Questions to Ask
Timing and Patterns of Symptoms
- What time of day are symptoms at their worst? E.g., higher pollution
in the late afternoon/early evening.
- What days of the week are they worse? E.g., higher pollution
on weekdays when traffic is heaviest.
- Is there a seasonal pattern? E.g. are symptoms associated with
pollution peaks in summer, or with greater use of combustion appliances
- Are symptoms associated with specific activities? E.g., exercise
outdoors, playing with pets, etc.
- Are symptoms location-specific? E.g., outdoors, home, day-care,
school, vehicle, other.
Features of the Child's Home (or Other Indoor Environment)
Is exposure to ETS the primary factor?
- Do people in the home or home day-care smoke around the child?
To determine if there is a problem with chemical contaminants:
- Are there "chemical" smells or odours from household items,
e.g., especially new materials such as carpets, upholstery, plastic
raincoats, toys, sheets, etc?
- Have there been recent household renovations?
- What types of household cleaners, deodorizers are used and how
are they used?
- Is there use of a wood-burning stove, fireplace, gas or kerosene
To determine if there is a problem with biological contaminants:
- Are there pets?
- Are there sources of dust mites, e.g., bed linens, favourite
- Does the house have a stale, musty or earthy smell?
- Has there been recent flooding?
To determine if outdoor contaminants are having a bearing
on indoor air:
- What is the proximity of the home to major roadways and heavy
- Can car exhausts come in through windows or air intake vents
near driveways or garages?
- Are there features of the neighbourhood that might contribute
to bad air, such as factories, landfill site, gas stations, dry
cleaners, railroad lines, airports, golf courses, etc?
- Have pesticides been used on lawns or plants close to the home?