An investigation of aerosolised dust mite exposure in vehicles, with particular reference to child car seats

D Clarke, E Dix, M Gormally & M Byrne

2% of the world’s population is sensitised to dust mite allergens, which contribute to diseases such as dermatitis, eczema and asthma. While this situation is aggravated by people’s increased tendency to remain indoors, little quantitative research has been conducted on the role played by cars in harbouring dust mite populations. A study is described, aimed at enhancing current understanding of mite-promoting conditions in cars with particular reference to child car seats as a possible habitat for dust mites. Through recruitment of volunteers outside primary school buildings in Galway city and county, mite samples have been collected from 105 child car seats, using an open face suction sampler. Preliminary results regarding the enumeration and identification of mites are presented. Outline plans for the second phase of the study, involving mite resuspension investigations, are presented.

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