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Fighting the Dust Mite
Allergy specialists have a few household tips for people who are allergic to dust mites.
“First and foremost is installation of nonpermeable allergen proof covers on mattresses and pillows,” says Vojte. “The price to outfit a full- sized bed is $50 to $60, and they have been shown to be very effective when combined with weekly, thorough washing of bedding.”

Got Allergies? We Can Help!

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AllerSoft Allergy Relief Encasings

Encase your pillows, mattress and boxspring in anti-allergen encasements that provide a barrier to keep dust mite particles away from your nose and mouth. People actually react to inhaling dust mite excrement which is the by-product of these microscopic creatures' appetite for human skin cells. Up to 10 million dust mites can reside in a typical mattress, with millions more in pillows, blankets and comforters.

National Allergen Survey

American Allergy Supply recommends you see the ABC Video!


Diane Sawyer Good Morning America

Diane Sawyer Good Morning America See this ABC Video on Dust Mites and Your Allergy!

dust mite video

The Most Important thing you can do for your Dust Mite Allergies! Allergists recommend mattress, box springs, and pillow covers because they trap dust mites where they breed.

Woman Sleeping

Sick In Bed When you go to sleep every night, you may be climbing into a bed full of allergens. Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer talks to Dr. Darryl Zeldin, the senior author of a recent national study on how your bedding may actually make you sick.

Dr Darryl Zeldin

First National Allergen Survey Shows Dust Mites in Bedding Can Trigger Allergies in Many Homes!

 

By Shawna Vogel abc news comBring a Tissue to Bed

Survey Shows Dust Mites in Bedding Can Trigger Allergies in Many Homes
Tiny dust mites and their droppings lurk inside the beds of some 44 million American homes, a new $1 million survey finds.

Going to bed may make you sneeze
B O S T O N, May 9 — Going to bed may make you sneeze.

The beds in nearly half of American homes are loaded with allergy triggers, according to a new three-year, $1 million survey performed by the federal National Institute of Environmental Health in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
     “We were surprised by the prevalence and levels of dust mite allergens we found,” says Patrick Vojte, the survey leader.
     Vojte will present the results of his study at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society Convention being held in Toronto.
     Dust mite allergens — basically the droppings of tiny spider-like mites that live in our dust — are a major cause of allergies and can exacerbate asthma symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.

Microscopic Mites
Dust mites like warm, moist environments. They thrive in carpets, curtains, furniture and particularly bedding, which is often filled with the dead skin cells that the mites eat.
     Vojte and his colleagues at the Institute wanted to know just how many American homes are plagued with dust mite allergens. Armed with compact vacuum cleaners fitted with test tubes, the team of researchers and their technicians sucked dust from the pillows, sheets, mattresses and floors in 831 homes in 75 different areas across the U.S. Previous studies, says Vojte, have measured the allergens only in select regions of the country.
     Based on an analysis of the dust-filled test tubes, Vojte estimates that over 45 percent of the U.S. housing stock, or approximately 44 million homes, have bedding with enough dust mite allergens to cause allergies.
     In 23 percent of U.S. homes, allergen concentrations were five times higher, or 10 micrograms per gram of dust, a level, Vojte says, that has been associated with increasing severity of asthma symptoms in people who are allergic to dust mite allergen.
     In the future, Vojte plans to study just what types of homes and homeowners have the greatest concentrations of dust mite allergens.
     Other studies have shown that these allergens tend to reach their highest household levels in humid climates, says Ginger Chew, an associate research scientist at the Columbia School of Public Health in New York City. Chew and colleagues also showed in a recent study that suburban homes tend to have more dust mite allergens than apartments. “The houses in the suburbs had better control over their heating, so they were better at maintaining an environment comfortable for people and for dust mites,” she says.
Fighting the Dust Mite
Allergy specialists have a few household tips for people who are allergic to dust mites.
     “First and foremost is installation of nonpermeable allergen proof covers on mattresses and pillows,” says Vojte. “The price to outfit a full- sized bed is $50 to $60, and they have been shown to be very effective when combined with weekly, thorough washing of bedding.”
     Other recommendations from the environmental health institute include replacing carpeting with bare floors, dusting with a damp mop or rag and weekly vacuuming with a bag designed to reduce allergens.
     And if you’re interested in finding out just how bad the mite population is in your own bed, Vojte says, “without mentioning names, there is a company working on a home test.”

EMBARGOED UNTIL
Tuesday May 9th, 2000, 8:15am EDT
NIEHS PR #00-08
NIEHS CONTACT:
News Office - (919) 541-3345
Bill Grigg - (301) 496-3511

Press Release of the First National Allergen Survey

 

 

First National Allergen Survey Shows Americans' Bedding Can Make Them Sick; Allergens the Culprit

Researchers armed with vacuum cleaners collected samples of the dust in American bedding, and though they found no "lions, tigers or bears," they found plenty of cause for concern in terms of dust mite and cockroach allergens at levels associated with asthma and allergies.

 

Called The First National Allergen Survey, the study was led by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, and done in collaboration with investigators at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Harvard University, and Westat, Inc. Early results of the study will be presented at the 96th International Conference of the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society and their Canadian counterparts, Wednesday, May 10, at the Toronto Convention Center (Area D, Exhibit Hall, South Building, Level 800). Authors will be available to discuss the study between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The study was done in light of mounting evidence that exposure to indoor allergens from dust mites and cockroaches is a risk factor for the development of allergic diseases and asthma. Indoor dust from five or six different sites in each of 831 homes from 75 different areas across the U.S. was collected, along with demographic and health information of home occupants. The 75 areas were selected as representative of the U.S. with respect to region, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and housing characteristics.

Survey results suggest that over 45 percent of the U.S. housing stock, or approximately 44 million homes have bedding with dust mite allergen concentrations that exceed 2 micrograms per gram of dust, a level that has been associated with the development of allergies. Of these, over 23 percent of U.S. homes or about 22 million dwellings, are estimated to have bedding with dust mite allergen concentrations that exceed 10 micrograms per gram dust, a level associated with the trigger of asthma symptoms in asthmatics who are allergic to these allergens.

Further, results indicate that 17 percent of household occupants reported problems with cockroach infestations in the year preceding the study. Cockroach allergen is estimated present at detectable levels in bedding in over 6 percent of all U.S. homes, representing almost 6 million households. The number of homes with detectable cockroach allergen is expected to be much higher since the kitchen is typically the most common site of cockroach activity. Data on kitchen levels of cockroach allergen will become available next year.

"This study suggests that a large number of U.S. homes contain dust mite allergen levels which pose a significant risk for the development of allergies and asthma," Patrick Vojta, Ph.D., of NIEHS, said. "There are housekeeping practices as well as allergen proof bedding covers that can be used to reduce exposures to high levels of allergens. For people who are not allergic to these allergens, steps to reduce exposure may reduce the chance of developing allergies and asthma. For those who are already allergic and/or asthmatic, steps to reduce exposure may decrease the frequency and severity of the symptoms of these diseases."

The study was selected as one of only 25, out of the approximately 5,000 presented, to be highlighted for special media attention by organizers of the ALA/ATS meeting.


Dr. Vojta will be available at NIEHS through May 5, at (919) 541-0981, or messages may be left for him at his Toronto hotel May 6-10, (416) 924-0611, or FAX (416) 924-1413. He will be back in his office at NIEHS on May 11.

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The URL for this press release is: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/oc/news/bedding.htm

 

The URL for this press release is: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/oc/news/bedding.htm

First National Allergen Survey Shows Americans' Bedding Can Make Them Sick; Allergens the Culprit

May 11, 2000
Bedding and asthma, allergies:
Sheets, pillows and blankets in nearly half of American homes contain enough allergens from dust mites to trigger asthma and serious allergies, a new study indicates. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS) visited more than 800 homes nationwide and collected indoor dust samples by vacuuming the bedding. They found that proteins from dust mites — tiny arachnids that feed on human skin flakes — were present in quantities sufficient to cause allergies in more than 45 percent of the residences surveyed. The researchers say that number translates to 44 million homes nationwide. The level of dust mite allergens is high enough to trigger asthma attacks in an estimated 23 percent of American homes — about 22 million. The homes surveyed were representative of the U.S. with respect to region, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and housing characteristics. In addition, 17 percent of those surveyed said they had had cockroaches in their home within the previous year. The researchers estimate that cockroach allergen is "present at detectable levels in bedding in more than 6 percent of all U.S. homes, representing nearly 6 million households." A more comprehensive NIEHS report on cockroach infestation levels is expected to be released in 2001. Darryl Zeldin, M.D., head of clinical studies at NIEHS, says the high numbers surprised researchers. "Our beds are teeming with dust mite allergens," says Dr. Zeldin.
The American Lung Association recommends covering mattresses and box springs with mite-proof encasings to reduce exposure. In addition, weekly laundering of pillows and bedding in hot (130 degrees F) water can help.

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