Wool Allergies & Clean Air
What is ‘fine dust’ & should I be worried about my allergies?
Fine dust is a serious problem for people who suffer from respiratory issues and allergies. Fine dust, like that from incinerators or soot from diesel vehicles, are tiny particles, less than 10 microns in diameter, that can become airborne and become a cause of concern.
Irrespective of the kind of dust inhaled, these particles cause irritation when they enter the respiratory tract and can result in respiratory issues or can cause your allergies to flare up (such as asthma). Where the bronchial system has previously incurred damage, the irritation effect will be much greater.
How does this affect my choice of flooring finish?
The current misconception is that because carpet collects more dust particles, it results in a greater chance of respiratory issues/allergies. This is not the case!
In reality, on a smooth flooring material (such as wood floors, vinyl, etc):
When you move about or open a door, the dust gathered on the surface is stirred up and becomes airborne, aggravating allergies (entering the ‘breathing zone’)
However, on a wool carpeted area dust becomes ‘trapped in the carpet due to its three-dimensional structure (and is kept out of the ‘breathing zone’) - until it is vacuumed.
What about vacuuming?
It should be noted that vacuuming increases the amount of house dust mite allergen in the air for up to 20 minutes
- this is relevant for carpet or smooth flooring surfaces.
It can therefore be concluded that the implementation of carpet in an indoor space will result in a lower frequency of airborne dust particles & thus a lower chance of induced respiratory issues
This can be further evidenced in a major international survey conducted during 2002 where over 19,000 people in 18 countries showed categorically that those who have carpet in their home, especially in the bedroom, have fewer instances of asthma (the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 110(2): 285-292 (2002).