Monitoring Allergens

A significant number of allergens, whether in the home or in industrial environments are protease enzymes. Exposure to these allergens can sensitise susceptible individuals resulting in allergies like asthma, rhinitis, eczema and occupational asthma. House dust mite allergen, one of the most common causes and triggers of allergies is a protease excreted by the house dust mite.

Avoiding exposure to the allergens that cause allergic reactions is an important way of controlling symptoms, but up till now there has been no reliable way of monitoring allergens in the indoor environment. A new product, ActivAllergy Mite-Alert, is a device based on protease chemistries that measures levels of house dust mite allergens in the environment. This new tool can be used to alert allergy sufferers to levels of allergen that are high enough to trigger allergic reactions.

Allergy Barriers

Barriers, such as mattress and bedding covers are designed to contain allergens and prevent them from triggering a reaction in susceptible individuals.

House dust mite allergens are a major cause of allergic reactions such as asthma, rhinitis and eczema, and barriers that prevent exposure to these allergens can help to reduce the incidence of allergic reactions.

The mites love warm humid environments such as beds, carpets and soft furnishing. We spend around 30% of our time in bed, and our beds are the ideal breeding ground for house dust mites. Perspiration, together with body heat, and a ready supply of food from shed skin, create the ideal growth environment for the mites.

Mites excrete allergens, which accumulate in the bedding and can be easily inhaled during sleep. Barriers like mattress, pillow and duvet covers can prevent these allergens from escaping. They can also prevent skin flakes, which feed the dust mites, from getting into the mattress and bedding.

A wide variety of barrier covers are available from different suppliers at widely differing prices. The important factor, when buying covers is the pore size. A pore size of 10 microns or less is needed to provide an effective barrier against dust mite allergens.