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House Dust and Asthma    Print Page

You may already know that allergens found around the house can trigger "allergic asthma" attacks for many people, such as dust mites in furniture and bedding, pet dander, mold and other "allergen" triggers. But researchers are also discovering that even common house dust can cause trouble. 

Bacterial toxins found in house dust may be a risk factor for asthma. New research has shown that levels of bacterial toxins called "endotoxins" found in house dust were directly related to asthma symptoms in nearly 1,000 households studies. High endotoxins are found in nearly every area of a house.

Endotoxins are toxic substances found in certain types of bacteria. These substances are released when the bacteria disintegrate. When these tiny particles become airborne they can be breathed in and cause inflamation of the airways in your lungs.

Sources of endotoxins include common dirt and dust, as well as outdoor air and particles that can get inside from pets, pests, and other sources.

The Link to Asthma

The most recent research suggests that endotoxin concentrations may be highest in the kitchen and living room floor dust, and lowest in bedding, such as mattresses and pillows.

Researchers believe the link between endotoxins and asthma affects people with allergies and those without allergies, and that the main impact of endotoxin exposure on asthma is most likely related to its effect on lung inflammation.

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