Media Releases

Get rid of household asthma and allergy triggers before winter hits

5 Apr 2016

This World Allergy Week (April 4 to 10) the National Asthma Council Australia is reminding Australians to reduce their exposure to common household allergy triggers before cold weather arrives.

More than seven million Australians have allergies, including asthma, which is often triggered in winter when people spend more time indoors with mould, dust mites and indoor pollutants.

Adam Trumble, Manager of National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice® Program, said that with temperatures starting to drop, it is time to tackle household allergy triggers head-on before winter hits.

“Avoiding or reducing your exposure to triggers in the home can help with managing your asthma and allergies. Once you know your personal triggers, think about how you could reduce your exposure. Within the home, simple steps can make a real difference to your health as well as to the environment.”

Indoor heating is a particular concern, said Mr Trumble, and not just because heating can dry the air and irritate airway passages.

“Unflued gas heating is unhealthy and, in some cases, dangerous for people with asthma. Wood fires are also not suitable for people with respiratory problems. Flued heaters and filtered reverse-cycle air-conditioning are better options.”

The National Asthma Council Australia has issued these top tips for you to breathe easier during the coming winter:

  • Replace any unflued gas heating
  • Make sure you have enough natural ventilation, including an extractor fan for the bathroom
  • Do a thorough clean while the weather is still good enough to air the room well during and after cleaning
  • Choose cleaning products with lower levels of VOCs or other chemicals, e.g. use naturally fermented white vinegar solution to remove mould
  • Seal any leaks in bathrooms and roofs to reduce mould
  • Simplify your bedding to get rid of potential dust-mites reservoirs – remove extra cushions and soft toys, as well as pillows, quilts or underlays that are not resistant to mould and dust mites
  • Cover your mattress, quilt and pillows with mite-resistant cases, and wash these regularly in hot water
  • Wash your sheets and pillow cases weekly in hot water – don’t forget to wash your pet’s bedding too
  • Keep up your good habits – vacuum carpets and soft furnishings weekly, using a good quality vacuum cleaner (e.g. one with a HEPA filter)
  • Use high-efficiency air filters – these may be integrated in air-conditioning, heat-recovery ventilation systems, or in stand-along air purifiers; air purifiers with an activated carbon filter will remove VOCs from the air.

The Sensitive Choice program was developed by the National Asthma Council Australia to help people find products and services that may help reduce exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. To celebrate World Allergy Week, please share your best tip for managing allergies by May 2 for a chance to win Sensitive Choice approved products from partners Monster, Philips and Tontine. Visit

For more information on asthma and allergies, visit the National Asthma Council Australia website:

For further information, or to arrange an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact:

Lelde McCoy
The Reputation Group            
Tel: 03 92341205       
Mob: 0417362768
Email: [email protected]