Mattress cleaning and allergen removal really started in Europe about 15 years ago. Why clean mattresses? There is an increasing amount of scientific data that reveals better environmental hygiene improves health. The Environment Protection  Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health, according to Allergy institutions,”50 percent of all illnesses are caused by or aggravated by biological pollution.”

So what are these indoor pollutants that can negatively affect our health? They include outdoor pollutants bought inside,  combustible products, contamination from chemical products used by the consumer, airborne bacteria and fungal spores that filter through the fabrics of upholstery, drapes and bedding, and biological contamination. This is why statistics show that levels of many airborne pollutants can be 100 to 500 percent higher indoors than outdoors.

Bio-pollutants include dog and cat dander. Dust mites and cockroach allergens. These indoor pollutants act as triggers for asthma and other respiratory ailments. One in every 3 people has allergies due to these pollutants. Children are most at risk, as their lungs and immune systems are still in the developmental stage.

The number one indoor allergen source is the common house dust mite. Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged arachnids (not insects) around 0.3mm in length. They are invisible to the human eye, so small they can crawl through the weave of bedding fabrics. Dust mites feed on tiny flakes of shed human skin cells. The average adult human sheds about 1.2 kgs of skin per year. Every person  sheds and re-grows skin every 27 days and loses 100 hairs a day. This will feed millions of dust mites.

The dust mite is not what causes the problem; this lies with a protein found in the dust mites faecal matter called Der p1. The faecal matter is lighter than air and becomes airborne when disturbed by activity like fluffing pillows and tossing and turning at night. The airborne particles are inhaled, the protein Der p1 breaks down the protective mucous lining of the eye, nose, lungs and skin.

The allergens enter the body and cause an overreaction of the human immune system. According to a recent study 46 percent of homes have bedding with enough dust mite allergens to cause major allergies.

We cannot overlook pets. Australia is a nation of pet lovers, with 63 percent of Australian households having some type of pet and 91percent of people reporting that they feel “very close” to their pet. –  almost as many people as report  feeling close to their family.

Proteins in pet dander, saliva and urine causes allergies.  Grooming by cats (licking of it’s fur to clean itself) cause the saliva on fur to become airborne, which in turn triggers the allergic reaction. Allergy sufferers should not have pets, but of course they do. We can help by providing specialist cleaning and treatment to home furnishings. Pet beds can be cleaned and treated.

So what about mattresses? For allergy sufferers, the bedroom is the primary source of dust mite exposure in the home. About 60 percent of the mites in the home are found in the mattress, as we spend one third of our life in bed—shedding skin, hence feeding dust mites.

The average person perspires approximately 250ml per night. This liquid then stains our mattresses, linen and pillows. Perspiration in unprotected beds can lead to bacteria and mould causing health conditions such as asthma .

To effectively kill dust mites and control dust mite allergens, the mattress should be regularly cleaned and properly treated with the Healthgard treatment suitable for your situation, about every 6 months for people with allergies. Invest in mattress and pillow protection that will improve your sleep hygiene and protect your bed from bacteria, mould, dust mites, spills, perspiration stains and allergens.

Now available through Jumbuck, a new range of  Mattress & Pillow Protectors and Pillows, which combine the latest in fabric technology with the comfort of 100 percent cotton to protect the health of your mattress. They feature  a polyurethane film that allows your mattress to breathe but creates a barrier that keeps dust mites, bacteria and liquids out.

If you would like more information please give Denise or Glen a call on 1800 787 184.