Dust mites (Figure 1) are microscopic animals that are found in every home.
They survive by consuming dead skin cells. They can be powerful triggers for
asthma and allergies. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillows, carpets,
fabric-covered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, and stuffed toys. Body parts
and feces of dust mites can be asthma triggers. To protect members of the
household from dust mites:
Wash sheets and blankets once a week in hot water.
Choose washable stuffed toys, wash them often in hot water, and dry
thoroughly. Keep stuffed toys off beds.
Cover mattresses and pillows in dust-proof (allergen-impermeable) zippered
Maintain low indoor humidity.
Dust mite. Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
Figure 2. Photograph of dust
Dust Mite Detection Kit
People with asthma and allergies can help to free themselves from the
symptoms triggered by house dust mites with the availability of new
ActivAllergy Mite Alert - a simple and accurate house dust mite allergen
detection system which is available from the Professional Certification
Institute for purchase by PCI Certified Environmental Hygienists.
four people in the UK now suffer from allergies - this is increasing by 5% a
year, and one in eight people have asthma. The incidence of both these
conditions continues to rise and the symptoms of both can be incredibly
debilitating, but did you know...
"85% of asthma attacks are triggered by house dust mite allergens"
Many people with year round allergy and respiratory problems, including
rhinitis and asthma, are allergic to house dust mites and their faeces.
These microscopic creatures live in their millions in the warm and humid
environments of our modern centrally heated homes and offices, thriving in
particular in bedding, carpets and soft furnishings, feeding off flakes of
Up until now, knowing exactly where there are higher levels of dust mites
in the home has been a problem for allergy and asthma sufferers. But with
the launch of new ActivAllergy Mite-Alert, sufferers can now identify the
'problem areas' in their homes and offices, and deal with the specific areas
with minimal time, effort and cost.
The ActivAllergy Mite-Alert monitoring system uses a simple three step
process to quickly and accurately analyse different areas of the home or
workplace. The result is provided within ten minutes, without the need to
prepare or touch any chemicals, as the high tech sealed cassettes is
extremely easy to use.
The dust sample is collected by vacuuming the test area; for example a
specific mattress, carpet, cushion or pet bed, for approximately 30 seconds.
Once the test cassette is full, the technologically advanced sealed unit is
removed from the small vacuum and the specially prepared chemical solution
is released into the collected dust sample. The chemicals within the
solution then react with the dust sample to measure the quantity of house
dust mite allergens present and give a result within ten minutes indicating
a high or low prevalence of house dust mite allergens in that area (a colour
will develop in the control window to indicate the result).
Muriel Simmons, Chief Executive of Allergy UK says: "Identifying the
prevalence of house dust mites in the home has always been a problem. We
welcome this new test, which will help people identify problem areas in
their home or workplace so they can take preventative action without going
to the unnecessary inconvenience and expense of completely changing their
living or working environment. For example, it may not be necessary to
remove all carpeting, it could be just the cushions on the sofa which are
infested and need removing. We believe ActivAllergy Mite-Alert will help
many people to improve their allergic condition by reducing their exposure
to house dust mites."
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