Hugo Claudin is the newest full-time staff member in the Healthy Homes direct services department. He will be working directly with families struggling with environmental hazards in their homes, visiting them, making action plans for them, and building relationships with them. Hugo brings a unique perspective and experience to this position. Before coming here, he previously worked for Spectrum Health, LINC, and The Red Project, all in a community health capacity. He is also a well-known artist and musician, and an all-around interesting guy.
In Case of Emergency
In case of emergency dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
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.
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.
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.
Exposure to Particulate Matter can trigger asthma symptoms as well as increase risk to respiratory and cardiovascular health.
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.
Emergency room visits can become a part of life for the families Healthy Homes serves, especially those families who deal with severe asthma. Of the six million children in the US with asthma, about 1 in 6 will need emergency care. Dealing with the uncertainty of an asthma attack or any emergency can be upsetting and stressful; it’s beyond important to receive care that is trustworthy and helpful.
That’s where care providers like Emergency Care Specialists come in. ECS is a local group physicians, emergency medicine residents, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners who provide emergency care to patients in West Michigan.
It may seem like an unlikely duo, but Yesterdog and Healthy Homes go way back, and we are thankful for their support and for all the good they do for the Grand Rapids community.