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.

Learning From Detroit

Recently, Healthy Homes staff Paul Haan, Jennifer Spiller, and Hannah Gilliam took a trip to Detroit to visit CLEARCorps/Detroit. Learn more about what they experienced.


Don't Boil Fabuloso! Your Favorite Smells Might Be Triggering Your Child's Asthma

In just the past month of visiting homes with my co-worker Hannah, we have been alarmed to come across two different families who heat Fabuloso in a pot on the stove in order to make the house smell nice. Both of the moms we spoke with had children with asthma and mentioned that heating Fabuloso was something that others they knew were also doing. Concerned about the safety of this practice, I took a quick look at the back of a bottle of Lavender-scented Fabuloso and read the warning label: “DO NOT DRINK..."


Governor Appoints Healthy Home Executive Director to Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission

Governor Snyder appointed Paul Haan, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, to the newly formed Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission created by Executive Order today. The Commission will advance the work completed by a temporary board appointed in 2016. Haan and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss served on the former board that issued a set of recommendations in November 2016.