Friday, June 16, 2006

Conquering the Dust Mites

Are you tired of having a stuffy nose at bed time or in the morning when you wake up? Are you spending so much money on tissues that you might as well load up on Procter and Gamble stock? Well then you may be part of the 10% of the population who suffers from dust mite allergy according to Dr. Carmen Choy.

While most people are irritated by exposure to large amounts of dust, true dust allergies are sensitivities to dust mites' poop and their body parts. Dust mites are ubiquitous microscopic creatures that live in our pillows, mattresses, blankets, carpets and other soft material like those beany babies. They feed on our dead skin scales, but they DO NOT BITE, and they are not parasites.

Dust mite allergy is confirmed by skin testing done by an allergist. If the test is positive then you need to "dust proof" your bedroom where you spend a third of your life. Minimalism is the theme, think Zen Bedroom.

  • Remove the carpet. It is the most effective way to do manage the dust mites. If you must have a carpet then get the lowest pile, industrial nylon, teflon coated type.
  • Vacuum the carpet in your bedroom 3 times a week with a vaccum that has a HEPA filter bag. A HEPA filter does NOT remove dust mites unless somebody has stirred up the dust from the carpet during vacuuming so you need the HEPA bag to catch all the dust. A good $150 vacuum with a HEPA bag in place is just as good as the $1000 Miele vacuum cleaner.
  • Encase your pillows, mattress and box springs in allergen impermeable covers to prevent the mite allergens from escaping the mattress and being inhaled.
  • Wash beddings in HOT water (not warm) every 2 weeks.
  • Remove the redundant soft toys, throw pillow and upholstered furniture.
  • Lower the humidity to less than 50% in the room. The mites drink by absorbing water in between their joints so the higher the humidity the more their population grows.
  • There are storage mites in books and other house hold items which will cause the same reaction . So if you want to read an old book, put it in plastic bag, freeze it for 24 hours and then you can enjoy it without sneezing at it.

If you cannot remember anything from this blog, just remember to take that vacuum out of the closet and USE it. Just because you can't see some thing doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

References: for more than you would ever want to know about the dust mite. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Harvard Medical School's Consumer Health Information.

Resources: If you mention Google, a 10% discount will be offered as a courtesy. There is no private interest in this company by the authors. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Photo credit: bedbug.gif


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ConsumerReporter said...

This comment "A good $150 vacuum with a HEPA bag in place is just as good as the $1000 Miele vacuum cleaner.: Is very very wrong and false.

The vacuum must also be totally sealed. In order for any vacuum cleaner to trap the tiniest of particles, it must NOT only have HEPA filtration, but must also be totally sealed from the vacuum’s, joints, cracks, crevices to the cord compartment and elsewhere. This is what I like to call “vacuum sealed.”

A simple analogy I use to understand this is a “vacuum sealed” zip-lock baggie. Consumers use a vacuum sealed baggie, to seal the food tightly inside so it does not go bad. If you were to puncture a hole in it, then of course the food goes bad or stale. The baggie needs to be sealed at all times and so does a vacuum cleaner. If you put your hand anywhere around a Miele vacuum cleaner, there is no air coming out of it other than where the exhaust is. But there is a “true” HEPA in place making the Miele canisters completely sealed. Again, you must have a “true” HEPA filter right at the exhaust where all airflow must pass through in order to be cleaned. Also, the HEPA filter must be tightly sealed in the housing of the machine too. A sealed vacuum will have no leak areas and will do what it is supposed to do, keeping the dust inside the machine.

There are two kinds of vacuum bags - those that trap the dust and those that don't. You vacuum pounds of dirt, dust and contaminants from your home during each use. Next time you vacuum, open your bag compartment. Take note of the filth that has accumulated in-and-around the vacuum bag. What good is a vacuum bag if it is not trapping the dust?

Most vacuums come equipped with one-ply generic paper bags which have relatively large pores that allow fine dust to escape, lowering indoor air quality, increasing health risks and the need for dusting and more vacuuming. To compare, the Miele’s vacuum bags are not made of paper but rather high filtration cheese cloth with protective foil layering the inside. They are also self-sealing with great density and capture far more fine dust. You will not see the filth built-up around vacuum bag compartment in a Miele. The vacuum gets all the dust, pet hair, sand, tiny allergens, and the floor will stay cleaner longer because next to nothing is left behind.

Through a particulate analysis on YouTube, I show how well the Miele vacuum works and truly traps the dust. My findings prove that the Miele Vacuum is completely sealed and really is HEPA.

YouTube Miele Vacuum Video – As seen on ABC 7

You can see from this video that the Miele will trap all of the particles in a cloth like bag that self-seals on its way out and you are actually purifying the air in your house by vacuuming! The filtration is 99.95% effective at 0.3 microns which is amazing. Thanks to its HEPA filter and super intensive clean bags the vacuum is able to achieve this kind of filtration.

Also check-out my blog called Consumer Reporter - a vehicle to educate consumers about the vacuum and air purification market.

If you appreciate the information I provide on Miele vacuum cleaners via You Tube and my blog, please support my on-line store, KillDirt.You’ll get free shipping and no tax (as long as you do not live in New Jersey). We will be sure to make your shopping experience a pleasant one

James said...

Dust mites can be a serious problem to your health. Did you know these disgusting bugs are actually apart of the arachnid family? This is the same family as spiders and scorpions! Their allergenic by-products are produced from their saliva, feces, sticky egg secretions, and decaying body parts. Dust mites and indoor allergens cause air pollution. The EPA has deemed indoor air pollution as America's number one health concern!
•The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggest that almost half of all illnesses may be the result of unhealthy mattresses.

•The weight of the average mattress doubles after ten years due to dust mite infestation! That's 10% in weight each year.

•Exposure to dust mites in the first two years of a baby’s life can trigger a lifelong allergy or even asthma. It can also happen in younger children.

•Mattresses contain the highest concentration of allergens in the home, including molds, bacteria, viruses, and dust mites

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Dust Mites said...

I agree that covers are the best way to block dust mite allergens.

On my dust mite site, I give them the highest recommendation based on Doctor comments.