The Star Online


Sunday March 1, 2009

Getting rid of dust mite allergens


Dust mites by the millions are found in pillows and mattresses. Anti-dust mite allergicovers or barriers that totally encase mattresses, duvets, blankets and pillows can be useful.

Go for cover. Dust mites by the millions are found in pillows, mattresses and old upholstery because of the large amount of food available to them from these sources.

If the allergicover is soiled and has to be washed, then take the bedding outside the house before removing the allergicover. In this way all allergens are released outside the house. Vacuum the bedding thoroughly and spray with anti-dust mite spray before re-encasing with the washed allergicover.

Vacuum cleaners. Buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA attachment may be helpful. Such vacuum cleaners can trap allergens which are less than one micron in size. Regular weekly vacuuming of all fabric items will reduce the allergen load in the house.

Air filters. When we walk across the carpet, or settle onto the couch or into bed, the dust mite allergens are stirred up, sending them airborne. Air cleaners or air filters with medical HEPA attachments are effective in removing allergens that are airborne, but the equipment have no effect on the allergens found in upholstered fabrics or bedding. Their role is limited to filtering the air of airborne allergens.

Ionizers are not effective at removing allergens. Air filters must be used in combination with other measures to be effective in limiting the dust mite allergen load in the bedroom.

Humidity. One effective way to control dust mites in the home is through controlling humidity. Dust mites are very sensitive and perish at low humidity (less than 35%). Since the relative humidity in Malaysia is usually very high (greater than 60%), it is not an easy task to reduce the humidity to a low enough level to be effective.

High quality dehumidifiers used in closed rooms may be able to accomplish this task, but this is an expensive option.


* All information and source are for reference only.

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