Researches with the University of South Carolina have been granted two patents for a novel way of cleaning to reduce allergens from dust mites. The patents are titled Methods and Compositions for Eliminating Allergens and Allergen-Producing Organisms. A recent university news release announced that the patents had been awarded to Michael Matthews, Jian Zhang and Allan Quick. and uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to “freeze clean” home fabrics.
We have been explaining to people for years that in order to neutralize an allergen effectively it must be subjected to extreme heat, cold, or an acid or alkaline substance in order to denature the proteins. When you spray ADMS or ADS anti dust mite sprays on your fabrics and rugs, you are denaturing the allergy-causing proteins using alkaline substances.
Grants by the National Institutes of Health and other sources funded the research into ways that carbon dioxide could be used to freeze clean surfaces. You might be familiar with carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice. The extreme cold temperature of the carbon dioxide not only will freeze the dust mite but it will denature the proteins from animals, molds, and pollens as well. In addition, the researchers discovered that the process also removed the odor from smoke.
The process has not been perfected yet. Currently, the researchers apply the carbon dioxide in the form of a vapor that freezes on contact with the fabric. As it freezes, the carbon dioxide forms micro particles of ice that are removed with a vacuum. Since the ice particles are immediately removed with a vacuum, they do not melt and the fabric stays dry.
The researchers were not looking for a new and better way to clean house. They were looking for a new and better way to sterilize medical equipment commercially. When they realized that their process worked on allergens as well as microbes, they begin to see home application for allergy control. Researcher Michael Mathews says, “..we realized that there was a critical national need to address the removal of asthma triggers from the home. These triggers, which are actually proteins produced by pets and pests, can be removed with our technology”.
They have not licensed the process to any cleaning companies and no equipment is currently available for home use of carbon dioxide vapor. But, relief may soon be on the way for millions that suffer from allergies and asthma.
There is no current estimate of the cost for a standard treatment of a home, but it does appear that a treatment is effective for about 6 months.
Until you can tell dust mites to “freeze” with carbon dioxide vapor, you can continue to vacuum with a HEPA filtered vacuum, spray ADMS Anti Dust Mite Spray on your fabrics, and keep the number of dust catching objects in a room to a minimum.
Even when the carbon dioxide technology has been adapted for home use, you will still need a zippered dust mite cover for your mattress, pillow and boxspring. It will be impossible to get the vapor to the depths of your mattress or pillow. So do not throw out those zippered mattress covers! They will continue to be your first line of defense, even after you tell the dust mites to “Freeze!”
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store