The number of people who suffer from allergies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom is in the tens of millions, and this number has increased rapidly in the last 20 years. To date, 54,000,000 Americans suffer from allergies. Of the allergens present in a home, dust is one of the most prominent, and dust mite waste makes up 80% to 90% of the allergens found in this dust.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has found that 50% of all respiratory illnesses have been caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. Indoor air tends to be much more polluted than the air outside, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding that levels can be 2-5 times, sometimes more than a hundred times the levels seen outdoors. Indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental risks to public health, and dust mites are leading the problem.
Dust Mite Facts
In a basement, mold can grow in may places- most notably carpeting and dusty deposits in the space. They thrive in moist environments, and they're able to live in a house no matter how clean it is.
Fixing Dust Mite Health Problems
The American Family Physician has shown that controlling dust mites is one of the most significant actions you can take to help with allergies and asthma. As the most common chronic disease among children, allergies are too important a problem to ignore.
Allergies will generally begin to develop from ages 6-26, but new symptoms have been known to emerge late if the environment changes from a clean one to one high in airborne pollutants. Dust mite waste holds 15 potent allergens that can cause a variety of allergic reactions in predisposed people: often, symptoms from allergies and asthma can be decreased or eliminated entirely just by eliminating dust mites, mold, and other indoor pollutants.
Your home will always have dust and enough temperature to allow dust mites to survive. How can you fight back? By lowering the relative humidity of the area, you can make your home into an environment that's hostile for dust mites, who absorb moisture from the air through their skin. The easy answer here is to purchase a basement dehumidifier and lowering the relative humidity to below 60%. By doing so, you create an environment that's hostile to dust mites and mold while increasing how comfortable the room is for people and animals. Click for tips on shopping for a crawl space or basement dehumidifier.
As an added note, if you have carpet laid directly on the concrete floor in your basement, it's time to remove it. The American Academy of Family Physicians cites the humidity that rises out of as a problem when it comes to dust mite and mold problems. Click to read more about installing proper basement flooring.