Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 24, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program can help make your home a healthier place

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that the Rockland County Department of Health's Healthy Neighborhood Program staff are available, throughout the year, to make home visits to identify and discuss asthma triggers in the home, and provide free products to prevent triggers.

Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack, or make asthma worse. People who have asthma may react to just one trigger or find that many things act as triggers. Asthma, a disease that affects the lungs, causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and night time or early morning coughing.

Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but can affect adults too. Although many people first develop asthma during childhood, asthma symptoms can occur at any time in life. Several factors may make a person more likely to develop asthma as an adult. For example, it's more common in adult women than adult men; obesity appears to greatly increase the risk of developing asthma as an adult; and people who had asthma as a child may see asthma reappear later in life.

Since Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, it's clear that indoor triggers play a big role in asthma. Some of the possible asthma triggers in the home include:

  • house dust and dust mites
  • high-fume cleaners, perfumes, air fresheners, detergents
  • pests (such as mice and cockroaches)
  • pet hair and dander
  • second-hand smoke
  • mold

The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program can provide free products to prevent asthma triggers in the home including mattress and pillow covers, dusters, and laundry detergents, while supplies last. All that is required is a brief home survey at the time of the visit. Eligible residents include low-income residents, seniors, and at-risk families - with at least one person in the home with asthma, diagnosed by a doctor.

"We encourage residents to take advantage of this free program. To keep your asthma under control, it is also important to see your doctor, learn the warning signs of an attack, stay away from things that trigger an attack, and follow your doctor's advice. People with asthma can lead healthy and active lives," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information about the Healthy Neighborhood Program, or to schedule an appointment, please call (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290. To learn more about asthma, talk with your doctor, and visit Information (including guidelines and assessment tools) for health care providers, including school nurses, is available on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program website at