The most common single cause of asthma is the increased sensitivity to house and mite dust, which will cause already inflamed airways to react and go into spasm. There are currently around 5.4 million people in the UK being treated for asthma. That’s 1 in 12 adults and 1 in 11 children, making it a common condition. Because dust is primary irritant for those suffering with asthma or similar allergies, for decades’ people have been removing carpets (known to trap dust and allergens) from their homes in an effort to reduce their symptoms. But you don’t have to get rid of your carpets if you or a loved one suffer from asthma, you just need to make sure you take care of them.

The Key Is In The Cleaning

Have you ever been dusting and suddenly found yourself sneezing uncontrollably? Dust and dirt build up can make anyone sneeze and cough, and that goes double for people with existing allergies. Carpets by their very nature tend to trap dust and dirt, so for a long time it was thought that if you had allergies or asthma, you couldn’t have carpets because they would make you worse. However, researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology have stated that people with asthma or allergies don’t need to remove carpeting from their home as long as it effectively cleaned.

To confirm the theory of deep cleaning as an effective asthma reduction method, Bruce Mitchell from Airmid Healthgroup in Ireland performed a simple experiment. He laid 9 residential carpets, 6 new and 3 from homes in the US, in individual environmental test chambers under controlled conditions designed to simulate the typical home environment. The new carpets were then contaminated by introducing aerosolized house dust mite and cat allergens into the chamber. The used carpets already contained many of these allergens and so were left as they were for the test. One each carpet had been contaminated the researchers carried out airborne particle counts and surface & airborne allergen measurements. They also examined the top, middle and base layers of the carpets for the same allergens and to measure their distribution. Once this data was collected each carpet was thoroughly cleaned as you would deep clean a carpet at home. They were vacuumed, sprayed with a cleaning solution which was agitated and extracted before being left to dry.

So Can I Keep My Carpets?area rug

They found that the intensive carpet cleaning was highly effective in reducing surface allergens, airborne particles and the allergens that can accumulate in the base of the carpet. Their results showed that ‘On average, airborne particle counts for the artificially contaminated carpets were reduced 5.8-fold after cleaning, and airborne particle counts for the used carpets were reduced 4.3-fold after cleaning. Additionally, surface cat allergen levels in the new carpets were reduced 37-fold and dust mite allergen levels were reduced almost 10-fold.’ Their findings along with further investigation show that the data supporting the recommendation to remove carpets from the homes of those with asthma and allergies are inconsistent at best, and in fact the only precaution needed is regular cleaning to keep allergen levels low.

So no, you don’t have to sacrifice your lovely deep pile carpet for the asthma suffering loved one in your life. Instead you just need to make sure you are thoroughly cleaning your carpets regularly, at least once a month, with a thorough deep steam clean once a year to extend their life and get rid of any build up. The idea that you need to get rid of carpets if you suffer from asthma, or even get specialist ‘allergy friendly carpet’ is a myth. Just keep your carpets clean and you should have no problems. For more information about how to clean and take care of your carpets, get in touch with the World Wide Carpets team today.