and Cat Allergens Found in 100% of U.S. Homes
29, 2004- NEWSdial.com)
According to a study in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of
Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), dog and cat allergen
is found in everysingle home in the United States.
J. Arbes, Jr. DDS, MPH, PhD, and colleagues from Durham and Researchz
Triangle Park in North Carolina, gathered data from the first
National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing (NSLAH1). The
date was gathered from 1998 to 1999 by the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development. The NSLAH1 was a cross-sectional
survey of 831 housing units containing 2,456 individuals in a
total of 75 locations across the United States. Questionnaires
were administered, environmental samples were collected from
various rooms and observations were recorded at each household.
study found that although a dog or cat had lived in only 49.1%
of the homes, dog and cat allergen was detected in 100% and 99.9%
respectively. The study also found that the majority of U.S.
homes have levels that exceed the proposed thresholds for sensitization
to these allergens.
highest concentrations of dog and cat allergen were found on
the sofa. In homes with pets, the higher level on sofas could
reflect where pets prefer to spend time. However, it could also
reflect the site most likely to come in contact with clothing
worn outside the home.
most U.S. households have neither a dog nor an indoor cat, the
question arises why these allergens are found in homes without
pets. Explanations for this could be:
lived in the home in the past and the allergens have persisted
over time. Dog and cat allergen easily adhere to many surfaces
in the home, such as rugs, walls and clothing, making total elimination
of the allergen very difficult.
and cat allergen are easily transported on clothing, making them
detectable in locations free of dogs and cats. Pet allergens
have been detected in a variety of public places such as schools,
trains, buses, hospitals, shopping malls, cinemas, hotels, and
even in an allergist's office.
see these findings as a challenge to develop environmental interventions
that take into account the community as a potential reservoir
for dog and cat allergens.
JACI is the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American
Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).
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