Why clean mattresses?
There is a growing amount of scientific data that reveals better environmental hygiene improves health. The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health, and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, “50 percent of all illnesses are caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air.” The No.1 indoor allergen source? The common house dust mite. Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged arachnids (not insects) 0.3mm in, length. They are invisible to the human eye, so small they can crawl through the weave of bedding fabrics.
Dust mites feed on tiny flakes of shed human skin cells. The average adult sheds about 2 pounds of skin per year. This will feed millions of dust mites. The dust mite is not what causes the problem; this lies with a protein found in the fecal matter called Der pl. The fecal mater is lighter than air and becomes airborne when disturbed by activity like fluffing pillows and tossing and turning during the night. The airborne particles are inhaled; the protein Der pI breaks down the protective mucous lining of the eyes, nose, lungs and skin. The allergens enter the body and cause an overreaction of the human immune system. According to a study published by The National Institute of Environmental Health, 46 percent of North American homes have bedding with enough dust mite allergens to cause allergies. So what about mattresses? For allergy sufferers, the bedroom is the primary source of dust mite exposure in the home. About 60 percent of mites in the home are found in the mattress, as we spend one third of our life in bed – shedding skin and feeding dust mites.
To effectively control dust mite allergens, the mattress should be regularly cleaned, about every 6 months for allergy sufferers.
Say hello to what lives in your bed right now! Aren’t they cute, they feed off of dead skin and you feed them every night!
A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. (Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.) Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. A favorite food is dander (both human and animal skin flakes). Humans shed about 1/5 ounce of dander (dead skin) each week. About 80 percent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is actually skin flakes. Also, bedroom carpeting and household upholstery support high mite populations.