Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 7, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, 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 Neighborhoods 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 May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. In May, and throughout the year, the Rockland County Department of Health's Healthy Neighborhoods Program can 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.

Indoor triggers play a big role in asthma since Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. 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; and mold.

The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhoods Program can provide free products to prevent asthma triggers in the home including mattress and pillow covers, dusters, and green cleaners (products with environmentally friendly ingredients), 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.

"People with asthma can lead healthy and active lives. 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.," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information about the Healthy Neighborhoods Program, or to schedule an appointment, please call (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