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Allergies are a common health hazard connected with indoor humidity. The immune system in our body reacts with allergens around us and develops undesirable symptoms. Dust mites, mold and mildew are the most common allergens that cause allergies.
Exposure to house dust containing mite allergens causes sneezing, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, itchy, and watery eyes. Exposure to allergens such as dust mites can trigger asthma attacks in some individuals.
House dust allergy is particularly important to control because the symptoms are year round rather than seasonal like pollen allergies. Research has shown that reducing mite allergen levels in homes can lead to an improvement in allergic symptoms and a reduction in medication requirements.
Dust mites are of microbial length. They live in temperature range of 59°F to 95°F and a relative humidity above 55%. They are found primarily in carpets, fabric upholstery and mattresses.
Due to their inability to drink water, it is important for them to stay in moist areas to absorb humidity.
If the indoor humidity is kept below 50%, dust mites cannot survive. Read more about dust mites.
Mold is a fungus that feeds on organic substances and survives in moist conditions. Besides causing allergies, they emit harmful chemicals such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and mycotoxins.
Health hazards related to mold are coughing, wheezing, running eyes/nose, skin rashes and muscular aches, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate and fatigue.
Keeping the relative humidity levels low is the only way to actually eliminate mold growth in a home.
Air Quality, Mold, Resources