Household Allergens Facts

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What is Allergens?

Allergens are substances that are foreign to the body and can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Allergens are everywhere in the world around us. Examples of common allergens are pollen, foods, and mold.

Allergens can also be found in a variety of sources in our home. Below are a list of common household allergens that can cause symptoms in susceptible people.

House Dust Mites

House dust mites are tiny and love moist, warm and dark environments. Mattresses are an ideal environment for dust mites (250 microns) at room temperatures of more than 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) and a relative humidity of 60-80%. Bacteria infested flakes of dry skin offer mites a rich source of food. Their reproductive rate is very high. Natural enemies, such as predatory mites, are extinct. Up to 2,500 mites have been counted in one gram of dust. That means there are up to one million mites in one double size mattress!! This throng produces a corresponding amount of guanine containing mite excrement (1 to 20 microns). Scientific evidence indicates that this is a cause of allergies and related problems e.g. asthma, bronchitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes, reddening of the eyes and itching. With every movement of the body in bed, dust and mite excrement are churned up. The mattress acts as a bellows, blowing dirt into mouth, nose, eyes and onto the skin.

Bacteria

Several species of the tiny one celled life forms, often called bacilli, cause disease. In some cases they are even resistant to antibiotics.

Mould

Mould comes into existence because of moisture and insufficient ventilation. Once they take hold, mold shed tiny spores which trigger indoor allergy symptoms.

Viruses

Without exception, the members of this class of micro organisms are pathogens which can cause infections, fever and other symptoms. Some types of viruses have become much more aggressive in the past several decades.

Spores

Spores spread in the form of fungi. They can cause diseases, in particular a fungal infection of the skin, which can be hard to treat.

Flakes of Dry Skin

The human body sheds as much as 1.5g of dry skin flakes per day. That is more than one pound every year! People with psoriasis lose many times more. A large amount of this dry skin ends up in the mattress and grows bacteria, becoming rancid and causing an unpleasant rancid odor. That typical bedroom odor! Dust Particles Up to several pounds in a single mattress, dust particles can be as small as 1 to 20 microns. Dust is a mixture of organic and inorganic particles, flakes of dry skin, salt from perspiration, mite excrement, etc., and is a carrier of mite excrement and bacteria.

Air Circulation

Air Circulation belongs to the significant functional properties of the environment. The air circulation at the movement of the environment is comparable to a sponge, which absorbs water and releases it being pressed together. With every movement the included dust of the environment can be released into the air of the room.