Allergy to cleanliness: How to properly deal with dust so as not to get sick

DUST IS VERY FINE (no more than one tenth of a millimeter) particles of skin, hair, pet hair, pellets from clothes, as well as pollen, grains of sand or fungal spores. Dust can be harmless, or it can seriously ruin your well-being. How to prevent the latter, we figure out together with the doctors: Candidate of Medical Sciences, allergist-immunologist of the Medicina clinic Sergey Bykov, expert of the Center for Molecular Diagnostics (CMD) of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor Marina Vershinina and Candidate of Medical Sciences, otorhinolaryngologist, founder of the ENT clinic of Dr. Zaitsev »Vladimir Zaitsev.        

We breathe dust
and that’s okay

Oddly enough, most of the dust enters the room not from street shoes and outerwear, but together with the air. The minimum amount of it prisutstvet even in its purest, a mountain, so the phrase “we are breathing the dust” – the truth, regardless of how often the cleaning is carried out. Moreover, creating conditions at home that are close to hospital conditions may not play in your favor (do not confuse sterility with cleanliness: the latter is , of course, needed in the house).

According to Marina Vershinina, an excessive passion for hygiene is the reason for the growth of allergic diseases in the modern world, including among children. When the body hardly comes into contact with microorganisms that “train” the immune system (bacteria or fungi), the “bored” immune system finds other enemies. They are allergens that are safe for most people. So trying to protect a child from contact with house dust and endlessly washing floors for prevention is a bad idea. This may only be relevant if allergies or asthma have already developed. Inhaling up to fifty milligrams of dust per day is normal for an adult without problems with the respiratory system.

Humidifiers and mold

Most of all dust is contained not in street air, which is constantly renewed due to circulation, but in the air of closed premises – offices or apartments. When there is too much dust in it, allergies can occur, especially if there is a predisposition to it. It also happens that due to the high humidity of the air, many mold particles become in the house dust. The latter easily penetrates the respiratory tract and, with prolonged contact, provokes the development of bronchial asthma.

For example, the operation of an air washer, a device that removes dust and humidifies the air, can lead to the growth of fungi. Vladimir Zaitsev notes that if you do not forget to change the water in the device in time and periodically clean it according to the instructions, this problem will not arise. True, people with asthma should give up washing and humidifiers – they need to breathe relatively clean and always dry (40-50% humidity) air. In this help hoods and working batteries, air conditioning or climate control system. Doctor Sergey Bykov advises people with this diagnosis also not to forget to turn on the hood during cooking and not to leave the bathroom door open so that there is less steam in the air.

Dust mites

Sneezing, runny or nasal congestion, coughing, shortness of breath can be caused by waste from dust mites – close relatives of lice. These microscopic insects do not drink blood and do not spread infections, but they feed on dead skin cells, get fluid from humid air and reproduce well in a warm environment, for example, in bed – pillows, blankets, mattresses. The surest way to defeat pests is to create uncomfortable conditions for their existence. Opt for synthetic materials: Avoid feather pillows, duvets, and wool blankets. Wear anti-mite covers on pillows – they will provide good ventilation by quickly dissipating heat and moisture. Do not make your bed as soon as you get up – let the linen dry and cool down. It is recommended to wash bed linen at a high temperature (at least sixty degrees), at least once a week.

Mites can be found in carpets, curtains and upholstery , where dust is common. If you find it difficult to give up your carpet, be prepared to vacuum it regularly and wash it with a special detergent about a couple of times a month. Curtains made of natural fabrics should be replaced with synthetic ones – they are easier to clean, and upholstered furniture should be treated with an aerosol that allows it to absorb less dust. Another option is to opt for wooden or plastic chairs, armchairs and sofas with leather upholstery, or regularly remove and wash fabric. According to Marina Vershinina, sometimes fire retardants – strong allergens – are found in the dust . These toxic elements are added to building materials, floor coverings, and furniture upholstery to protect against fire. As a result, the only way to relieve allergy symptoms is to take an antihistamine.

What to do

Make sure that there are as few dust collectors as possible – old carpets, pillows, stuffed animals – even if there are children at home, you can put toys in boxes when not in use. Do not store things under the bed or set up special boxes for them. Outerwear that is temporarily not used should be put into vacuum bags, and shoes – in plastic sections or boxes. Papers and books collect a lot of dust – keep them in closed cabinets and drawers, or opt for electronic counterparts.

In order not to accumulate paper, create an electronic cabinet: any receipts can be saved in the “cloud”, and the instructions for the devices, if desired, can be printed on the Internet. You don’t even need a scanner for documents – you just need to take a picture of them with a smartphone or use a scanning application. In addition , finding the form you need on your phone is much easier than shifting stacks of paper sheets from place to place.

You can’t do without wet cleaning once or twice a week. We have already talked about how to do it correctly, as well as clean and humidify the air in the room. In addition, experts recommend at least a couple times a year to wash chandeliers, windows and clean the ventilation grids . There are many devices and gadgets that help to effectively deal with dust. The main thing that is important to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner or air cleaner is the presence of a HEPA filter. The latter is made of fiberglass and is able to retain the maximum amount of the smallest particles from the air.

A steam vacuum cleaner is also useful at home: the steam helps to remove dirt and dust from hard-to-reach places, such as cleaning the grout of tiles. The device has a more compact and cheaper alternative – a manual steam cleaner with replaceable nozzles for cleaning various surfaces – hob, curtains, furniture, glass and so on.

local_offerevent_note July 4, 2021

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