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Precision helps address concerns about allergens, bed bugs
07
Jul '11
For college students beginning preparations to head back to their residence hall "home away from home," a specialized product from Precision Fabrics Group is helping address concerns about allergens and bed bugs.

Students who regard their dorm room bed as a comfortable, carefree refuge where they rest and unwind may want to rethink. Information from the institutional bedding industry indicates that most colleges and universities replace mattresses in on-campus housing facilities on a four-to-five year schedule. Those familiar with what happens to a mattress after years of typical dorm use say allergens associated with dust particles, dust mites, mold and fungus can be an issue in even the most well-maintained campus residence facilities. Added to those worries are bedbug infestations and other sanitary concerns associated with used bedding.

According to information from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), "Dorm life breeds mold, dust mites, bacteria and viruses. It is important to keep your room clean and free of these triggers. Remember to encase bedding with dust mite proof covers and wash sheets and blankets weekly in hot water, to keep your room free of dust mites and other airborne particles," advises an AAAAI fact sheet for students with allergies.

“When it comes to allergens, microbial presence and even ordinary dust particles, a regular mattress cover and sheets cannot provide a protective barrier between the mattress and the person sleeping in that bed night after night,” says Traci Broughton, product manager for Precision Fabrics Group in Greensboro, NC. “Preventing contact with allergens and other foreign material requires specially manufactured bedding products.”

Broughton says mattress and pillow encasements made from Pristine® fabric provide a solution. “Pristine fabric is made from tightly woven yarns that make the material impenetrable to allergens and other particles, plus they're finished with an anti-microbial treatment,” she explains. “They're soft and breathable, and can be washed as frequently as ordinary bedding without breaking down or losing their protective properties.”

Even with newer dorm mattresses, parents should consider using Pristine encasements, Broughton says. “For many students, residence hall mattresses are too uncomfortable to provide restful sleep. To fix this problem, kids will lay some type of foam pad on top of the mattress. That foam can be a haven for dust and other allergens, so it's a great idea to seal the pad and mattress inside an allergen-barrier encasement.”

On the bed bug front, "Word of infestations occurs almost weekly (during the school year), as the pests have found their way into residence facilities across the U.S.," according to Wayne Walker, the senior pest control technician for the department of Housing and Residence Education at the University of Florida, who provides advice on preventing or minimizing bed bug infestations to members of the Association of College and University Housing Officers. "Due to the severity of the problem and the frequency of student travelers, bedbug outbreaks have increased in residence facilities and likely will continue to occur."

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