California Department of Health Services Fact Sheet (Added 9/12/01)
House dust mites are the most common trigger of asthma. These are the mites that live in house dust. It is the feces of the dust mite that is the actual allergen that causes breathing problems. Dust mites produce feces about 20 times a day. Aside from being an allergen, the feces of the dust mite is light enough to float in the air, so it is easily inhaled by those of us who occupy homes and buildings. Then, when you consider there are about 40,000 dust mites per speck of dust, you can imagine (even if you'd rather not) just how many of these dust mite feces enter your respiratory system every time you take a breath.
Your indoor environment is especially vulnerable to dust mites if you live in a humid area, or if your home is subject to humid conditions for whatever other reason. Humid environments create the ideal habitation for dust mites, primarily since they result in a greater food supply for dust mites. Staples of a dust mites diet include plant materials, molds, and fungi, all of which thrive in humid conditions. Dust mites also feed on a less commonly-known but very prevalent airborne particulate: dead human skin, found in every home.
That "dust" you see in a shaft of sunlight coming through your window? Yep, mostly dead human skin, and you just can't avoid it. And dust mites love the stuff.
Based on the facts mentioned above, you can see why it is so critical to take action for the specific purpose of minimizing dust mites in your home, particularly if someone in your home suffers from asthma. In which case, we have compiled a list of 6 ways you can reduce the dust mites that reside in your home.
[NOTE: The following paragraph in this article has been updated with text written by the author of this web site because the information was obsolete and incorrect.]
You are better off with a more advanced air purification technology that uses oxidation, which is considerably more effective at purifying air than any filter. Hydroxyl ions, hydro peroxides, oxide ions or negative ions remove pollutants from the air that are as much as 300 times smaller than the smallest particle a filter can remove. Plus, oxidation technology air purifiers can be emitted throughout your home, so they are more thorough in the area they cover. Oxidizers are also capable of penetrating upholstered furniture, bedding, etc. to destroy dust mites and their feces. Heat sterilization is also a very effective way to kill dust mites.
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