Reduction of Domestic Allergen Levels in Carpets and Soft Furnishings in US Homes Using a Proprietary Hot Water Extraction Cleaning Process

 

Rationale

Allergen avoidance in the home should address contaminant reservoirs e.g. carpets and soft furnishings. The impact of a proprietary hot water extraction cleaning process on surface and airborne allergens and microorganisms was evaluated.

 

Methods

20 US homes were studied. Air and surface samples taken before and after hot water extraction were analyzed for allergen and microorganism levels by ELISA and total viable counts. Airborne particle counts were monitored during room disturbances before and after cleaning. Carpet layers were analysed for particulate and allergen content by scanning electron microscopy and ELISA, respectively. Three carpets were similarly sampled in an environmental test chamber.

 

Results

Post-hot water extraction cleaning, surface levels of Derp1/Derf1, Feld1 and Canf1 were reduced by 83%, 96% and 90% on soft furnishings (p=0.04) and 91%, 95% and 97% on carpets (p=0.01), respectively. Airborne Feld1 was reduced by 67% (p=0.01). Reductions were also seen for airborne mold (55%, p=0.01) and surface bacteria (90%, p=0.05). Test chamber airborne particle counts during room disturbances in the presence of three different carpets were reduced post-hot water extraction cleaning by 78%, 37% and 65%. Allergen was predominantly found in the carpet base (≥71% of Feld1/Canf1). Hot water extraction cleaning had a greater effect on allergen levels in the upper layers (74-100% reduction), than on base layer levels (15-91% reduction).

 

Conclusions

Incorporation of a hot water extraction cleaning procedure in a home allergen avoidance strategy, at yet to be determined intervals, significantly reduces the levels of bio-contaminants to which occupants are exposed.

View article on The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology web site

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