Air Date: Week of May 12, 2000
Diane Toomey reports on what the First National Allergen Survey found out about what's crawling around in our beds.
TOOMEY: You've heard about toxic buildings. Now consider toxic beds. In what's dubbed the first national allergen survey, scientists armed with Eureka vacuum cleaners collected and then analyzed dust from the bedding of more than 800 homes across the country. The results aren't pretty. Scientists discovered that about 45 percent of all beds contain so many dust mite fecal particles they could trigger an allergic reaction. And in about half of those beds, the concentration is so high it could produce an asthma attack. Researchers are now turning their attention to the living room, analyzing the mite dropping content in rugs and upholstered furniture. For dealing with those unwanted bed guests, researchers recommend the use of allergen-proof bedding covers, washing sheets and blankets in really hot water, and keeping the humidity in your home low. And that's this week's Living on Earth environmental health update. I'm Diane Toomey.
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