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Dealing with dust mite allergy—without permethrin

What's New? | February 20, 2017 | By:

The William Küster Institute for Hygiene, Environment and Medicine at the Hohenstein Institute has tested a new product made by Proneem France that contains active ingredients effective against mites in textiles.

The Institute reports that the Proneem product could act as an alternative to permethrin, a neurotoxin that may cause side effects in humans, including headaches or deafness. Permethrin is not easily absorbed by healthy human skin. Nonetheless, alternative finishing agents are being sought.

In a test in accordance with NF G39-011, the Proneem finish was able to inhibit the growth of a

mite population by over 90 percent. Hohenstein awarded the product the quality label “Effective against Dust Mites.”

Mites live in duvets, mattresses, upholstered furniture and carpets where they find ideal hygrothermal conditions: an average temperature of 25 ° Celsius, humidity of up to 70 percent and the human skin flakes on which the small creatures feed.

To reduce the reproduction rate of the arachnids, these textiles are often treated with the acaricide permethrin. Reducing the number of mites subsequently reduces their faeces, which is the allergen for people. The faeces disintegrate into very small particles, and when stirred up, enter the mucous membranes through the respiratory tract. Allergic reactions lead to symptoms including runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and even asthma and breathlessness.

The Institute asserts that its test for effectiveness against dust mites is also suitable for other permethrin-free finishing treatments and offers textile manufacturers a way of developing bedding and home textiles that will reduce the symptoms of house dust allergy sufferers.

The Hohenstein Institute was founded in 1946 as an independent and privately owned research and teaching center for the textile and clothing industry and for commercial textile care companies.

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