Allergic? Dust often, with a mask

Dec. 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM   |   Comments

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. allergy experts say indoor allergy and asthma triggers can include not only dust, pet dander and mold but noxious fumes from an attached garage.

Members of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology advise moving insecticides, stored gasoline and other irritants to a shed and not running the car in the garage.

They also say staying free of sneezing and sniffles while indoors this winter may require regular dusting. Allergy sufferers should wear a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-rated N95 mask when dusting.

Boxing up books and knickknacks and getting furniture with non-porous surfaces -- such as leather -- can help in cleaning. Use a high efficiency particulate air filter vacuum. Wash bedding and stuffed animals in hot water every 14 days, the experts say.

"Banish allergens from the bedroom. Keep pets and their dander out, and encase mattresses and pillows with dust-mite proof covers," Dr. Myron Zitt says in a statement. "Limit curtains -- use blinds that can be washed instead."

Zitt and colleagues also advise to:

-- Keep dust mites in check by reducing humidity to below 55 percent. Don't use humidifiers or vaporizers.

-- Use a high efficiency furnace filter with MERV rating of 11 or 12. Change it every three months.

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