Moulds Moulds are microscopic fungi that live on plant and animal matter. They can be found almost anywhere as they grow on virtually any substance where moisture is present. For people sensitive to moulds, inhaling mould spores can cause an asthma attack.
Second-hand Smoke Second-hand smoke, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), consists of exhaled smoke from smokers and side-stream smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, including over 40 compounds that are known to cause cancer (WHO, Tobacco Atlas, Health Risks).
Dust Mites Dust mites are tiny insects that are invisible to the naked eye. Every home has dust mites. They feed on human skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and faeces from dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with allergic reactions to dust mites, and exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.
Cockroaches, Other Pests Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma attacks. Cockroach allergens are likely to play a significant role in asthma in many inner-city or congested living areas.
Pets Contact with pets can cause asthma as dead skin flakes, urine, faeces, saliva and hair may trigger respiratory congestion and disease. Dogs, cats, rodents and other mammals put individuals and families at risk of allergic reactions to animal dander.