Factors Controlling the Dust Mite Population in the Indoor EnvironmentEPA Grant Number: R825250
Title: Factors Controlling the Dust Mite Population in the Indoor Environment
Institution: Wright State University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: December 1, 1996 through November 30, 1999 (Extended to November 30, 2000)
Project Amount: $480,000
RFA: Air Quality (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air
Description:Asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever) affect 15 and 24.2 million persons, respectively, in the U.S. A high percentage of allergic individuals are sensitive to allergens from the house dust mites Dermatophagoides farinae, D. pteronyssinus and Euroglyphus maynei that are prevalent in carpets, beds and fabric-covered furniture in homes in humid geographical areas. The goal of this research is to elucidate the specific climatic and biological factors that reduce and promote house dust mite population growth in human dwellings, workplaces and schools. To achieve this goal, the studies will:
- a) Determine if the regulated use of high-efficiency dehumidifiers and air
conditioners in homes with high mite levels reduces indoor relative humidity
sufficiently to reduce mite survival and population growth and thus mite
b) Establish dust mite survival and their population dynamics in fluctuating climatic conditions.
c) Evaluate various laundry and carpet cleaning products for their efficacy in killing mites and removing them from carpet, clothing, bedding, and fabric.
d) Elucidate the relationship between xerophilic fungi and house dust mite survival.
e) Elucidate how mites disperse and colonize dwellings.
The data obtained from the research will serve as a basis for developing guidelines and making recommendations for reducing mite and mite allergen levels in dwellings for people of all socioeconomic levels and therefore reduce human exposure.