UCL News


Dust mites meet their match

11 March 2004

A study led by UCL's Professor Tadj Oreszczyn (Bartlett School) has developed a technique that can control the level of dust mites in the home, which can cause asthma and other allergies.

Professor Tadj Oreszczyn

It is estimated that the UK spends £700 million on combating dust mites annually. Mite numbers are heavily affected by environmental conditions within the home, especially heating, humidity and ventilation variations.

The project, funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has resulted in a computer model that can assess how modifying a particular domestic environment can reduce the dust mite population.

The study represents the latest stage in developing an anti-mite strategy for a range of UK house types. Monitoring will now take place under laboratory conditions to observe the mite population growth under a range of conditions, and during a field study in 60 homes across the UK.

Professor Oreszczyn commented: "We aim to identify how homes can be designed and used so that mite populations can be reduced to below the threshold at which health problems occur."

To find out more about the project use the link below.

Link: House dust mite project