Asthma affects 8.4% of the U.S. population as of 2010, including 18.7 million adults and 7 million children, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Asthma’s Impact on the Nation report. This rate has increased since 2001, when asthma affected 7.3% of Americans.
However, asthma’s prevalence in women and children is on the rise. It affects 9.5% of people under 17 and 7.7% of people over 18. Asthma affects 9.2% of women (compared to 7% of men). Asthma-related cases also now cost $56 billion annually. Antihistamine medications, used to control allergy symptoms like hay fever and hives, are also getting pricier, costing anywhere from $13 to over $300 per month.
A variety of external allergens trigger asthma attacks, and most of these can be found in a commercial setting. Some triggers, like dust mites, are almost impossible to see. Yet, it is as critical to get rid of dust mites as it is to eliminate the easy to see problems. These include:
Eliminating these triggers not only helps reduce medical spending for employers and employees alike, it provides a safer environment for workers and customers.
Using steam cleaning products to get rid of dust mites and other allergens within carpet, upholstery and furniture fabrics is more effective (and safer) than insecticides, carpet shampooing and dry cleaning. It is recommended to steam clean every six to 12 months in order to keep the environment as clean as possible.