Be sure to also see the
page on dust mites
, which also cause allergies. Control measures include enclosing the mattress top and sides with a plastic cover or other
dust mite impervious cover (available here)
, thoroughly vacuuming mattress pillows and the base of the bed. Put an airtight plastic or polyurethane cover over your mattress. This tip is number one for a reason: it is in your bed that you are closest to the mites and their feces and enclosing the mattress and pillows in a dust mite cover virtually eliminates the mites here.
There are allergy controls, like the dustmite-proof fitted sheets. Mattresses covered with "fitted sheets" help prevent the accumulation of human skin scales on the surface
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
A new publication from ASTHO's Environmental Health program is a case study
on using educational data for asthma surveillance. The case study titled,
"Tracking Childhood Asthma with School Data in Three States," features
asthma surveillance programs that have incorporated school-based data into
their work. States included in the case study are Connecticut, Maine, and
Massachusetts. The case study is available online at
[PDF, 96 Kb]
Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)
CHCS directs national programs on behalf of two major health care
philanthropies: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Annie E. Casey
Improving Asthma Care for Children Program Improving Asthma Care for Children projects underway at five health
plans are seeking to improve the health and health-related quality of
life for children with asthma, develop and sustain partnerships with key
community stakeholders, and institutionalize innovative clinical models
in asthma care ...
National Allergy Bureau
- 1-800-9-POLLEN or 1-800-976-5536
National Association of State Boards of Education
State-Level School Health Policies This site includes information on state legal codes, rules, standards,
administrative orders, mandates, and resolutions, and links to
additional resources ...
Asthma Web Resources This site includes links to policy briefs on asthma, analyses of state
legislation, and a searchable database of state legislation and statutes
Asthma: A Growing Epidemic (Environmental Health Series, 2000) Rates for asthma have steadily increased over the past 20 years in all
age groups. Children under age 5 have been the hardest hit, experiencing
a two and one-half fold increase. Despite advances in medical treatment,
asthma deaths nave nearly doubled since 1980 and now total more than
5,000 per year ...
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Expert
Panel identified key questions about asthma management and used a
systematic review of the evidence to prepare answers and update
recommendations for clinical practice ...
National Library of Medicine
NLM, the largest online medical library, provides health information,
library services, research programs, and general information related to
topics such as asthma ...
PBS Kid's Asthma Tips This site helps children learn what asthma is, what can trigger asthma
attacks, and how to stay active and healthy if they have asthma ...
AirNow Web site This site offers air quality information by state and select cities, air
quality forecasts and corresponding health effects, ozone maps, air
pollution publications, and steps you can take to reduce air pollution
A number of researchers, like those
the University of Nebraska, have studied control measuresand
have a set of recommendations that are proven to be effective. Recommendations focus on "dust control." One must reduce the concentration of dust borne allergens in the living environment by controlling both allergen production and the dust which serves to transport it. For the bedroom environment
you will want to use some or all of the following methods. Many dustmite measures also work well for cockroach allergans. We
have listed them in order of practicality combined with
Wash your sheets,
pillows and blankets in very hot water. Wash the
sheets and blankets at least every two weeks. Wash your pillow every week
or put a dust mite-proof cover
(available here) on it and wash once per year. Your pillowcase goes over the
dust mite cover.How hot is hot? The water used to wash your sheets and blankets should be at least 130 degrees F (54 degrees C). Set your washing machine to it's hottest setting. If the water doesn't seem to be coming out hot, you may want to check your hot water heater - you may not realize that most household hot water heaters have a knob that can adjust the temperature of the water it produces. For fabrics that may not be washed in hot water; just pop it into the freezer for 24 to 48 hours to kill dust mites.
Clean weekly: Weekly change pillowcases, sheets, and under blankets, and vacuum the bed base and around the covered mattress. Clean flooring: Use a damp mop or rag to remove dust. Never use a dry cloth or broom, since this just stirs up mite allergens.When
vacuuming, wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling allergens. Then
stay out of the vacuumed area for 20 minutes afterwards to allow
any dust and allergens to settle.
Clean daily: Daily damp dust the plastic mattress cover.
Frequently wash all bedding (blankets, mattress pads and comforters) in hot water (130 degrees F [or 60 degrees C] weekly).
Cold and warm water won't kill mites. Also wash curtains.
Steam clean surfaces and materials that cannot put put
through the washing machine: Using pure steam dissolves
dirt and grime, while removing germs and bacteria from the
surfaces that you're cleaning. Steam is also an economical and
environmentally friendly thing to do. There is no longer the
need to use harsh and toxic chemicals. It is also a great way to
kill dust mites and bed bugs. See this steam cleaner:
New Vapamore MR100 Primo Steam Cleaner.
install laminate flooring, wood, tile, linoleum, or vinyl floor covering. Remove cloth drapes and blinds. (If you have carpet, vacuum every day.) Vacuuming your carpets and upholstery every week can help.
See the caution about vacuuming below under tips. Vacuums with high-efficiency filters pick up more dust mites, but even standard vacuums work well enough.
Air Purifiers: While it is better to stop the dust mites
at the source, reducing the dust levels in the air is a good
secondary measure. Some pest control firms sell air purifiers to eliminate the food source of house dust mites. Although ozone air purifiers emit a low level of ozone (activated oxygen) that attaches to fungus, mold, and bacteria on skin flakes, EHSO does not recommend ozone generators (neither does the US Food and Drug Administration). The same ozone that is oxidizes the dust mites is bad for your health. Air purifiers that use HEPA
filtration are more effective and safe to use. Various types of air purifiers can be attached to the central air return to decrease irritants. Most filters remove 50 to 70 percent of material. HEPA filters will remove up to 99 percent of the material;
not just dust mite feces, but also all types of other allergens,
like animal dander, dust, pollen, cockroach feces, etc... See this page for
information about selecting an air purifier.