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Why household dust can worsen asthma and how ventilation can help

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Why household dust can worsen asthma and how ventilation systems can help.

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Mar 30, 2021

According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for Asthma, and on average three people die from the condition every single day.  Severe asthma can be a debilitating condition, and even sufferers of mild cases can face daily discomfort and difficulty in taking part in activities that they enjoy.

There are many different causes of asthma:  Some people only have problems when they are ill, while others find that their attacks are triggered by intense activity or pressure.  Asthma is often worsened by exposure to environments where there is a lot of dust or chemicals that can irritate the lungs and cause the airways to contract in response.

Household Dust and Asthma

Dust is present all around our homes, but we rarely think about what it’s made up of.  That’s probably for the best!  Looking at normal household dust under a microscope reveals that it contains a variety of nasty things.  Aside from small particles of dirt that blow in from outdoors, dust also contains dead skin cells, hair, dried cleaning products, food particles and parts of insect bodies. 

The dust around our houses is home to a variety of unpleasant fauna including dust mites.  These tiny bugs thrive in dark corners where they consume edible parts of the dust and then add their waste into the mixture that lies around our homes.

Dust mite waste is one of the most common triggers of asthma as it is an irritant that gets caught in our lungs.

Mould Can Make Dust Mite Problems Worse

While dust mites live in almost every part of the house, they do particularly well in damp areas where mould such as Stachybotrys chartarum can also form.  The dust mites make their homes in the damp patches and carry mould spores around the area helping the mould patches to spread.

Mould and damp patches are often caused by condensation from baths, showers and cooking and form when humid air from those activities releases moisture when it comes into contact with cold surfaces.

Reducing Dust in Our Homes

Regular cleaning helps to prevent excess dust from accumulating, but it’s not possible to totally eliminate dust from our homes, however you can take steps to make the environment in your property less friendly to dust mites and reduce their ability to exacerbate problems with asthma.

Reducing damp in your home can be straightforward and will be improved with better ventilation.

Good airflow allows air to move easily from one room to another and removes the moisture from the atmosphere.  This prevents damp patches from being able to form and removes the mouldy environments where dust mites thrive.  Increasing the flow of air from outside your property with a Positive Input Ventilation System (PIV) also keeps your air fresh and removes stale air along with many of the irritants that it carries.

Find Out More

If you are worried about the effect of dust levels in your home or have a mould problem that could be affecting your health, it is important to act as quickly as possible.  Arrange a survey with one of our local specialists who will be able to recommend a solution to help improve ventilation in your home and help you enjoy better air quality.


Have asthma or allergies & want to improve your indoor air quality?

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During the free home survey, one of our local experts will be able to discuss your options to install a ventilation system that will help reduce dust mites and prevent the build-up of mould and damp that could be damaging your health.
During the free home survey we will test for:
Visible mould sites 

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