We caught up with Dyson microbiologist Karen Hall to get the dirt on combatting dust allergens around the house
First things first, what makes dust an allergen?
Dust is made of compounds such as dead skin cells, hair, minerals and dirt – organic matter that naturally comes off us or our pets. It also contains particles like pollen, mould and dust mite feces. When allergy and asthma sufferers come into contact with these particles, their immune systems overreact, producing antibodies to repel them. This often results in an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, coughing or a runny nose.
We naturally think of vacuuming our carpets, but allergenic mites could be lurking elsewhere, right?
Dust and allergens can be found lurking everywhere in your home: mattresses, pillows, sofas, curtains. In a mattress, there can be anywhere from 10,000 to one million dust mites breeding and producing feces, which is what humans are allergic to. Our lab work has shown that the most effective way to reduce dust mites is to remove their food source: dead skin cells. Using a vacuum with powerful suction and a cleaner head that can penetrate deep into the surface is a prime solution for removing these cells. We recommend vacuuming your mattress monthly.
How do you choose the right vacuum cleaner?
You want a vacuum with a quality HEPA filter and seal. As well, your vacuum should have a hygienic bin-emptying function, which reduces the chances of contact being made directly with the dust and dirt in the vacuum bin.
THE DYSON SMALL BALL. IT HAS WHOLE MACHINE HEPA FILTRATION AND A SEALED SYSTEM TO KEEP DUST AND ALLERGENS PICKED UP BY THE VACUUM IN THE VACUUM.