Skip navigation
† D. Indoor Pollution And The Rise Of Asthma

Narrator: This is Science Today. Over the past decade the number of asthma sufferers has jumped by 61 percent afflicting more than 14 million Americans. But why are people becoming more allergenic? Asthma specialist Homer Boushey (Boo-shea) of the University of California, San Francisco says a lot of attention has been focused on indoor air pollution..

Boushey: Not pollution from industrial activity, but pollution from domestic patterns of life.

Narrator: These include the presence of pets, house dustmites and cockroaches. The most common of these three allergens is the dustmite, which Boushey says flourishes in the American home.

Boushey: Before 1950, indoor carpeting was a mark of wealth and wood floors were common. Well, itís kind of the reverse now, carpeting is most common, wall-to-wall and carpeting over concrete is the worst thing for an asthmatic because not only do mites live well, but other molds and allergens do well in the humid air trapped under the carpet and itís very hard to clean it out.

Narrator: Instead, Boushey recommends linoleum or wood flooring. For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.