There is a growing amount of scientific data that reveals that better environmental hygiene improves health. The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health, and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 50 percent of all illnesses are caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air.
So, what are these indoor pollutants that can negatively affect our health?
They include outdoor pollutants brought inside, combustion products, contamination from chemical products used by the consumer, and biological contamination. This is why EPA statistics show that levels of many airborne pollutants can be 100 to 500% higher indoors than outdoors. Bio- pollutants include dog- and cat- dander, dust mites, and cockroach allergens. These indoor pollutants act as triggers for asthma and other respiratory ailments. Over 40 million Americans suffer from allergies due to these pollutants. Children are the most at risk, as their lungs are still in the developmental stage.
The common house mite is the #1 indoor allergen source. Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged arachnids (not insects) 0.3 mm in length. They are invisible to the human eye, so small they can crawl through the weave of bedding fabrics. Dust mites feed on tiny flakes of shed human skin cells. The average adult sheds about 2 pounds of skin per year. This will feed millions of dust mites. The dust mite is not what causes the problem; this lies with a protein found in the fecal matter called Der pl. The fecal matter is lighter than air and becomes airborne when disturbed by activity like fluffing pillows or tossing and turning during the night. The airborne particles are inhaled; the protein Der pl breaks down the protective mucous lining of the eyes, nose, lungs, and skin. Allergens enter the body and cause an overreaction of the human immune system. According to a study published by The National Institute of Environmental Health, 46 percent of North American homes have bedding with enough dust mite allergens to cause allergies.
We cannot forget pets. Proteins in a pet’s dander, saliva, and urine cause pet allergies. Grooming by cats causes saliva on fur to become airborne, which, in turn, triggers allergic reactions. Allergy sufferers should not have pets, but of course, they do. We can help by introducing regular cleaning and treatment of their home furnishings.
So what about mattresses? For allergy sufferers, the bedroom is the primary source of dust mite exposure in the home. About 60% of mites in the home are found in the mattress, as we spend one third of our life in bed — shedding skin and feeding dust mites. To effectively control dust mite allergens, the mattress should be regularly cleaned, about every 6 months for allergy sufferers. For the customer who may not be convinced she has mites in her mattress, it is possible to do a test to determine the levels of mites. First, collect dust from the mattress by dry vacuuming. Place a black cloth over the vacuum hose and extract about 1 square foot of the mattress. You will be amazed at the amount of white dust on the cloth; skin particles and dead dust mites.
Steam-Pro of Tallahassee has one of the newest, most advanced, highly rated pieces of equipment that will clean, kill and remove dust mites, their fecal particles and the tiny flakes of shed human skin cells that they feed upon. Steam-Pro of Tallahassee can even sanitize your mattress and remove stains & odors.