High levels of airborne allergens in inner-city homes could trigger asthma attacks!
The amount of mouse allergens found in the air in many inner-city homes could be high enough to trigger asthma symptoms in the children who live there, say researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Their study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found more than a quarter of inner-city homes sampled had airborne allergen levels already known to aggravate asthma symptoms in animal research lab workers with mouse allergy.
Other common household allergens known to affect asthma include proteins shed by cockroaches, dust mites, furry pets, mold, tobacco smoke, and many other chemicals. While previous studies have examined exposure to settled dust mouse allergen in inner-city homes, this is believed to be the first to describe airborne mouse allergen levels.
Children exposed to airborne mouse allergen at the high levels found in the study may be more likely to experience asthma symptoms, including wheezing or difficulty breathing, which could lead to a full-blown asthma attack or other asthma-related illnesses, States Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., a pediatric allergist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Rodent allergens are most likely to occur in homes with cracks, openings in walls, doors, and attics. Another entryway for rodents is openings to the crawlspace. Sealing all openings to the home and cleaning open food in the kitchen is a good way to reduce rodent activity.