Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Asthma Triggers

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Many indoor allergens and irritants can play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Indoor asthma triggers include mold, tobacco smoke, cleaning supplies, pets, pests and pesticides, gas stoves, and other irritants. If your asthma is triggered by allergies, using multiple strategies to remove or minimize indoor allergens (such as dust mites or pet dander) may be helpful.

This 2-page fact sheet offers tips on controlling allergens and irritants in your home. For additional information on indoor asthma triggers, see Asthma Triggers at Home (Spanish).

Molds are fungi. People are regularly exposed to 200 different fungi. Mold can be an asthma trigger. There is no way to completely avoid exposure to molds, but controlling moisture in the home is the best way to reduce mold in the home. The below resources provide additional information on mold andasthma in Utah.

Chemicals in market cleaning supplies can be a trigger for asthma. See Asthma-friendly cleaning supplies (Spanish) for asthma-friendly home cleaning formulas.

Tobacco smoke triggers asthma attacks in nearly 80% of people with asthma. Smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke, second-hand smoke, can increase asthma symptoms. See Secondhand Smoke and Asthma Fact Sheet for additional information.

Utah has free statewide services to help tobacco users quit:

  • Utah Tobacco Quit Line - 1.888.567.TRUTH (8788)
    • The Utah Tobacco Quit Line is a free, telephone-based service designed to help people quit tobacco.
  • Way to Quit -
    • Way to Quit is a free, internet-based service designed to help people quit tobacco.

Additional information on tobacco prevention programs can be found at the Utah Tobacco Prevention and control Program.

IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little- or no-cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff. The IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit provides:

  • Best practices
  • Industry guidelines
  • Sample policies
  • A sample IAQ management plan

The EPA has taken the IAQ Tools for Schools Problem Solving Wheel and made it available on the web as the Problem Solving Tool. Click on a health symptom to review a list of possible causes of these complaints. Then, use the resources and checklists available in the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit to identify and respond to IAQ issues.