Scientists with The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reported that some simple steps can significantly reduce the levels of dust mite allergens in bedrooms.
Dust mites are microscopic and feed on skin and live in bedding, carpets, and other dust traps. Dust mite allergens are proteins found in the mite’s feces.
NIEHS’ Dr. Zeldin said, “Results from an earlier study suggest that over 45 percent of U.S. homes, or approximately 44 million dwellings, have bedding with dust mite allergen concentrations that exceed a level that has been associated with allergic sensitization. We estimated that 22 million homes have bedding with dust mite allergen concentrations at a level that can trigger asthma in susceptible people. So we were eager to test ways to reduce these troublesome substances.”
* allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers
* weekly laundering in hot water of other bedding
* very careful vacuuming
* dry steam cleaning of bedroom carpets and upholstery
Note that decreases following dry steam cleaning and vacuuming were the best.
Dry steam cleaning machines have recently become available for home use.