One in three Britons are affected by allergies and ironically it’s the place we view as a safe haven that can be our worst enemy – our homes.
Triggers for a number of common allergies including various respiratory and skin complaints have become more apparent, with the house dust mite, mould and bacteria being prime culprits.
As hosts to these offenders, what steps we can take to make our surroundings as trigger free as possible?
In Victorian homes allergy levels were lower – fewer soft furnishings and cold draughty stone-floored homes discouraged dust mite populations.
Today, we provide the perfect surroundings for these offenders; warmth because we turn up the heating as opposed to putting on an extra jumper and humidity when we insist on drying our washing inside and refuse to open the windows.
Thick piled carpets, sumptuous bedding, decorative cushions and fabrics provide the perfect habitat and multiply the causes and triggers of common allergies.
A massive sevenfold increase reported in some types of allergy is forcing the population to find solutions.
Even architects and developers are experimenting with house designs that minimise exposure to allergens. ‘Sick office syndrome’ has long been recognised, but ‘sick house syndrome’ could also become widespread unless necessary changes are made to our environment.
These new house designs offer anti-allergy heating systems that minimise humidity, carpets are banned, with laminated flooring allowing easy cleaning, air circulation systems clean the air and vacuum sockets prevent the need for a standard cleaner, which redistribute mites rather than sucking them up!
It goes without saying that this all comes at a price and for most of us buying an anti-allergen house is not realistic. However, there are still a number of steps we can implement to make our home healthier.
Total Hygiene DM1 works by eliminating dust mites, mould, bacteria and fungi already present as well as killing the food source, which prevents re-infestation for up to 6 months. Its benefit is threefold – allergy sufferers often witness a reduction in symptoms, fabric feels better and is kept newer for longer.
As a complement to this a range of anti-allergen bedding has just been launched, which helps reduce the 2 million dust mites you share a bed with every night.
Tips for a ‘Home Sweet Home’:
1. Choose laminate, wooden or vinyl flooring
2. Replace heavy fabric curtains with blinds that can be wiped clean
3. Spray your mattress, soft furnishings, carpets and curtains with Total Hygiene DM1 every 6 months
4. Ventilate your home regularly by opening windows and doors
5. Invest in some pre-treated anti allergen bed protection
6. Keep humidity levels as low as possible – don’t dry clothes indoors
7. Turn your central heating down by just 1oC to reduce humidity
8. Reduce the number of cushions, soft toys, fake flowers and other fabric accessories from the home
9. Invest in a high filtration vacuum cleaner
10. Wipe surfaces with a clean, damp cloth rather than a duster
Although some scientists are unsure why allergies are increasing, it’s comforting to know that there are simple ways we can ensure our homes are healthy homes.