Dusty House - Healthy Child

Studies show that dust exposure prevents asthma

Is your home dusty? Well if it is you could actually be doing your children a favour! In fact, young children can benefit from a bit of dust and the odd bacteria, according to a new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI).

The bottom line: living in a dusty home might just be helping your children avoid asthma.

This research was based on a study conducted on children in their early childhood years, from infancy to 4 years old. All of the research subjects had allergic mothers. The children’s exposure to common household “nasties” - including microbials (living or once active bacteria that can be inhaled as particles) - was checked initially at 3 months of age. Researchers also looked at the levels of dust on living room floors and infant beds at the same time. Then these same children were medically traced until the age of 4 years old.

The children were monitored for 3 things:

Researchers reviewed serum IgE tests – which are used to help diagnose allergies – at 1 year and again when the children were 4 years old. At each yearly check-up, the researchers looked for a diagnosis of asthma. In addition, while the researchers were monitoring the children’s medical health, they were also busy measuring the cleanliness of their homes.

The interesting thing is that levels of microbials in beds were not associated with allergy, asthma or wheeze; while dust and microbials on the floor were! The study concluded that more dust and microbials on the floor meant less chance of asthma and wheeze, even when other aspects of the home differed.

News Release, April 18, 2006
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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