New information has been published in the Science Journal PLOS One that reveals our current attempts to rid dust mites may be useless.
The belief that most dust mite exposure occurs in bed and the bedroom has been proved wrong, despite 40 years of prior belief.
The new information lead by Associate Professor Euan Tovey from Sydney University has revealed that only 10% of exposure to dust mites occur when sleeping in the bedroom, whereas, 50% of exposure to dust mites occur elsewhere in the home, with the other 40% from outside the home.
Researchers measured dust mite exposure on 10 people during a 20-day period with participants wearing a disk that collected dust and rotated throughout the day. Participants also wore a camera. With these tools researchers were able to track where people were and when dust mite exposure was at its greatest.
The results showed that despite attempts to clean the house and avoid triggers by using dust mite protectors on bedding and frequent vacuum cleaning, people might still be exposed in places like public transport or at work.
Professor Tovey said the issue is people carry dust and other triggers like pet dander on their clothes. Avoiding it can be next to impossible. “We are getting exposure from clothing, and when you get on public transport, there are all those people wearing clothes,” said Professor Tovey in an SMH article.
“And then you go to work, and there are 10 people in a room and they are all moving around, they’re generating aerosols. So we are constantly exposed to aerosols – of cat or mite allergens – and it is very hard really to avoid exposure.”
The experts say that allergy sufferers may benefit from washing their clothes more frequently. However, the best way to treat allergies is by finding the right treatment.