Some level of dust mite allergens can be expected in couches, mattresses, pillows and carpeting. We can perform dust sampling and laboratory analysis to determine if dust mite allergen levels are elevated. To reduce the potential of exposure to dust mite allergens, we recommend that you consider covering couches, love seats, mattresses, bedding with very fine count (300+) sheet(s), and that you vacuum only with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner.
In 1994 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a major study of indoor air quality in public and commercial office buildings called Building Assessment Survey and Evaluation (BASE). A total of 100 buildings were studied following a Standardized EPA Protocol for Characterizing Indoor Air Quality in Large Office Buildings (USEPA, 1994). Dust samples were collected for three major indoor allergens to expand the existing database on potential exposures to these known agents of allergic rhinitis and asthma in public and commercial office buildings. Cats and mites are among the few biological agents for which evidence of a causal relationship with asthma has been established (IOM, 2000). Skin test reactivity to animal allergens (primarily cat antigens) and house dust mites has been found in >25% of the population (IOM, 1993). A literature review concluded that pet allergens are found everywhere and vary with visits by persons with pets, presence of textile surfaces, cleaning standards, ventilation and activity, and season (higher in the heating season) (Ahlbom et al., 1998).