Removing allergens

  • Sirkit

    Posts: 182

    Feb 29, 2008 6:18 AM GMT
    So I was supposed to care for my parents cat for a couple of months but she is wreaking havoc with my allergies (usually I'm fine with drugs icon_razz.gif). I've found a place for her to go but she's been in my apartment for two days already so I'm going to need to clean out whatever is making me ill. Any suggestions for removing the lovely allergens now in my apartment?
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    Feb 29, 2008 1:37 PM GMT
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    Mar 08, 2008 2:49 PM GMT
    i use something called glen 20, it's an antibacterial spray that removes 99.9% of germs (apparently) from the surface of most objects. don't know if you guys have it in the states (maybe something similar) and they've got something that removes odors and germs from the air too.

    if i'm sick i always vacuum and spray this stuff EVERYWHERE and makes the house feel so sanitary haha
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    Mar 08, 2008 4:19 PM GMT
    Just browsed through the link real fast, but it should help.

    http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/learning/cat-allergen-cleaning.html
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Mar 08, 2008 4:47 PM GMT
    What you're most likely allergic to is the dander. So heavy duty vaccuming on a regular basis for a few weeks should get rid of the problem.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Mar 08, 2008 5:07 PM GMT
    To echo DiverScience, the most common allergy to cats is to the dander. Therefore, an antibacterial spray won't do anything about this problem, but repeated vacuuming will, particularly on carpeted surfaces. If the cat's spending time on a surface which can safely be bleached, that will also help a lot, as will washing the bed linens frequently. If it's feasible, you could also exclude the cat from one particular room in the apartment--most helpfully, your bedroom--and breathing in there will get much easier as time goes on and you continue to clean regularly. This is also one of the few cases where an air purifier can actually help, as most of them are relatively better at trapping things like dust and hair than they are things like smoke.

    As a tangent, based on an earlier comment, I strongly urge people to use many fewer antibacterial sprays and soaps than are currently used. The overuse of antibacterials is one of the main causes of the spread of antibacterial resistance, as all of those antibiotics end up in sub-lethal doses in the water supply, providing many new chances for bacteria and fungi to evolve resistance to them. This is true of antibacterial soaps, not just antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Further, the vast majority of bacteria are not harmful to you, but wiping out all of the benign ones can allow harmful ones to proliferate freely, as their competition is removed. Soap that doesn't have a specific antibiotic in it (most often these days, antibacterial soap will be carrying triclosan) will still kill the vast majority of bacteria on your hands, merely by the detergents rupturing the bacterial cells if you wash for at least 30 seconds.
  • fryblock

    Posts: 387

    Mar 08, 2008 5:16 PM GMT
    Actually, most people are allergic to a chemical in the saliva which gets in the cats' fur when they groom themselves.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Mar 08, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    Well, technically, the human allergy is most often to Fel d1, a glycoprotein found in both cat skin and saliva. When the cat grooms itself, the combined glycoprotein from both the saliva on its tongue and the skin cells which come loose during the grooming process combine on the airborne dander, creating something of a double whammy. It is this to which your immune system is responding.
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    Mar 08, 2008 6:19 PM GMT
    maybe you should shave the cat and heavily moisturize it.

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