Recently the entire household was sniffing, coughing and itching as we did our year-end spring cleaning. In fact the kids were having persistent runny nose with no symptoms of flu or any illness. After some deduction, we knew that the culprit was a common one but a potentially harmful one – Dust.
Around the world, allergies are on the rise. But what’s alarming is that these triggers are found all around the home. On average, humans shed 28g skin flakes every month – a rich source of food for insects and dust mites. Dead human skin cells, dust mites and their faeces, pollen, pet dander, mould and bacteria. Lurking inside our homes are these harmful, microscopic allergens, Just 0.000001g is enough to trigger coughing, sneezing, itching and other allergic reactions.
Recently, Dyson has conducted a dust study alongside the National University in Singapore to better understand the invisible villains that reside in Singapore homes. We agreed to participate in the study just to see what allergens are cohabiting in our home.
A team of dust researchers descended upon our home in August and collected dust from the floor, mattresses and desk top surfaces such as shelving, wardrobes and TVs.
We received the Dyson dust report in the email which indicated that:
- We had small traces of cat (What??!!) and cockroach allergens but not dog or mice. Since we don’t own a cat, this could be simply from a visitor who has been in contact with a cat and traces could then be transferred via clothing and ended up on your couch/bed etc.
- For our mattress, it showed we had all traces of dust mites and dog, cat and cockroach allergens found (yikes!).
- 400 million people worldwide are now suffering from allergic diseases.
- House dust is the No.1 cause of allergies in the home.
- Some pollen can travel hundreds of miles which is why warm, dry windy weather can increase allergy symptoms.
- An entire mattress can be home to between 100,000 and 1 million dust mites.
- An average carpet can contain up to 1,000 mites per square metre.
- Mould allergens are perennial and allergy sufferers can display symptoms throughout the year. Levels rise during wet and warmer weather, especially in the high humidity of the Asia Pacific region.