Blog Archives

Air quality — inside as well as outside — can affect your health

By Deanna Duff, Special to The Herald

Patrick Clifford is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast. However, in 2014 he found himself working hard to catch his breath while laboring outside. The retired Everett Public Schools teacher was diagnosed with a serious pulmonary condition that has reduced his lung capacity to a third.

“I didn’t realize how bad air quality can be until I got sick,” Clifford says.

“Unless you’re sick, you often don’t realize how close to being in trouble you are. Because air is invisible, you think it’s not even there.”

Air quality impacts everyone and overall health. According to Dr. David Russian, pulmonologist with Western Washington Medical Group, oxygen is one of the body’s most basic fuels.

“We can’t live without our lungs. If they are diminished, everything else is, too — our ability to exercise, risk for infections and cardiac health,” Russian says. Read more

Snow mold popping up on lawns

It’s that time of year when things start to sprout up and grow.

But you might find an unwanted visitor on your lawn this spring: snow mold.

The fungus gets its name because it thrives underneath snow cover. So all the snow we got this past winter means the mold is popping up on more lawns than in past years.

The temperature underneath all that snow sits right around 30 degrees, the perfect conditions for which mold to grow, said Nate Devisser of Weed Man Lawn Care.

“Those are conditions that are prime for the fungus to grow in lawns: prolonged period of snow cover,” Devisser said.

The good news is, it’s not hurting your grass. Only in rare causes would the mold cause permanent damage.

It just looks bad.

“It looks like dead grass,” Devisser explained. “A lot of homeowners might panic and say, ‘Oh my goodness, my lawn died over the winter!'”

But there’s a simple fix to get rid of it: just rake it up.

“You just want to fluff it up,” he said.

But even though snow mold doesn’t hurt your lawn or plants, you’ll still want to take care of it as soon as possible in case someone in your family’s allergic to mold.

It can cause some serious symptoms, said Dr. Christina Barnes, an allergist with the South Bend Clinic.

“Runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, sometimes stuffiness, drainage,” Barnes listed. “And if they have asthma, it can trigger asthma as well.”