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Drier indoor air can combat asthma, allergies

(ran HT SP CI TP editions)

Bothered by allergies or asthma? The American Lung Association says that to breathe easier indoors, you've simply got to cut down on the amount of moisture in the air.

Fungi and house dust mites thrive in moisture, a workshop report says, and one main source of problems is in a home's foundation, walls and roof.

The report, "Achieving Healthy Indoor Air," says poor ventilation and deterioration of construction and sealing materials also affect moisture levels, allowing wetness to seep in through windows, doors and vents.

The association says air pollution indoors is often significantly higher than it is outdoors. Most Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.

Some tips for cutting down on air moisture and indoor pollution include:

Wash bedding weekly and blankets monthly.

Use central air conditioners and avoid humidifiers.

If you have a dog or cat, bathe them weekly and control their movements in the house.

To find out how to get a copy of the report, call (800) 586-4872.