A key element in blocking dust mite allergens when you sleep could be the pore size of the bedding fabric. Allergy protective bedding, in the dust mite mattress cover, to the pillow and quilt dust mite covers, must be created and manufactured to provide effective and welcome relief from dust mite allergens and dust mites allergy symptoms.
Imagine fabric threads woven together, comparable to lacing your fingers together. The tighter the fingers are interlaced, the smaller the gap between your fingers, like the opening or pore size where woven fibres intersect within the material. Yet as well as allowing air-flow and moisture to transpire.
Professor Tom Platts-Mills and the research team from the Univerity of Virginia, USA first published a survey in 1999. “Evaluation of materials used for bedding encasement: “Effect of pore size in blocking cat and dust mite allergen”. The stated reason for the study was “to develop a method for testing encasement materials made of breathable fabrics”.
The study designed a new testing protocol to discover certain things
– the ability of woven fabrics to bar cat and dustmite allergen and
– the breathability of a fabric as measured in litres of air per minute that can be drawn through it.
Why would cat allergen be utilized in the study, cats don’t reside in bedding? Cat allergen (Fel d 1) is comparably an extremely small allergen in size, linked to particles less than 10 µm (microns) across. With the quantity of this allergen in dust samples, the analysis provided a more rigorous test with the fabric&rsquos capacity to block the allergens’ passage.
Dust mite faecal particles range between 10 to 40 µm across. Therefore, fabrics that may block all or the majority of it, are believed most effective when it comes to their allergen barrier efficiency.
Case study also focused on mean pore size and results published:
“Dust mite allergens (Der f 1 and Der p 1) were blocked below detectable limits by fabrics of less than 10 µm in pore size. Fabrics with an average pore size of 6 µm or less blocked cat allergen (Fel d 1).”
“For woven fabrics, the key factor in blocking allergens is pore size. Our results show that a woven fabric with an average pore size of 6 µm or less will block common indoor allergens below detectable limits.”
“Our current judgment is that fabrics of 2 µm to less than 10 µm in pore size will effectively block passage of all dust mite allergen and would be suitable for use on pillow cases and mattresses.”
Mean pore dimension is best determined by using a capillary flow test. Porous Materials, Inc. (PMI) New York, USA is the leading authority in this field. To discover further product efficiacy, the material used to manufacture AllerProtect covers continues to be tested by an unbiased reference laboratory and shown to form a highly effective barrier to house dust mite allergen.2 In addition, from the methods found in AllerProtect seemed to be tested with the laboratory. They could detect no allergen leakage through the seams.3
Dust mite bedding covers have made great strides. Back through the 1980s, allergen barrier mattress covers were produced from vinyl and later on a vinyl-coated polyester cotton. Extremely effective dust mite control barrier to dust mite allergens but really irritating to fall asleep on as the non-breathing covers caused perspiration, making symptoms worse for people with eczema and in summer.
By 1990, a piece of writing within the Lancet Medical Journal described a fresh barrier fabric that has been woven from polyester cotton and coated having a polyurethane compound which allowed moisture to diffuse through but which blocked dust mite allergen particles. This provided the allergy sufferer with protection and greater comfort. The membrane prevented air passing through, making the covers warm in summer and difficult to dry after washing. In addition, the membrane would breakdown after several year&rsquos use.
Finally, in 1997 a report published from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology described a fresh type of barrier fabric that established new degrees of comfort with effective allergen protection. Pristine&trade fabric can be a precision microweave fabric. The main element feature of this new fabric was the total absence of any sort of coating or membrane that had prevented the air-flow through previous barrier fabrics.
Instead, the dust mites mattress allergen barrier property of the precision microweave fabric was achieved from the extremely tight and extremely accurate weave with the fabric. An additional advantage in the older coated fabrics is they’re able to be warm water washed and hot tumble dried without the loss of effectiveness.
Professor Tom Platts-Mills’ study also included an allergen barrier fabric &ldquonon-woven&rdquo polypropylene material manufactured by the 3M(tm) under the name of Propore(tm). This fabric is constructed from the fusing together of an dense mesh of polypropylene fibres which can be then bonded to a polypropylene based microporous film. This film has extremely small pores within it that allow the passage of your limited level of air but that happen to be sufficiently small to prevent allergen particles passing through.
Sometimes dust mite mattress protector and bedding covers made from similar looking fabrics can be found for sale as allergen barrier covers. These are seen to be made out of a non-woven polypropylene fabric but without having a microporous membrane, giving a cloth with relatively large gaps between your fibres. Needless to express, while the cost of these dust mite mattress cover may seem attractive, they cannot offer an effective barrier to dust mite allergen.
1. Vaughan J.W., McLaughlin T.E., Perzanowski M.S., Plats-Mills T.A. E., Evaluation of materials used for bedding encasements: Effect of pore size in blocking cat and mite allergen. J Allergy Clin Immunol 19999; 103:227-31 The studies and more can be found Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
2. IBT reference laboratory, Lexana, Kansas, USA Report 2003
3. IBT reference laboratory, Lexana, Kansas, USA Report 2000