Dust allergens are substances found in dust, and may include fabric fibers, lint, feathers, stuffing materials, animal protein (dander, saliva, urine, and body oils), bacteria, mold & fungus spores, food particles, plants, insects & their waste.
Dust allergens are found in draperies, stuffed animals, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets and air (but only immediately after vacuuming). Dust mites are the most common dust allergen and can be easily tested for.
Dust mites, pet dander and pest droppings or body parts can trigger hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and some types of asthma. Biological contaminants, including molds and pollen, can cause allergic reactions for a significant portion of the population.
By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of allergens can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water-damaged materials or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria and insects. House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environments.