I am taking a departure this week from my world of Organic Beauty Products because I have come across a fantastic article to help those who suffer from Allergen Attacks. Here's an excerpt from a phenomenal magazine, E Magazine, March/April 2009. Where to Find Indoor Allergy and Asthma Triggers, and How to Stop Them by Jeffrey C. May Some sources of indoor allergens are well known: mattresses and bed pillows infested with dust mites, for example, and carpeting that contains pet dander. Others are more secret. If you or anyone in your family has allergies or asthma, getting to know the more unrecognized allergen sources and where they are located can help you take steps to reduce the indoor triggers. Dog Beds Dog beds can become infested with dust mites and their allergens. Your beloved companion's fur is then exposed to the allergens -- and you are, too, when you cuddle the dog, or if you allow the dog to sleep on your bed. Solution: Use a blanket or think quilt instead of a thick dog bed that can't be washed, and wash the blanket or quilt at least once a month. Fish Fish are often the pet of choice when children are allergic to dogs or cats. Unfortunately, dust mites can colonize a fish-tank cover, where there is warm, moist air and plenty of food in the form of protein-rich fish flakes. Solution: Don't put a fish tank in your allergic child's bedroom, and wherever the tank is located, always keep the cover and tank rim free of dust and fish food. Feathers Feathers produce fragments that can be irritating to breathe and may contain microscopic granules of bird allergens. Families with allergic or asthmatic members should avoid feather-filled bedding or furniture. Feathers are also a problem when attached to a living bird. Several types of respiratory diseases, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, are associated with contact with birds and their microscopic dander. So it's not a great idea to have a pet bird in the house, either, especially cockatiels. Solution: The solution is rather obvious here. The birdie has to find a new home. Jar Candles Jar candles (regardless of the type of wax inside) produce a lot of soot that can stain walls and ceilings. Soot particles are small enough to remain permanently suspended in air and to be breathed deep into the lungs. And a soot particle can also become a surrogate allergen (carrying the allergen on its surface). Solution: If you find you can't give up burning candles altogether, burn tapered candles, which typically produce less soot. Personally, I have found this information enormously helpful. Haven't you? Stay tuned for Part II of Jeffrey May's Secret Allergen Attacks next time.