Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Mattress
Published: May 16, 2012
Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Mattress, Washing your sheets is just the first step to keeping creepy crawlies out of your bed.Investigating all the creepy crawlies and toxins that may lurk in your bed is enough to cause nightmares.”I can think of no single place that challenges a person immunologically day in and day out than a mattress,” writes microbiologist Philip Tierno, PhD, in his book, The Secret Life of Germs.
Mattresses typically accumulate bodily fluids such as sweat, blood, and urine, which become breeding grounds for bacteria. While many strains are relatively harmless, according to Tierno some can cause serious conditions such as gangrene. Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable. Other microscopic mattress invaders include fungi, mold, and dust mites.
Dust mites are relatives of the spider and feed off dry skin cells shed by humans. These imperceptibly tiny pests cause allergies, wheezing, and asthma. A larger pest is the bed bug.
Once thought to be completely wiped out, bed bugs are now a public health problem in all fifty states and epidemic in cities such as New York. The nasty critters don’t spread diseases but they do afflict victims with an itchy, painful rash—and they are notoriously difficult to eradicate. The Mayo Clinic advises using a professional exterminator to deal with an invasion. Commercial insect foggers may not be effective against bed bugs and leave a toxic residue of pesticide on your bedroom surfaces.
If your pet sleeps with you, add ticks, fleas, and whatever germs and filth Fido or Purrfect has picked up on its paws or fur to the list to the list of invaders. The Centers for Disease Control reports that sleeping with pets has been linked to Methicillin-Resistant Stapylococcus aureus (MRSA), parasitic infections such as hookworm, and even plague.
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