Environmental Modifications


It is impossible to control the dust factor throughout the home or place of work, but the sleeping quarters do lend to rigid control.

The infiltration of dust into a bedroom is insidious and cannot be controlled by ordinary housecleaning methods.  Old dust, which is the most antigenic, comes from other rooms in the house, while many heating systems are dust circulators.

Pillows, mattresses, box springs, bed pads, blankets, bed spreads, comforters, quilts, stuffed furniture, rugs and drapes all break down and produce a substance of allergic importance.

At least weekly, if not biweekly, cleaning of the entire room is encouraged.  Hard to reach places such as under the head of the bed must not be left untouched. Preferably hard wood floors and minimal drapes and furnishing in the bedroom is advised.  High efficiency air purifiers and filters may be utilized.

Preparation of Bed

If you use box springs, you may wish to take advantage of specially prepared encasings that can act as a seal.  These are available for both springs and mattresses.   If a second bed must be used in the same room, it too, must be prepared.

IMPORTANT:  Do not use any kind of mattress pad on the bed. If you require a pad, this too needs to be washed at least weekly in hot water.

Make up the bed with vacuumed pillows. If you desire, the pillows can be protected with two pillowcases on each pillow. The second pillowcase should be put on in reverse to the first casing, thereby sealing both ends. A special encasing of dust proof fabric is also available. Use freshly washed bedding.  Unwrapped 100% all wool blankets that have been washed at least twice are preferable. Avoid the fuzzy type. Quilts and throw pillows are not recommended. Duvet covers should be washed at least weekly and must be of bed sheeting or other washable fabric that has been laundered previously.

General Instructions

The dust free room must be cleaned daily, and given a thorough and complete cleaning once a week.

If possible, keep this room for sleeping only; do your dressing in another room. At all times, brush clothes and shoes before entering your bedroom, since these may carry the very pollens and dusts to which you are allergic.

Keep the doors and windows of this room closed as much as possible; especially when you are not using the room. Avoid draughts.

Articles of furniture that contain allergenic dusts should be removed from the house. If this is not possible each article should be vacuum cleaned thoroughly every day, at a time when the patient is out of the house. Following the vacuum cleaning the house should be aired thoroughly.

If the patient is a child, do not keep toys that will accumulate dust in the room. Use only washable toys.

Keep all dogs, cats, birds and other pets out of the bedroom.

Do not use insect sprays or powders. Avoid odoriferous substances such as camphor, tar, room deodorants, etc.  Be sure all clothes that have been put away are well aired before using them


Mold or mildew is found on many forms of living and dying vegetation. In our climate, as vegetation dies it is consumed by mold. Mold is plentiful outside throughout the summer months and tend to peak in the midsummer when grass is dying and again in the autumn when leaves and weeds are dying. Patients who are allergic to mold should avoid mowing and raking grass, and raking and playing in the leaves.

Molds thrive in damp, humid, indoor environments, in basements, cellars, bathrooms, crawl spaces, and other damp areas.  It is imperative that all basements be made waterproof. All leaks should be patched and the walls painted with waterproof mildew resistant paint.   Likewise, any crawl space should be waterproofed. A dehumidifier in the basement is very helpful. Air conditioning helps reduce indoor mold content in the summer months.

Any place where mold is seen should be washed weekly for 6 weeks with an acidic vinegar or bleach-based solution. Patients who are allergic to mold should not have houseplants, dried cut flowers, or live Christmas trees in their home. In closets, where a mold problem exists, a small electric light left on may reduce humidity and decrease the mold problem.

With care, mold growth can be substantially curtailed. Effort should be put into creating one allergen-free room, usually a bedroom, for the allergy sensitive patient. In general, house-dust precautions will serve well to reduce indoor mold contact.