Issue 98 is out now
Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

26th March 2013

10 steps to an allergy free and healthy home

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

26th March 2013

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

26th March 2013

1. Dust Mite proof your bedroom and remove the allergens – 12 million Britons suffer from dust mite allergy so the chances are that someone in your household does too! Symptoms are usually of the upper respiratory track and nasal passages, so sneezing, running nose, wheezing or coughing whilst in bed or in the morning can be a sign of dust mite allergy.

Dust mites live in warm humid conditions so the mattress and bedding are favourite breeding grounds. Carpets, upholstered furniture and furnishings are also popular.
Dust mites live on shed skin which has already been broken down by a fungi. Once your mattress is about 6 months old it can be fully colonised by dust mites.

Dust Mite Proof Bedding The main area to deal with is the bedroom since we spend so much of our lives asleep. Barrier cases on the bedding protects the person in the bed from exposure to the dust mite allergen. These are available for the mattress, duvet and pillow. Alternatively you can encase your mattress with a barrier case and use a dust mite proof pillow and a dust mite proof duvet.

Allergy Sprays are a great help in the battle against the dust mite and in fact most airborne allergens. Available in AirCleanse to denature allergens in the air, HomeCleanse to denature allergens on furnishings and FabriCleanse to kill dust mites in the washing and denature other allergens. This can also be used in a carpet cleaner to kill dust mites in the carpet. All our sprays are completely non-toxic.

2. Remove the moisture that causes Mould Growth and allergic reactions – Humidity over 50% plays a part both in dust mite allergy and mould allergy. Dust mites need moisture to live as they cannot drink and absorb moisture through their shells. Mould spores need moisture in order to grow and spread. Symptoms of mould allergy can be similar to those of dust mite allergy but can also include depression and even aches and pains.

Reducing moisture and therefore mould growth and dust mites:

• Ventilate your home well each and every day
• Air out your bed by fluffing up the pillows and duvet and leaving the duvet folded back to allow the mattress to air.
• Do not dry washing on radiators, or if you do make sure you have a dehumidifier to extract the moisture from the air. If you use a tumble dryer, make sure that it is vented to the outside.
• If you do find mould in your home, use a non toxic spray such as the allergy sprays to
clean the mould from the walls and wash anything musty in FabriCleanse.
• If mould is a real problem in your home, you will need to attend to the source of the humidity that is feeding the mould and then keep your home mould free with the tips above.

3. Make sure your bedding is natural and has had no chemical treatments. Bedding isn’t always as pure as it looks! Be aware of what you are exposing yourselves to while you are sleeping – Bedding from mattresses to sheets, duvets and pillows can be a source of many chemicals. These can cause symptoms in sensitive people and in others add to the load of pollutants that your immune system has to detoxify each day.

Be as knowledgeable as you can about what you are sleeping on. Treatments on mattresses can include chemical fire retardants, stain resistants, and many synthetic materials. Easycare bedding can contain formaldehyde which offgasses while you are sleeping. Make sure duvets and pillows have not been treated and that they are as natural as possible. Organic bedding ensures that the bedding has never had any chemical treatment.

4. Laundry and cleaning products – Try some of the healthy alternatives. No need to burden the immune system with chemical detergents and synthetic fragrances which you then breathe in from your bedding and your clothes. Remember to read the ingredients of products that you buy and on the whole if you can’t pronounce the names don’t buy them! Chemicals and synthetic fragrances in laundry products including fabric softener can affect allergic and sensitive people, particularly those with asthma, eczema and chemical sensitivity. Choose natural laundry alternatives.

Cleaning Products contain an array of harsh chemicals which, once you have tried the healthier alternatives, you will find you really don’t need. Look out for ammonia, chlorine bleach, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances in cleaning products and switch to natural or organic cleaning products.

5. Toiletries – Read the labels and go for natural and organic. You may be careful about what you eat but are you also careful enough about what you use on your skin and hair? Many toiletries (including toothpastes) contain harsh chemicals. They often contain sodium lauryl sulphate, petroleum products, and toothpastes often contain aspartame which is a derivative of formaldehyde. Treat yourself to organic toiletries and toothpastes.

6. We love our pets but sometimes they can cause allergic reactions – Exposure to pets while very young is thought to reduce the later incidence of asthma and allergic reactions. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case but before you decide that the pet needs to be given to a new home, there are steps you can take which may allow you to live happily together:

• Allocate certain rooms including your bedroom that are no go areas for your pet.
• If you are allergic, leave your clothes that may have pet allergen on them, outside
your bedroom and shower before going to bed.
• Use PetalCleanse on the coat of your cat or dog once a week to clean the coat of
allergens. Use the allergy sprays to remove the pet allergens from the air, the furnishings and from the laundry.

7. *Pollens and Hay Fever *- Make a safe haven during the hay fever seasons – For those who suffer badly from pollen allergy the hay fever season can be a real trial. There are steps you can take to make yourself a haven at home where you are free of symptoms.
Try and make your bedroom and living room as pollen free as possible:

• Keep the windows closed and have an air purifier running all the time to trap any pollens in the air. Use products such as Sinus Buster or Sinose to help relieve your symptoms and use the allergy sprays to help keep the rooms pollen free.
• As with pet allergy, leave your clothes outside the bedroom and shower and wash your hair before going to bed.
• Use an efficient air purifier to remove particles from the air.

8. Furnishings – floor covering, paints and varnishes can introduce many chemical pollutants into your home. Choose a healthier alternative. Learn as much about what you are buying, what treatments it has had, what it is made of and where possible go for the most natural alternative. Carpets can be treated with insecticides and fungicides and upholstered furniture by law must be fire retarded. On the whole older products are safer though in the case of foam rubber, the offgassing increases as it deteriorates. Organic paints and varnishes are lovely to use, are odourless and come in a wide range of colours and for many applications.

9. Filter your water to remove chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, oestrogens etc. Water is essential to life and living healthily. Tap water can contain substances that, if we knew they were there, we would not want to ingest or even bathe in. For pennies a day you can have clean filtered water with no chlorine, no heavy metals, no bacteria, rusts or oestrogens. Filtering your water is an important part of healthy living. If you have anyone in your family with a skin condition such as eczema, filtering the bath and shower water may make a big difference to the comfort of their skin.

10. Measure the fields in your home so that you know what changes to make. If you use a DECT phone, Wi-Fi, mobiles etc. the electrosmog in your home will be very high. By using an EMF meter to measure the electrical and magnetic fields and an ACOMED to monitor the microwave fields you will know where the hot spots are and then need to take measure to protect yourselves. This can be by moving electrical appliances, changing how you use wi-Fi etc. or by using protective products. Some people are sensitive to electrosmog so changing the way you use your products and what protection you have will make a huge difference to them. For others it is the long term effects that we need to reduce wherever possible.
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