Asthma and Wool-The Truth
This article about asthma and wool uses information from the WoolBlog, the blog authored by Stephen Parsons, Market Development & Innovation Manager at Wools of New Zealand. The WoolBlog is an excellent source of information about the construction and manufacture of wool carpets and rugs. New Zealand wool is considered the finest wool for construction of wool rugs and carpets.
The Truth About Asthmaand Wool Rugs and Carpets
TRUTH #1 - Wool Carpets are Perfect if You Suffer from Allergies or Asthma!
The most common single cause of asthma is sensitization to house dust, or more precisely to the dust mite, and particularly its waste products. But there’s no reason why asthmatics shouldn’t enjoy the comfort and aesthetic pleasure of wool carpet.
In fact, not only are carpets inhospitable for dust mites, but wool carpet is especially resistant. Research performed by the German Applied and Experimental Allergy Research Association (GAF) showed that when wool and nylon carpets (one of which was treated with an anti-microbial finish) were compared for dust mites populations, the wool carpet performed best in resisting dust mite infestation.
Wool’s long, coarse fibers cannot be inhaled and therefore do not affect asthma sufferers. So as long as the air is dry, the ventilation good, and the cleaning regular and thorough, asthma sufferers can breathe easy with wool carpet!
TRUTH #2 - About Asthma, Wool Carpets and Rugs, and Dust Mites
Dust mites feed on human skin flakes and live mainly in mattresses and similar warm, dark places. Bed-making sends dust mites airborne causing them to be found in floor dust, mainly in bedrooms.
To the dust mite, carpets and rugs are a hostile environment: too cold, too dry, too exposed to the light and too regularly cleaned. Since carpets, unlike smooth floor coverings, hold dust in their structure, dust mites will be removed by vacuuming or wet cleaning.
Dust mites cannot live on wool carpets. They eat flakes of human skin. Also, wool carpets and rugs generally contain very low levels of permethrin, a naturally occurring substance that kills very small insects.
TRUTH #3 - Installing a Wool Carpet is a Very Good Thing to Do if There are Asthma Sufferers in Your Home.
By their very nature, wool carpets and rugs are good for the indoor environment. That’s because wool, unlike synthetic fibers, rapidly absorbs common contaminants in indoor air like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
Not only does wool keep the air free of many harmful pollutants, it will not re-emit them, even when heated. In fact, it has been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!
So asthma and wool together is actually a good thing!
Preventing Asthma - Some Simple Things You Can Do
· Discard old and dirty mattresses, bedding, pillows and furnishings.
· If possible, sleep with windows open to reduce the amount of moisture in the bedroom (for breathing). Electric blankets also create a drier environment.
· Reduce the room temperature and thickness of bedding to reduce perspiration. Most people sleep better in a cooler room.
· After you get up, air the bed with the windows open.
· Avoid placing potted plants, flowers, and other sources of moisture in bedrooms.
· For children who suffer from dust mite allergy, regularly freeze soft toys for 72 hours. Then wash the soft toys.
Update: More Information from Stephen Parsons and the Woolblog
This post about asthma and wool has proved by far the most read and linked to within WoolBlog. It ranks high in Google for carpets and asthma!
This has inspired Stephen Parsons to put more on the benefits of wool on the Wools of New Zealand website...
The USA version is at www.wools-nz.com/benefits
Call our ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co. office today at (607) 272-1566 if you have any questions about asthma and wool carpets and rugs. You can also contact us here. You can also fill out the form below and we will be happy to contact you.