Tara Gleig - Bed Bug Wholesale.
A landmark study from Australia, from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, outlines one approach on how to control dust mites in bedding which will interest those who have children suffering with asthma triggered by exposure to house dust mites.
What are the best ways to control dust mites in bedding?
Homes in humid and coastal areas often hold higher levels of house dust mite and allergens. Previous research has suggested that, in asthma there is a clinical benefit from lowering levels. Beds, Pillows & Quilts are key reservoirs for house dust mites & allergens, so this is where reduction efforts should be focused. This can be achieved through the use of semipermeable encasements on mattresses, pillows and bed coverings, which reduces the amount of allergen collected from mattress surfaces and covers. Alternatively, it is recommended to use acaricides (which kill the mites).Acaricide sprays are chemicals that are toxic to dust mites. They only reduce dust mite numbers for short periods of time and must be applied frequently. They DO NOTreduce levels of the dust mite allergen already present in the bedding which is what the majority of people react to.
How to control dust mites in bedding of children?
Another part of the study looked at beds used by children known to be sensitised to Dep p 1 - the major house dust mite allergen - or with a history of wheezing, or both. The bed of a sibling close in age was used as a control. Fourteen households (two beds in each) were used to examine how to control dust mites in the bedding of children. Dust samples were collected at the start of the study to find out how much allergen was present. Then the 'active' beds were encased (mattresses, pillows & quilts) in mite-proof covers. The bedding was washed with an acaricidal additive (active ingredient benzyl benzoate). In a selection of seven households, the wash was repeated twice at two monthly intervals during the six months of the study. Dust was collected from the beds (both active and control) at four days, four weeks and eight weeks into the trial. This was done by vacuuming the whole bed and collecting for one minute from the sheets, 30 seconds from the pillow and for 30 seconds from the lower bedding below the sheets.
Dust was also collected from the surrounding bedroom floor. Allergen was extracted from the dust samples and concentrations (in micrograms of Der p 1) determined by analysis back in the laboratory. The mean concentration of Der p 1 in the active beds was 27.9 micrograms per gram of dust at the start of the study and 18.1 micrograms per gram of dust in the control beds. Four days later, it had decreased to 11.6 per cent of the initial value in the active beds but had not changed significantly in the control beds. At four weeks, it had increased a bit and again at eight weeks, but remained at just under 30 per cent of the initial value. In those households where washing with allergy friendly laundry detergent was repeated, levels of Dep p 1 fell even more. The researchers conclude that this is an effective allergen avoidance regimen. Encasing mattress, pillows, quilts in a mite-proof covers and washing bedding with an allergen friendly laundry detergent can reduce house mite allergen almost 10-fold and this reduction is maintained over an extended period of time.
Source: Vanlaar CH et al (2000). Domestic control of house dust mite allergen in children's beds. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 105; 1130-1133