Dust anchoring characteristics of electret fibres with respect to Der p 1 allergen carrying particles
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The avoidance of house dust mite allergens is a major area of interest and essentially requires a significant removal of these allergens from the immediately respirable air. Electrostatic attraction and anchoring of particulate matter using electret polymers is commonly used for air filtration purposes. This effect is investigated for its possible use in domestic allergen avoidance. Polypropylene electret, heat-treated electret and non-electret, and wool and nylon fibre samples were soiled with house dust known to contain Der p 1 allergen. These samples were vacuumed at three air face velocities. The proportions of released and anchored dust were calculated. Released dust was collected and analysed for Der p 1 concentration and compared to stock dust values. Results showed that compared to uncharged fibres at least 95% more dust remained anchored in the electret fibres. Also, overall Der p 1 release was reduced by more than 49%. Der p 1 allergen concentrations in the collected dust were relatively constant for all the fibres tested, indicating no selective attraction or repulsion of Der p 1 allergen carrying particles in the experimental dust. The consistently high dust anchoring ability of the electret fibres could be used in many domestic products that are known to harbour particulate allergens, to reduce their release and inhalation.
KeywordsHouse dust mite Allergen avoidance Electrostatic anchoring Der p 1 Particle size
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