Title page for ETD etd-12182000-153119

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Andes, Glenda Gilmore
Author's Email Address gandes@vt.edu
URN etd-12182000-153119
Title The Effect of Carpet Fiber on the Growth of Dermataphagiodes farniae in a Controlled Environment
Degree Master of Science
Department Near Environments
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Parrott, Kathleen R. Committee Chair
Chen-Yu, Jessie H. Committee Member
Mollet, Judith A. Committee Member
  • carpet
  • asthma
  • carpet fibers
  • allergy
  • house-dust mites
Date of Defense 2000-12-11
Availability unrestricted
The Effect of Carpet Fiber on the Growth of

Dermatophagiodes farinae in a Controlled Environment

Glenda Gilmore Andes


Mites are endemic and allergy to mite excreta and parts is one of the most common allergies. Health care practitioners have recommended the removal of carpets from homes of people with mite allergies. Little, if any, consideration is given to the fact that some persons may benefit directly from the presence of carpet in their homes. In the allergen and mite research literature, carpets are rarely described as having unique characteristics and are generally referred to as a generic entity. Carpets, however, do have unique characteristics that define their construction, appearance, wearability, and cleanability.

Seventy-two pieces of commercially available, residential flooring materials were inoculated with identical numbers of mites, Dermatophagiodes farinae, and placed in the Textiles Conditioning Lab at Virginia Tech. The mites and carpet pieces were maintained in the lab, under identical, environmentally controlled conditions for 6 weeks, then the mites were extracted and counted.

On the basis of the results of statistical tests run on the study data, the null hypothesis, that there is no difference between the numbers of mites grown on the different flooring conditions, was rejected. Statistically significant differences exist between the hard floor and the nylon carpet, between hard floor and olefin carpets, but no difference between hard floor and wool carpet.

Nylon was the carpet fiber that was most supportive of the growth of house dust mites, olefin was the second most supportive, and wool carpet and hard floor were similar in being the least supportive.

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