Embark on a journey to a healthier home this Asthma Week (1-7 September) as Asthma Australia joins with renowned home designer Jamie Durie to promote the importance of creating a safe haven for people with asthma and allergies at home.
With 2.7 million Australians affected by asthma, and a staggering one-third experiencing worse asthma or allergy symptoms in their homes, it’s time to take charge of your living environment, regardless of whether you rent, own a home, or reside in social housing.
“The truth is, we all know someone who suffers from asthma and for me, it’s my partner Ameka,” says Jamie Durie. “Getting involved in Asthma Week, I was shocked to hear that almost 40,000 people are hospitalised by asthma each year, and around half of those are kids under 14 years old. So, for me it’s important that I ask myself, how can I create a healthier environment for them, our family and our future? Well, the solutions are all around us from removing our gas cooktop, cutting down on products that emit VOCs and getting rid of mould. I want to do everything I can to provide the cleanest air possible in my home and put the health of my family first,” says Jamie.
CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said Australia has the highest rates of asthma in the developed world and Asthma Week raises awareness of the huge impact it has on our community.
“We’re delighted to have Jamie Durie on board to help bring the conversation about the importance of healthy homes and asthma into living rooms right across the country,” said CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman.
“Asthma affects so many of us and unfortunately our homes can harbour risks we may not even be aware of like gas cooktops, mould and allergens such as dust mites and pet dander,” says Ms Goldman.
As part of the Asthma Week campaign, people living in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have the chance to win 1 of 2 life-changing healthy home prize packs of top-brand appliances and products worth over $10,000 each. The Asthma Week Healthy Homes Prize Pack competition has a separate prize pack for homeowners and renters. Entry is free at asthmaweek.org.au. The competition is open from 9am, 25 August to 5pm AEST 6 September, and will be drawn at midday AEST on 7 September.
To help people understand what they can do about addressing asthma and allergy risks in the home, Asthma Australia is releasing a Healthy Home Guide available to download at asthmaweek.org.au.
Ms Goldman said that Asthma Australia’s goal of healthy homes for asthma extended beyond community education into broader government action.
“We strongly advocate for governments to act to improve the health of homes, particularly for people who face barriers to improving the health of their homes, whether that’s because they’re renting, or they can’t afford the costs of critical home improvements.
The need for government policies to improve housing conditions is revealed in a world-first research report by Asthma Australia, released earlier this year. The ‘Homes, Health and Asthma’* survey of over 5,000 people found many can’t afford to make changes to make their homes healthier or are unable to do so because they don’t own their home. These changes included installing reverse cycle air conditioning, replacing gas cooktops and addressing mould issues.
“Cost is a major barrier to acting to address health risks in the home, especially in the current cost of living crisis. For renters, the fear of rental hikes or landlords not renewing leases if they asked for upgrades is a big issue. These are things we need governments to intervene on and ensure everyone can live in a home that doesn’t make them sick,” says Ms Goldman .