Dust Exposure and Allergens

Managing Dust Exposure And Allergens

It’s a tricky balance to manage dust exposure and your allergens in San Francisco. There are lots of construction sites that create dust that contains molds. Your neighbor may have a dog or cat and the walls between your homes aren’t air tight. Old windows allow pollens to enter.

All of these things can cause chaos in managing your identified allergens.

A Site Assessment Is The First Step

We can identify where the air instructions are coming in. It may or may not be possible to stop all the air exchanges in building, but often our recommendations can bring real relief.

Testing The Dust For Your Allergens Is The Second Step

Your Allergist or other medical professional has analyzed your allergen triggers. We can test the dust in your home or office to see if those same allergens are present. Once you know if your allergen triggers are present, a plan can be made. This plan will help you manage the presence of your allergen triggers.

MARIA dust testing samples for dog and cat dander, rat and mouse urine and feces, and dust mites.

ERMI dust testing samples for mold spores.

Do read more about both tests and confer with your medical team to be sure this testing is appropriate for you.

Fix What Is Fixable Is The Third Step

If you live in a multiple family dwelling, you can’t replace windows and install exhaust fans. It is unlikely that your landlord will do these actions for you, but it never hurts to ask.

Modifications You Can Do That Will Help

A true HEPA air purifier can be your best friend.  You want a machine that does not include ozone generation, or electrostatic cleaning devices. You may add charcoal or carbon filtration; this removes odors and does not add unwanted contaminants to your breathable air. 

Read more Choose the Right HEPA Air Purifier for You.

Eliminate rugs. Rugs hold dust where dust mites and mold will grow. The humidity in the air is enough for mold growth. If you choose to keep your rugs and carpeting, please vacuum frequently using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Some HEPA vacuum manufacturers are using plastic HEPA filters, advising they can be washed.  A HEPA filter is accordian folded material. It is impossible to remove fine and ultrafine dust particles from an accordian-type filter. And water will become trapped at the interior fold of the filter. The water will feed the mold spores on the dust. So the next time you turn on the vacuum you’ll be a nose-full of mold spores, dust mites, etc. Paper – throw away – filters are definitely worth it. You may also choose the throw the plastic HEPA filters away instead of trying to wash them.

Keeps linens clean. It is worth the investment to get allergy covers for all mattresses and pillows. Fine dust will penetrate sheets and lodge in your mattress. The nightly perspiration is enough moisture to cause mold growth. Dust mites love to live on pillows.

Remove clutter.  Don’t let clutter accumulate. That is very hard to accomplish  right now (Sept. 2020). I’m to worst clutter-accumulator ever. But I can tell you it’s worth the effort to clean it up. You’ll breathe better.  Annually, have your home, car, or office professionally deep cleaning with green cleaning products. 

Follow your medical team’s recommendations. 

Our reports give you building specific recommendations to diminish or remove your allergen triggers from your environment.

Read more about Asthma from the  National Institute of Health 

Read more from the American Lung Association



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