Controlling Indoor Allergens

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Keeping your indoor air free of dust and dander is important for your family's health. Regularly changing your furnace filter and air cleaners can help keep the air cleaner. This page is about controlling indoor allergens.


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February 13, 2009

My son is 7 and has suffered from asthma and lung problems since birth. When we have been to the hospital before we came home, the doctors gave me a cleaning tip to control dust and mold allergens, (anything that could cause a flare up). Use plain white distilled vinegar and water, you can use this through the house and it gives you a clean smell.

By Rhonda from Spring Hope, NC

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For allergy sufferers, I find that air cleaners really help me. I have one in the bedroom and one in the living room. Better than piling on the meds!


By Pamphyila from Los Angeles

Editor's Note: There are numerous air cleaners on the market. Which air cleaners do you recommend? Post them below.

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July 24, 2005

I have recently moved back from PA to NY. In PA my house had electric heat and it was very easy to manage any dust. My son is a severe asthmatic with severe allergies to everything, including dust. We looked for an apartment with only wood floors since it is easy to clean.

I have encountered the worst duct issue ever. We have air purifiers in every room. Maintain the proper humidity. Keep windows closed in the summer for pollen. We do everything by the book. My apartment is a toxic dust haven. I clean, every other day. First, I swift, then I swift by hand, then I mop and then I swift again. The dust piles as if someone is emptying a vacuum cleaner bag throughout my apartment.


I am stumped. I have to do this every other day, realistically I should do this every day, but there is simply not enough time.
I do not know what to do. I tore off the base board heating, cleaned that out for the winter months and still, I wipe the floor with my hands and it resembles an abandoned haunted house.

Any tips on products (non-toxic) or tricks would greatly be appreciated.



July 24, 20050 found this helpful

Nikki, dust is made from cloth or rugs. My son had the same problems yours is having. You have to get rid of curtins, and all excess belongings. You need to get rid of stuffed animals and things like that. Most people dont' realize dust is not dirt. It is from materials made of textile materials. You can switch to Roman shades. The are lot less likely to cause dust. If you have a cloth sofa, you have to vacumn in or get a cover and wash it every other day.Manly dont keep excess clothing. Good rule of thumb if you dont use it in two weeks and it is not seasonal then it has to go. No smoking around that kid. That is the worst. I saw my son struggle to breath so much and nothing is worth that.So lose all the excess. People cant wear or use but so much. Try not to keep it.. Have a yard sale. I used a rainbow as it used water to filter. It really works well. Other vacs seem to put the dust back out there. Artificial flowers , go, too much on the wall all that..


let is go..You will be much happier. After I did all of this. It was easy. This was back when those thick ruffled curtains were the rage and they were expensive but I learned tolove the sun coming in and the simplicity. It is the new look. Well one of them i am happy to say , now that he is grown I still enjoy.. good luck honey. My heart goes out to you. Oh if he is on a prevetive med for asthma, talk to you doc. Do not give prevenitive and the acute meds at the same time. This only makes the attacks last longer. I found this out 20 years ago.If he is in an attack use only the inhaler. My son was allergice to everything.. Even human skin..sloughed off. He is 21 and has grown out of it. But always , always keeps and inhaler. He always will. Make sure there is not mildew around. Most with asthma will really get sick. Look around wet spots. Keep the sun in.. It kills it. Always talk with your dr about these things.. never listen to online without checking. hugs

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By nikki (Guest Post)
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you so much. We have been dealing with this since my son was 15 months old. We have not a single stuffed animal , no curtains, we do have a cloth couch , but we cannot vacuum as it pulls dust mites to the surface and he is allergic to dust mites. We did not have this problem back in our house, I clean every other day, but if you saw what was floating in the air you would just fall over. When the sun shines in the dust particles look like snow.


It is frightening. Like I said we have purifiers in every room that are maintained every 2-3 months. Could it be something in the building creating this horrible dust? We moved back to NY figuring it would be better for my son and in turn his allergies here are worse then ever. The allergist says the 99 per cent of my sons success is controlling the indoor enviroment, now I have zero control over this dust.
Thanks again, Nikki

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By Paula W (Guest Post)
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Nikki. I know nothing firsthand about asthma but know that it must be really scary to see your child struggling with it. This is just a thought. The dust you're describing sounds like what we experienced about 15 or so years ago when we were using humidifiers that I think had "sonic" somewhere in the name. Whenever we used them, there would be a fine white dust that would appear everywhere.


Maybe minerals in the water? Just a thought. But, maybe you're right in that your building has a toxic environment and the central heat/air is the culprit. Maybe it's due for maintenance. I assume you've discussed with the manager? Best wishes and prayers for you and your precious son!

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By kelly (Guest Post)
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

Is your furance or A/C unit on?
I was told to put cheesecloth on my furance and cold air returns before I sand my hard wood floors. I wonder if it would also keep the dust from being blown around your apartment.

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By Diana (Guest Post)
July 26, 20050 found this helpful

Dust is also caused from skin particles

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July 26, 20050 found this helpful

Ask the doc about using Singular. I have found it to be VERY helpful in controlling allergies and asthma.

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By Brenda (Guest Post)
August 18, 20050 found this helpful

You may want to look into having your ducts cleaned out if you have forced air heat. Dust and dirt settle in the ducts and then blows out whenever the heat or AC comes on

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February 21, 20100 found this helpful

Household dust is composed primarily of things like human skin and hair, waxes, pollen, mold, fungi, lichen, tiny particles of wood, paint, fibers from fabrics such as wool, nylon, rayon, acrylic, foam rubber, sheet rock, plant and vegetable matter, insect parts, industrial emissions, heavy hydrocarbon waste from your oil or gas heater, even tiny bits of metal debris from door hinges or any place where metal and friction meet, lots of food waste, and loads of paper fiber...

There is a reason why dust seems to reappear just days after it gets cleaned up and it's not because you're doing a poor job cleaning. Especially in the winter, when the humidity is low, there's a lot of static charge. It's really strong. When you wipe the dust off, it'll come back and deposit on it. 3M and Scotch Brite has developed a statically-charged wipe cloth to more efficiently pull the dust off the surfaces, and Swiffer has made billions of dollars selling its statically-charged wipe cloths.

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August 3, 20140 found this helpful

There are many sources through which these dust and allergens enter in our house and we can't be able to stop them from entering inside house but we can improve indoor air quality with some better ventilation system which can prevent or absorb these dust particles from entering our house.

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