What is Dust
Common house dust is more disgusting than you think. Depending on where you live, it can contain a microscopic concoction of pet dander, pollen, mold spores, fungus, bacteria, bits of rotted plants and dead insects. However, that’s not all; it can also contain millions of dust mites whose waste is a leading trigger of asthma, eczema and allergic inflammations
Many vacuum cleaners do not filter fine dust effectively. Some adequately pull small particles out of your carpeting and bedding. However, their filter systems are so porous that microscopic particles pass through the cleaner and are expelled back into the air you breathe!
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic organisms found in homes and are 0.2-0.3 mm long and translucent. Because of this, they are essentially invisible to the unaided eye. Dust Mites are the primary cause of allergies related to dust. It is actually the excretion of these mites to which people are allergic. Therefore, dust mites can cause allergic reactions even when dead. We live surrounded in filth. Sorry, but it’s a fact. All humans shed about 5-10 grams of dead skin each week. House dust mites are nearly universal in occurrence – although they do not bite, their waste, when inhaled by sensitive people, cause allergy symptoms. Hardy creatures with eight hairy legs, house dust mites are very small with translucent bodies that can only be seen with a microscope. The average dust mite is .3mm. About 3 mites could fit inside the dot at the end of this sentence. They only live for about 2-4 months, but during its life, a dust mite produces about 200 times its weight in waste product and can lay up to 300 eggs!
Dust mites live in the fine layer of minute dust particles that seem to appear in your home from nowhere. They are scavengers whose diet consists mainly of human skin flakes. Since we continuously shed skin, as many as 50 million flakes of dead skin a day, the house dust mite has an abundance of food. Dust mites themselves are normally harmless – it is the skin they shed and the waste they produce that causes allergy symptoms in millions of people.
The mites thrive in warm, humid conditions where their population can explode! Unfortunately, for humans, the beds in which we sleep are some of the warmer and most humid places year round. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillows, carpets, furniture fabric and stuffed toys. They like to burrow into the fabric and escape the light. We are exposed to the allergenic by-products of dust mites while we sleep. Although new homes or furniture; if handed over clean; are dust-free, within a month both are populated with dust mites that come from other areas in which people spend time, such as their vehicles, offices or other people’s homes.
About 80 percent of what you see, floating in a ray of sunshine entering your home is dead skin, and we can see only 10 percent of the airborne pollutants. Other floating particles include dead dust mites and their waste products. These waste products, which are proteins, actually provoke the allergic reaction.
Although a scientist observed mites in dust in 1694, it was not until the 1960’s that they were associated with allergies. Over the years, dust mites have become a target of extensive research for their connection to allergies and respiratory ailments.
The house dust mite can actually cause asthma in the first place according to the National Asthma Campaign USA. Even if someone does not currently have any symptoms, reducing exposure to these allergens may reduce the chance of developing allergies and asthma.