common household items?

We’re not just talking about the things that start growing in your home after a flood. Mold and allergens often show up unexpectedly as unwelcomed guests. Fortunately, they aren’t too hard to avoid and get rid of if you know what to look out for.

Many items that we bring into our homes can trigger allergies or other sensitivities. These  include cardboard boxes, packages and other items sent or brought to you. The worse of these would be old things that have been around a while gathering dust. Get rid of packaging in the garage and clean things before you bring them into you home.

Have you ever walked into a library and felt a tickle in your nose or throat? Old books and documents can often trigger allergies. Consider gently dusting or vacuuming these items before they’re allowed inside.

Holidays seem to attract unwanted guests.  Ornaments, decorations, gift wrap…  come out of storage with a year’s worth of accumulated allergens. At least give them a wipe-down, if not a complete cleaning, before putting them away and before you set them up.

Consider NOT bringing that used mattress home. This can be a tough and sensitive issue. Sure, it’s OK to pass on mattresses from one generation to another, but what are you getting when you inherit an old mattress or other bedding from someone? Don’t be tempted by that new-looking mattress at your neighbor’s garage sale. You just don’t know what you are getting into. Did you know that every mattress has dust mites? At the very least, vacuum it before you put your clean linens on it and use it.

Old furniture, rugs and carpet may be very important to you, but be sure to have them professionally cleaned before bringing them into your home. These are items that can collect all types of allergens and other contaminants that can affect you and your family.

Don’t be afraid to throw old things out. Your health is more important than stuff!

Make sure that what you bring into your home is safe and sound — and safe for any allergy or asthma issues you or your family may have.

Want to learn more about about reducing mold and allergens in your home? See WebMD’s slideshow: 10 Ways to Reduce Mold Allergies.

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