Reduction of house-dust mite allergen concentrations in carpets by aluminium potassium sulfate dodecahydrate (alum)
Special tools and skilled labor are required to reduce house-dust mite allergens in carpets. The main house-dust mite allergen is Der p 1, a soluble protein found in high abundance in woolen carpets. Current chemical treatment options are either unsafe or ineffective in eradicating Der p 1. Here, we present an effective, safe, and easy application reagent to reduce the allergen levels in carpets. Sixty woolen carpets with Der p 1 concentrations >2 g/g in fine dust were divided into three homogeneous groups of 20 carpets each, according to their allergen load. We tested alum dissolved in 60 mL of water at doses of 3, 6, and 9 g/m2 against Der p 1 in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The test side of the carpets was sprayed with the reagent. The control side was treated with the 60 mL of tap water. Dust particles were collected from a 1-m2 area on each carpet side 24 hours after treatment and were analyzed for Der p 1 content with a monoclonal ELISA. Alum reduced the Der p 1 concentrations by 48.6 ± 6.2%, 78.8 ± 7.2%, ± and 95.2 ± 3.0% at 3, 6, and 9 g/m2 in the carpets, respectively. Moreover, there were no complaints registered by the residents against the alum applications. Alum, at 9 g/m2 (in a solution at 15%) in water, can be used for decreasing existing Der p 1 concentrations in woolen carpets.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2006
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