to Create a Dust Free Bedroom
National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Diseases offers
several tips on how to make your bedroom dust-free:
you are dust-sensitive, especially if you have allergies and/or
asthma, you can reduce some of your misery by creating a "dust-free" bedroom.
Dust may contain molds, fibers, and dander from dogs, cats,
and other animals, as well as tiny dust mites. These mites,
which live in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets,
thrive in the summer and die in the winter. They will, however,
continue to thrive in the winter if the house is warm and humid.
The particles seen floating in a shaft of sunlight include
dead mites and their waste products, The waste products actually
provoke the allergic reaction.
cleaning necessary to maintain a dust-free bedroom also can
help reduce exposure to cockroaches, another important cause
of asthma in some allergic people.
cannot control dust conditions under which you work or spend
your daylight hours. To a large extent, however, you can eliminate
dust from your bedroom. To create a dust-free bedroom, you
must reduce the number of surfaces on which dust can collect.
to getting medical care for your dust allergy and/or asthma,
the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases suggests
the following guidelines:
empty the room, just as if you were moving.
» Empty and
clean all closets and, if possible, store contents elsewhere
and seal closets.
» If this
is not possible, keep clothing in zippered plastic bags and
shoes in boxes off the floor.
» Remove carpeting,
» Clean and
scrub the woodwork and floors thoroughly to remove all traces
» Wipe wood,
tile, or linoleum floors with water, wax, or oil.
» If you use
linoleum, cement it to the floor.
» Close the
doors and windows until the dust-sensitive person is ready
to occupy the room.
» Wear a filter
mask when cleaning.
» Clean the
room thoroughly and completely once a week.
» Clean floors,
furniture, tops of doors, window frames and sills, etc., with
a damp cloth or oil mop.
vacuum carpet and upholstery regularly.
» Use a special
filter in the vacuum.
curtains often at 130 degrees Farenheit.
» Air the room
Carpeting makes dust control impossible. Although
shag carpets are the worst type for the dust-sensitive person,
all carpets trap dust. Therefore, health care experts recommend
hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors. Treating carpets with tannic
acid eliminates some dust mite allergen. Tannic acid, however,
» Not as effective
as removing the carpet
» Is irritating
to some people
» Must be applied
Keep only one bed in the bedroom. Most importanly,
encase box springs and mattress in a zippered dust-proof or
allergen-proof cover. Scrub bed springs outside the room. If
a second bed must be in the room, prepare it in the same manner.
washable materials on the bed. Sheets, blankets, and other
bedclothes should be washed frequently in water that is at
least 130 degrees Farenheit.
» Lower temperatures
will not kill dust mites.
» If you set
your hot water temperature lower (commonly done to prevent
children from scalding themselves), wash items at a laundromat
which uses high wash temperatures.
a synthetic, such as dacron, mattress pad and pillow. Avoid fuzzy
wool blankets or feather- or wool-stuffed comforters and mattress
Keep furniture and furnishings to a minimum.
» Avoid upholstered
furniture and blinds.
» Use only
a wooden or metal chair that can be scrubbed.
» Use only
plain, lightweight curtains on the windows.
Air filters-either added to a furnace or a room unit-can reduce
the levels of allergens. Electrostatic and high-efficiency
particulate absorption (HEPA) filters can effectively remove
many allergens from the air. If functioning improperly, however,
electrostatic filters may emit ozone, which can be harmful
to your lungs if you have asthma.
may help because house mites need high humidity to live and
grow. You should take special care to clean the unit frequently
with a weak bleach solution (1 cup bleach in 1 gallon water)
or a commercial product to prevent mold growth. Although low
humidity may reduce dust mite levels, it might irritate your nose and lungs.
In addition to the above guidelines, if you are caring for
a child who is dust-sensitive
toys that will accumulate dust out of the child's bedroom.
» Avoid stuffed
» Use only
washable toys of wood, rubber, metal, or plastic.
» Store toys
in a closed toy box or chest.
all animals with fur or feathers out of the bedroom. People allergic
to dust mites often are allergic to cats, dogs, or other animals.
these steps may seem difficult at first, experience plus habit
will make them easier. The results-better breathing, fewer
medicines, and greater freedom from allergy and asthma attacks-will
be well worth the effort."
is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose,
and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including
HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness
from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria,
autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.
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