DENVER (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, breaking out in rashes, swelling up and getting stuffed up from everything from pollen to peanuts. Now there's an at-home test to see if what's inside it is making you sick.
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It seems just about everything makes Lisa Chipouras sneeze.
"Springtime is always bad because everything is always blooming. Summer can be bad, but winter is kind of bad too because of all the pollution and everything is kind of closed in," Chipouras told Ivanhoe.
It's when she's inside she hopes to control her allergies.
"I try to keep it as dust free as possible, but it's hard," she said.
Industrial hygienists at National Jewish Health in Denver have designed an indoor air quality test kit for people like Chipouras to measure levels of the five most common allergens -- cats, dogs, mold, dust mites and cockroaches.
"This particular kit enables people to understand what they're exposed to, at what level they're exposed to and they may be able to understand the association of why they wake up coughing and wheezing and sneezing," David Tinkelman, M.D., a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, Co., explained.
To test, measure out a patch of carpet, attach a small device on your vacuum cleaner hose, run it and mail it back to the lab.
"We look at about 15 different species of mold. We're looking at a simple way that you can do that at a difference, find out what the levels are and then plot a course of action," John Martyny, an industrial hygienist at National Jewish Health, said.
Test results are posted on a secure website. Chipouras's came back high in dog -- even though she doesnít have one -- and moderate in molds.
"It kind of grossed me out how much dust is in there," she said. "It's amazing how much is in there."
Now she knows and can do something about it.
The family air care indoor allergens and mold test kit can be purchased online for $299. Go to www.greendepot.com to find out more information.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the American Industrial Hygiene Association contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.