In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.

Particulates

What are Particulates?

Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of particles that usually consist of inorganic and organic chemicals, carbon, sulfates, nitrates, metals, acids, and semi-volatile compounds. 

 

The Source

Particulates can come from a number of sources including household cleaners, chemical air fresheners, cigarette smoke, and unventilated gas stoves and heaters.

 

Who is at Risk?

Children inhale at greater rates than adults and are at greater risk for inhaling particulate matter. Their bodies are more susceptible to damage from particulates. Children and adults with asthma are also at greater risk.

 

Symptoms

People may experience a sore throat, burning eyes, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, and chest pain due to breathing particulates. Particulates also trigger asthma in children and adults. 

 

Health Impacts

Exposure to Particulate Matter can trigger asthma symptoms as well as increase risk to respiratory and cardiovascular health.  

 

Solutions

Green cleaning is one of the most simple ways to clear the air.  Replace harsh cleaning products with less toxic alternatives.  This includes putting away the air fresheners and incense.  Use essential oils instead.  For more ideas, see the resources section of this page.

Environmental tobacco smoke is an especially harmful particulate.  Make your home smoke free by helping people to quit or taking the smoking outside.  Be sure that outside smokers stand far away from the building.

Properly maintaining and venting gas stoves and while using gas heaters is also important.

Many hobby and craft items and construction materials can also put particulates into the air.  Read the labels of the products you use and follow the manufacturer's directions for ventilation.  Consider moving children out of the home when using especially harsh materials like adhesives.

To check the local outdoor air quality and PM rating, check the Michigan Air Quality Index. Consider closing up the home on high-risk days.

 

Did You Know...

It's easier to prevent exposure to chemical contaminants than to remove them from the human body.

Job Opening - FEMA Worker

The Healthy Homes Coalition has an opening for a FEMA Field Worker.  We are seeking a Spanish-speaking (conversational) candidate to work 24 hours/week.


FEMA Awards Healthy Homes Coalition $51,451 for Fire Safety Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an award of $51,451 on September 9, 2016 to the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to make 400 homes safer for children. The award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to teach fire safety and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in 400 homes.


Matthew Breathes Easier!

This spring, our Healthy Housing Specialist Jennifer Spiller began working with Luom and her 5-year-old son, Matthew. Matthew’s asthma was causing him to have a lot of sleepless nights from waking up coughing. Luom was already working with Matthew’s doctor and the Asthma Network of West Michigan to control his asthma, and Healthy Homes was invited to assess their home to see if his environment might be worsening his symptoms.