An allergy to dust mites (right) can show up as chronic congestion or even asthma. It’s worth the extra effort to minimize exposure to the allergens that come from these commonplace tiny critters.
The September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers the following tips to reduce exposure to these allergens in your organic home.
Focus on the bedroom. About 98% of dust allergens are inhaled from your bed. Pillows and mattresses should be covered with dust-proof covers, which can be purchased at many department stores. Bedding should be washed every other week in hot water to kill dust mites.
Clean with a difference. A microfiber dusting product and damp rag are better for grabbing dust than a dry cloth or dust mop. A vacuum cleaner with a double-layered microfilter bag or high- efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will help remove dust from carpet and upholstered furniture. Bedrooms should be cleaned once a week. Keeping dust-collecting clutter—newspapers and knickknacks—to a minimum also helps.
Control the environment. Windows and doors should be closed as much as possible. Using a micron-grade allergen filter with furnace and air-conditioning systems helps minimize dust. Filters need to be changed frequently.
Photo courtesy of Beam Industries Air Filtration