21 May 2007

Hot water for clean laundry

Doing your laundry in hot water - 60 degrees C - kills 100 percent of allergy-causing dust mites, compared to only 6.5 percent of dust mites at 40 degrees C, researchers report.

Doing your laundry in hot water - 60 degrees C (140 degrees F) - kills 100 percent of allergy-causing dust mites, compared to 6.5 percent of dust mites when using warm water - 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), South Korean researchers find.

Hot water is also more effective at ridding laundry of other allergens such as dog dander and pollen, according to lead researcher Jung-Won Park of Yonsei University in Seoul. He also offered an effective alternative to using hot water - wash laundry at a lower temperature (between 30-40 degrees C - 86-104 degrees F), and then rinse the laundry in cold water twice, for three minutes each time.

The study was slated for presentation Sunday at the American Thoracic Society's international conference in San Francisco.

Dust may fight child allergies
Another study to be presented at the same meeting finds that exposure to bacterial "endotoxin" up to age 3 may help lower children's risk of developing wheezing or the allergic skin condition eczema.

Endotoxin is made by certain types of bacteria. Increased levels of endotoxin are present in homes that are more than 30 years old; have carpeting; have a musty smell and interior wall leaks; and are in substandard condition.

In this study, researchers at the Arizona Respiratory Centre in Tucson looked at 484 children and found that the lower the amount of endotoxin in their homes, the more likely the children were to have wheezing or eczema by age 3. The higher the endotoxin levels, the less likely they were to develop these conditions.

"We're trying to find why children exposed to endotoxin have lower levels of disease early in life," researcher Melisa Celaya said in a prepared statement. "We will be looking at the relationship between endotoxin levels in the home and chemicals (called cytokines) that are produced by certain immune system cells, to see why children exposed to lower levels are developing more allergic symptoms later on."

The researchers also plan to look at whether genetic factors affect a child's response to environmental allergy triggers. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Allergy Centre
Healthy Home Centre

May 2007


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Sleep better »

Most physical activities help you sleep better 10 tips for better sleep

10 reasons you may have insomnia and how fix it

Here are 10 reasons why you may have insomnia – along with possible ways to solve the problem.