Allergies, Asthma, Insomnia, Dust & your mattress

Bedeviled

Do you or your children suffer from any of the following

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Did you know bed bacteria has now been linked to cot death?

Further, did you know each time you move on your bed, bacteria, dust mites, micro maggots and the allergenic excrement they produce are churned up and inhaled or blown into your mouth, nose, eyes and skin; hence the common early morning symptoms of dry mouth, sneezing, coughing, sore red eyes, itchy skin and runny nose... yes, I was grimacing at this point as well.

Considering we spend one third of our lives in bed

it's not surprising that dust mites thrive there; they eat your dead skin, you see. Up to 2,500 mites have been counted in ONE gram of dust. That equals more than 1 MILLION mites in a queen size mattress!

And let's not mention what else is in the dust... all right, we will . Recent studies have found that common household dust contains a mixture of pesticides, heavy metals, flame retardants, solvents and hormone disrupting chemicals. Together these form an invisible toxic hazard that scientists have only just begun to study, but already are concluding that, for health's sake, we need to drastically reduce our exposure.

So, how unhygienic is your bed?

For the non-allergic and respiratory healthy amongst us, this insight into our bed companions is unpleasant. However if you are one of the many with allergies and/or breathing problems, this discovery may be the break through you've been waiting for. Why? Because it indicates that much of your suffering is less to do with your health than it is the ill health of your mattress.

Research suggests children who sleep on old mattresses during the first year of life are more at risk of developing breathing disorders such as asthma. A study by The University of Auckland showed that wheezing at ages 3.5 and 7 years was more common in children who slept on a used mattress in the first year of life.

Considering we moult a bathtub of skin and sweat hundreds of litres while sleeping every year, leak urine (and other fluids), and yes, admit it, sometimes go to bed without washing, it should be no surprise that our mattresses are rather toxic places.

Mould spores

Other allergens, while less repugnant than the creepy dust mite, are being found to cause equally serious problems. For example, it has long been known that the spores of certain fungi--particularly the types commonly known as molds--can trigger allergic reactions. But just how prevalent such problems may be is only now becoming clear.

Even older studies revealed the presence of a fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus) within test mattresses; a potentially pathogenic mould to humans that produces pneumonia like disorders upon inhaling spores. This particular study ended with the warning: "Relatively large numbers of fungal species, represented by large numbers of spores, are present in mattress materials..." *

Mould, like the dust mite, favours the mattress as a domicile because of what we provide to it; sweat. That's right, every night the average adult will perspire up to a litre of moisture into their mattress, and although much of this will evaporate enough remains for mould to germinate; a fact even truer in high humidity zones.

Mould

The problem with the solutions

Although solutions have been attempted (e.g. rubber mattress covers, steam cleaning), tests have shown these are only partially effective (as little as 10% effective). Steam cleaning a mattress even exacerbates the mould problem; although lethal to dust mites, the mould thrives further in the extra moisture.

The carpet is not to blame

Some solutions have focused efforts elsewhere to eradicate the problem, the carpet for example. Yet latest studies reveal that the carpet is not the source of our growing respiratory health problems. Instead the carpet acts like a filter, trapping dust and toxins that would otherwise continue to float about in a home with hard surface floors. These dust toxins can then be removed by suitable cleaning.

Yet research into the mattress as a core problem area has largely been neglected--Until now.

Now new technologies, products and processes are set to eradicate the toxic mattress dilemma

Through a process of extraction, intense UV irradiation, and application products designed to prevent dust-mite reappearance and neutralise mould spore germination, the bed may again soon become the place it was always meant to be: A Safe Place To Sleep.

Comments 13 comments

UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada

Okay YECH!!!! I want to go out and buy a new mattress...deep steam clean the little rug we have ...air filter our air...

Truly this has been an issue for many years since we have so 'draft' proofed our homes. I am somewhat surprised at the lethal-ness of the mattress and I do intend to look into that more...thanks for the good info...I think...

now if you'll excuse me I need to go shower...I'm itchy :)

Blessings UlrikeGrace


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

I can't say I enjoyed reading this hub, but it was well written and informative. Still, I'd rather not have known it, since it is so close to bedtime. Ugh.


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

Yes, not pleasant, but hopefully something that will help asthma and allergy sufferers in the future. Thanks for your comments


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Ugh. I don't even want to think what might be in my bed - I sleep with 2 Great Danes! lol


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

~habee~

I'm surprised there's room left in the bed for you. lol

Thanks for stopping by.


Craan profile image

Craan 6 years ago from Florida

Very interesting hub! I never really gave much thought to all these bed bugs loving my bed and me. I wonder if encasing a mattress in a plastic mattress pad helps to reduce the breathing in of dust mites? Also will sleeping on a wooden frame bed with a hypoallergenic mattress help too?


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

Thanks for stopping by Craan. Actually bedbugs are a different problem all together. Unfortunately the title 'bedbug' is a misnomer as they can live anywhere and are attracted to a blood meal (Parasites). Dust mites, the cause of so much ill health and related issues are almost microscopic creature that live not on us but on what we shed; skin cells and sweat.

You might find the linked article below an answer to your question regarding mattress cover effectiveness

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0689/is_12_...


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Informative and educative hub which i so much enjoy and learn from.


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz Author

@Sun-Girl ~ Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for commenting.


Ken Barton profile image

Ken Barton 5 years ago

Excellent Hub, and very disturbing given the breathing problems I myself have developed in the last couple years. If I were to go to a doctor, he would likely prescribe some medication, inhalers of multiple types, and run dozens of tests without once asking about our home conditions. What you have described in your hub is something my wife and I need to address as soon as possible. Getting rid of old carpeting, our old mattresses, and washing our interior walls down to remove mold from the outside walls.


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz Author

@Ken Barton ~ appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. Yes, many doctors are very quick to issue "medicine" rather than uncover the cause. I sincerely hope you manage to overcome your breathing troubles. All the best.


docbruin profile image

docbruin 5 years ago from USA

Very informative hub, even if somewhat unpleasant to think about! Thanks for the info!


ByeMould 13 months ago

A dehumidifier can help to remedy these problems however you must make sure to use the correct dehumidifier i.e one with an anti-bacterial filter and ioniser.

An anti-bacterial filter kills bacteria upon contact and an ioniser takes positive ions such as dust mites and mould spores out of the air.

Here is a very short article about it: http://byemould.com/2015/08/10/best-dehumidifier-f...

Using a dehumidifier in the proximity of your bed will also stop the growth of any existing spores and will discontinue the formation of any new spores and fungi etc.

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