Get Rid of Mites by Tossing Your Old Mattress

Combat dust control

Got an old mattress? According to a recent study on dust control, you can reduce the amount of dust mites in your bedroom by replacing your old mattress with a new one and increasing the amount of ventilation in your room.

The study on dust control reviewed over 3,500 samples of dust taken from mattresses in 22 different areas of Europe. This dust was analyzed for several types of dust mite allergens. Samples were collected from a bed in each test home by removing the linens and placing a special template over the area of the bed where the person normally slept. The bed was then vacuumed to collect the dust samples.

Two distinct types of dust mite allergens were found in the dust samples. However, there was a significant difference in the allergen levels from one study area to another. Research results indicated that important risk factors for high allergen levels were related to having an older mattress, as well as limited ventilation in the room. You can certainly combat dust control by replacing your mattress.

You may also be able to reduce your exposure to cat allergens by more frequent replacement of your mattress. In fact, another study that used the survey data from the same 22 European areas revealed that cat allergens may actually be present in homes that do not have a cat.

This second studymeasured the quantity of cat allergen in mattress dust to determine the relationship between cat ownership and the level of cat allergen found. Similar to the dust mite study, dust was vacuumed from the mattresses. In this case, 2800 mattresses were sampled. As you might expect, higher amounts of cat allergen were found in homes where a cat currently lived.

However, it was possible to find cat allergens in the mattresses of those who had never owned a cat! This phenomenon was linked to areas where cat ownership was very common. The conclusion of this study was people who do not own cats may still be exposed to high levels of cat allergen in their own homes because they bring the allergen home on their clothes. Interestingly enough, smokers also had a higher incidence of cat allergens in their homes, potentially related to cat dander adhering to smoke particles.

News Release, August 21, 2006
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

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