Valentine’s Day is the day we celebrate romantic love with cards, special dinners and gifts. Many of those gifts, not surprisingly, are associated with pleasant fragrances — such as flowers, potted plants, scented candles, perfumes, bath oils and handcrafted soaps. Unfortunately, despite their pleasing scents, these products can be a source of respiratory distress for many people, with symptoms ranging from sneezing and sniffling to asthmatic or severe allergic reactions.
If the impact on our indoor air quality is severe enough, it may be that the gift must be disposed of or sequestered. If that special someone in your life has a sensitivity to fragrances, pollen, and pet dander, here’s what you should know about IAQ concerns.
Be careful about bestowing the following Valentine’s Day gifts if your beloved has any respiratory sensitivities.
Flowers and potted plants: Living plants and cut flowers can give off pollen, a common allergen. Also, plants and flowers may have gotten mold on them either in a greenhouse or during delivery. Many people are allergic to mold spores.
Pets that shed: Any pet that sheds its hair will also produce pet dander, which is flaky skin, and a substance some people are allergic to. A dog breed that doesn’t shed as much is a better choice for a pet for people with dander allergies.
Fragrances: Fragrant substances give off volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, many of which are irritants to people with allergies or other respiratory problems. To be sure, not all VOCs are dangerous or to be avoided: the fragrance of spring flowers, for instance, is made up of a number of VOCs.
If your loved one suffers from sensitivity to any of these substances, you’re probably better off giving a box of chocolates and going out for a romantic dinner.
Want to know more about IAQ concerns and how to deal with them? Contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).