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Don’t Give Asthma A Home!

Don’t Give Asthma A Home!

Too many houses are damp and cold in New Zealand leading to colds, ‘flus and aggravating asthma – and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation wants New Zealanders to take action now to ensure our homes are dry, warm and pollution-free before the colder weather.

“It is a tragedy that many of our homes could be making us sick,” said Jane Patterson, Executive Director of the Foundation. “New Zealand’s climate and poorly insulated houses add to the problem. Nearly half of Kiwi houses have mould, and many are damp and cold – all leading to more colds and ‘flu, and aggravating asthma and other respiratory conditions. We should not give asthma a home,” she said.

New Zealand has one of the highest asthma rates in the world.

Recent New Zealand research by the Wellington School of Medicine links the health of our homes with our health. Healthier homes help reduce visits to hospitals, doctors and days off work and school – and are more energy efficient and provide an improved lifestyle.

Asthma Awareness Week publicity begins this Sunday (6 March 2005) with the launch of television and other advertising to promote the main message for the Week, “Don’t Give Asthma a Home”.

Over the coming weeks, the Foundation and its Asthma Awareness Week sponsor, Contact Energy, will be urging all New Zealanders to make their homes dry, warm and pollution-free well before winter.

Research shows that taking a few simple and often inexpensive steps to make your home drier, warmer, and reducing indoor pollution, protects your family from getting respiratory problems – producing health, energy, productivity and lifestyle benefits.

Contact’s Chief Executive, Stephen Barrett added, “Making a home healthier doesn’t have to cost the earth – a few simple changes will reap benefits for everyone at home, even if they don’t have asthma or another condition. A healthy home is an energy-efficient home, and as New Zealanders spend around 80% of their time indoors, it is important they use energy efficiently to enhance their health and lifestyles”.

This Sunday, the familiar Positive Energy bird characters Tui and Beatrice will fly across our screens to promote Asthma Awareness Week and to promote the Asthma Awareness Week message: Don’t Give Asthma a Home.

Note to Editors:

To raise public awareness of the risks faced everyday by New Zealanders living with asthma and respiratory illnesses, the Foundation, with the support of Contact, is launching Asthma Awareness Week at the Cuba Street Bucket Fountain, Wellington at 8.30 am on Tuesday 15 March.

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