Dust is a mixture of dirt, skin cells, dander (animal skin flakes), mould spores and dust mites. Left unchecked, your home can become an ideal place for mould and dust mites to multiply – this creates indoor air pollution and, ultimately, an unhealthy environment.
Dust mites are the most common cause of allergies to house dust. They thrive on human or animal skin flakes that accumulate on bedding, carpeting and upholstery. These microscopic creatures multiply by the thousands in warm and humid conditions – in Singapore, that’s all year round!
About one in three people are allergic to mould. Mould are fungi that reproduce by releasing tiny spores, which are invisible to the naked eye. The spores are carried in dust particles in the air, and will grow to become mould when they come in contact with damp surfaces.
HOW TO GET RID OF THEM…
1) Keep it dry.
Get rid of damp areas. If you have a leak, you’ll need to have it fixed professionally as large areas of mould can make you very sick. Treat small damp spaces with a dehumidifier or moisture absorbers.
2) Wash regularly.
Dust mites feed on dead skin cells, which accumulate on our beds. Make sure to wash your bedding once a week in very hot water (at least 55 deg C) to kill the mites and their eggs. Dry bedding in a hot dryer or under direct sunlight. Buy dust-mite covers for your pillows and mattresses. For kids’ rooms, keep stuffed animals to a minimum.
3) Go minimal.
Dust mites and mould multiply in areas that are hard to clean and usually left unchecked. Remove items in the bedroom and bathrooms which you may not use as often, such as baskets, soft furnishings, toys or piles of clothing.