The term bioaerosol is short for a biological aerosol which is basically airborne biological material. Bioaerosols can be created from nearly any process that involves biological materials with the addition of energy to separate small particles from the larger substance, such as wind, water, air, or friction such as movement. Air is the most common source of transportation for bioaerosols. Air contains microscopic bits and pieces of bacteria, fungi, mycotoxins and viruses (bioaerosols). These microbes bunch together in the air, and stick to each other to increase survival while airborne. The biological aerosols are able to survive in the air only because of the moisture in the air. So, the more humid the environment the higher counts of bioaerosols in the air.
The Dangers of Bioaerosols
Bioaerosols in the air can cause a vast array of health problems depending on the airborne species. The illnesses can range from simple allergies and asthma to even death. There have been many devastating events due to bioaerosols such as:
- The Irish Potato Famine
- The Bubonic Plague
- The 1918 Influenza outbreak
- The 2001 anthrax attacks
- The bird flu
Of course these are extreme examples but it does show how dangerous bioaerosols can be.
Sources of Bioaerosols in the Home
Bioaerosols are extremely abundant in homes which are the cause for many allergy related symptoms every year. Bioaerosols like any living organism needs a constant supply of water. So here is a list of some common places that microorganisms grow in the house before becoming an airborne bioaerosol:
- Air conditioning equipment (including ducts and filters)
- Shower heads
- Bathroom rugs
- Kitchen dish towels
In addition, water damaged carpets; area rugs, ceiling panels, walls, and paneling are ideal places for biological growth. Carpets and area rugs may cause some of the most trouble for a few reasons. Carpets and rugs tend to hold moisture for an extremely long time if they come in contact with water, especially in a high humidity environment. Due to this fact, thousands of bacterial or mold colonies can form before the area is dry. Once it is finally dry the organisms die but the biological material that causes many of the health problems is still embedded into your carpets or area rugs. So every time a person takes a walk through the carpet or area rug, they are creating friction and causing bioaerosols to be in the surrounding air.
How to Minimize Bioaerosols in the Home
The most effective solution to minimize bioaerosols in a home is to keep the relative humidity below 50% and if carpets or rugs get wet they must be dried immediately. This solution however is impractical unless your home has a central air dehumidifier. The best alternative is to have your area rugs and carpets cleaned at least twice a year, especially if you live in a high humidity environment, by a reputable area rug cleaning service that uses only organic soaps and properly disinfects the rugs. In addition, it is highly recommended that local area rugs in your home be sent to a professional rug cleaning company that deep cleans the rugs, also using organic soaps. Many times carpets are cleaned but area rugs are ignored which causes an extreme amount of biological buildup over time.
Do You Need Rug Cleaning? Contact Our Professional Rug Cleaning
Ready to clean your area rug? The first step? Getting your fast, free, no-obligation quote from one of our Revita Experts! Call us at 1.855.5.REVITA or, fill out our contact form here. We’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have about your New York rug cleaning process.