Many people will say that they are allergic to dust. Well, just what is dust? A recent analysis of the product reveals that dust contains many things such as:
- House Dust Mites - live, carcasses and fecal matter
- Mineral Matter
- Animal Dander and Hair
- Insect Feces
- Mold Spores
- Pollen Grains
- Textile Fibers
- Food Residue
There is nothing unique about dust - it is a composite - made up of many different things. The most important element is probably the House Dust Mite.
- Dust mites are very tiny insects - you can't see them with the naked eye.
- Mites enjoy the seventies - not the music or political turmoil, but more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit and more than 70 percent humidity. If your house is 70/70 - mites will thrive.
- Mites live off molds so controlling mold growth may decrease the live mite populations.
- They also feed on us - humans. Humans tend to shed old, dried, and dead skin. This finds its way into pillows, mattresses, box springs, stuffed furniture and carpets.
- With the mite, the fecal pellet is the major problem. Measures help kill mites but you still need to avoid the remaining parts - the feces of the mite. The Best Form of Therapy is avoidance.
Here are a few suggestions on dust mite avoidance:
- Pillows need to be covered in plastic. The plastic provides a barrier through which the mite allergen cannot penetrate. The cloth pillow cover goes over the plastic for your comfort. The plastic cover needs to be wiped off weekly with a wet soapy rag. The pillow covers are cloth over plastic and are comfortable. They can be mail ordered. Hypoallergenic pillows are polyester filled and will eventually accumulate mites.
- Blankets and bedspreads should be cotton or polyester but not wool or feather. These need to be washed regularly.
- Mattresses and box springs need to be encased in allergen-proof plastic covers. The mattress pad would go over this plastic cover for comfort. Wash the pad weekly and be sure to wipe off the plastic covers weekly with a wet soapy cloth. Mites can accumulate on top of the mattress and box spring covers.
- Dust allergic people in the ideal world should not be around a room being cleaned (it also means that someone else should do the cleaning). Cleaning and vacuuming stirs up dust particles. Masks may be worn to help decrease exposure.
- The bedroom, ideally, should be rather sparse. No stuffed/upholstered furniture, carpeting, heavy drapes, venetian blinds, books, stuffed animals or other collectors of dust. Bunk or canopy beds should not be used.
- Also, consider dust covers over the bedding on any second bed in the room. In a shared room, both beds need to be dust proofed. The non-allergic person will toss and turn in his bed, which aerosolizes dust particles to the allergic person.
- Curtains and shades should be washable cotton or synthetic. Floors should be linoleum or wood. If a throw rug is used- wash it weekly.
- Daily, wet dust the bedroom floor, or thorough cleaning should occur weekly.
- Keep pets out of the allergic person's room.
- No stuffed toys in the bedroom. Wood or plastic toys do not attract much dust.
- Don't store things in the allergic person's bedroom.
- Vacuum cleaners - a considerable amount of money could be spent on these. Reasonable approaches including using a tank type cleaner - keeping the tank out of the room during vacuuming. Collection bags usually are too porous and allow the small allergens to pass right through. Highly filtered bags are available. Some vacuuming cleaners can cost as much as one thousand dollars and may not work as they claim. Be careful and don't hesitate to ask about these items.
- Room air filters are a consideration. Studies have shown a statistical change when many people use them. These can remove aromas and moisture from the air. See if you can borrow one first before purchasing a unit.