Carpet Cleaning Reducing Asthma
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How Carpet Cleaning Can Reduce Asthma: A Case Study

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 26 million Americans alone (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). It's an obstructive airway disease that can majorly impact quality of life and cause serious symptoms - even death. For people living with asthma, making adjustments to daily routines to avoid triggers is just par for the course. One way to avoid those potential triggers is to get professional carpet cleaning to reduce the presence of allergens that can bring on an asthma attack.

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is a respiratory condition that can cause inflammation and excess mucus production in the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. It's often triggered by allergens, pollutants, and other irritants found in the environment. When an asthmatic person is exposed to these triggers, their airways can become inflamed, which can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Medications can help, but medical intervention may be required in severe cases. Unfortunately the cause of asthma is not completely known. Genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a role in the development of the disease.

Why are Dirty Carpets a Problem for Asthma?

Carpets themselves don't cause asthma. The issue is, they can trap and hold allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms. A poorly maintained carpet that doesn't get cleaned can easily become a hotspot for dust mites, pet dander, and other microscopic allergens. When these allergens are disturbed - for example, when vacuuming or walking - they become airborne where people can inhale them. So in reality, asthma from carpet is entirely based on the fact that carpet harbors so many irritants and not about the make-up of the carpet itself.

Can Carpet Cleaning Reduce Asthma Symptoms?

Carpet cleaning services from a company like Baltimore Carpet & Upholstery may help prevent asthma symptoms by minimizing exposure to pesky allergens. One study from 2018 found that postponing regular carpet cleaning posed a risk of accumulating levels of contaminants in the carpet. Another case study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology explores the topic of household exposures, asthma, & absenteeism from school.

Case study introduction

Asthma, a disease that makes it difficult to breathe, is more common among African-American and Hispanic-American communities. It has become an increasingly serious problem, leading to more severe health issues and death. A significant consequence of asthma in the U.S. is that it's a big reason why kids miss school.

A hospital in Passaic, NJ, in a mainly Hispanic neighborhood, created a 4-year program to check all kids from second to fifth grade for asthma. This program was not only broad but also comprehensive, as it included physical tests for asthma and surveys to understand potential triggers in children's environments. This was important because asthma was causing kids to miss school, and some kids were having severe asthma attacks without even knowing they had the disease.

Passaic was a perfect place to implement this program because it has a diverse range of Hispanic groups. This allowed researchers to look at how asthma and its triggers might differ among various ethnic groups living in the same urban, mostly low-income area. The main goals were to accurately diagnose asthma and to understand its impact on school attendance.

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In the study, each child was given a health check, a lung test, and was asked some questions about their home environment - like if there were smokers or pets. Parents also filled out a questionnaire about their child's breathing issues, home environment, school absenteeism, health insurance, and race/ethnicity. This information helped the researchers to understand possible triggers of asthma and how severe the asthma might be.

The screening program took place over four years. The data collected was then analyzed using statistical software to see if there was a relationship between the home environment and either asthma diagnosis or school absenteeism.


The study returned questionnaires for 72% of the 6480 children, with 77% of those fully completed. Results indicate that the study's sample is likely representative of the child population of Passaic, NJ. Ethnic distribution among asthma diagnoses varied, with Puerto Rican and Black children showing consistently higher rates (26% and 33% respectively), whereas Dominican (14%) and Mexican (7%) children showed lower rates.

Among children with asthma, the usage of medication was low, but saw a significant increase in the fourth year. Major household factors associated with asthma diagnosis were environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and dampness/mildew in the bathroom, presence of furry pets, and presence of roaches.

The study also showed significant differences in environmental exposures between diagnosed and undiagnosed children, those using respiratory medications and those without, and children absent from school at least once a month versus those less frequently absent.

ETS, mold, and the presence of furry pets were all found to contribute significantly to asthma diagnosis, but this model only explained 10% of asthma diagnoses. Including symptoms in the model increased the explanatory value to 47%, leaving ETS and furry pets as the significant exposure factors.

Household exposure factors associated with respiratory symptoms and school absenteeism included ETS, dampness/mildew, and presence of roaches. Among preschool children, the only household exposures associated with asthma diagnosis were damp bathrooms or "any mold".

The study concluded that while symptoms and asthma diagnosis were the primary driving forces behind school absenteeism, ETS and the presence of roaches also contributed significantly.


The researchers observe that their findings on environmental factors associated with asthma are generally consistent with prior research, with some differences possibly due to socioeconomic disparities. Surprisingly, they found that bedroom carpeting might have a protective influence against asthma, a finding contradicting previous studies. This result is currently unexplained and could be due to unknown aspects of the families' lives.

Environmental triggers such as dampness or mold significantly influenced both asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. Over the study period, the associations between symptoms and exposure factors changed, possibly due to various factors like children outgrowing symptoms or successful health interventions.

With more studies on carpeting having a potential protective effect for asthmatics, this suggests how important it is to keep the carpeting clean. Preventing the accumulation of allergens may be highly beneficial for individuals with asthma.

How Does Carpet Cleaning Help Reduce Asthma?

Regular professional carpet cleaning helps control asthma triggers by significantly reducing dust and other allergens in the carpet. Techniques like steam cleaning and hot water extraction can effectively remove these trapped contaminants, while HEPA vacuuming can further reduce the presence of these common triggers. The result? A cleaner, healthier household that's safer for you or any asthmatics in your home.

Should You Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner?

Even though regular vacuuming can help reduce dust, professional carpet cleaning services from Baltimore Carpet & Upholstery provide an added level of toughness DIY methods can't match.

We have access to specialized equipment and cleaning solutions that can effectively eradicate stubborn allergens (and stains). We'll also ensure your carpet isn't overly wet after cleaning - preventing harmful mold and mildew growth. Here are some of the benefits of hiring our professionals vs. doing it yourself:

  • Avoid a labor-intensive job - instead of spending potentially hours trying to clean your own carpets, we'll handle it for you.
  • Get the best results from industrial-grade equipment - renting your own machine is no match for our advanced cleaning tools. We are able to go deeper and remove more dirt.
  • Experience and expertise - we have the knowledge and experience to choose the most effective cleaning method for your type of carpet.
  • Extended life of carpets - our professionals use methods that not only deep clean but also extend the lifespan of your carpets. Our gentle but high-performance cleaning agents preserve the integrity of the carpet fibers.
  • Better results - hiring an expert simply provides superior results! We'll do everything we can to restore your carpets to excellent condition while removing irritating allergens.

If you're worried about asthma from dirty carpeting - leave it to us!

Tips to Help Reduce Allergens Between Professional Cleanings

Between visits from your local carpet cleaners, you can do several things to reduce allergen buildup:

  • Vacuum at least once a week with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
  • Dust and clean surfaces regularly to reduce the amount of dust in your carpet.
  • Have a no-shoes policy to prevent outdoor allergens from being tracked into your house.
  • Wash rugs and other fabrics regularly.

Schedule Your Next Carpet Cleaning Appointment

We're dedicated to helping you achieve a cleaner and healthier home - especially if you suffer from asthma. Some evidence suggests clean carpets can improve the quality of life for asthmatics.

Call Baltimore Carpet & Upholstery today at 410-505-8079 for a free quote!

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