You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:35 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 3:43 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
Hello, I have severe cat allergies plus asthma. About 30 minutes in a house where a cat lives and I can hardly breathe.

A few days ago my girlfriend got a cat. I already don't go over to her house because of her dogs, but I am very concerned about her bringing cat dander into my house stuck to her clothes and hair. My home is my safe place away from allergens! I can't allow cat dander to build on on my furniture and in my mattress or I won't have a safe place any more. Once dander is in a mattress you can never get it out.

Although I get the impression she thinks I'm over-reacting, she said she would shower and put on clean clothes when she comes over.

Question 1: Anyone have any experience or insight on the shower-and-change plan? Could it work to keep the dander out?

Question 2: Would an ordinary household washer and dryer actually remove cat dander from clothing, or would it just smear it around and make it angry? Or worse, would it line the inside of the dryer drum with dander, ready to infect the next load of laundry unfortunate enough to be placed in there?

Thanks for any replies or views.
komatsu


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:32 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I'm not sure of the answers to those questions but I have to wonder...if she knew you had severe allergies to cats, why did she get one?

I would have to think hard about the long term goals of a relationship with someone who is physically toxic to me.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 2:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Allergists definitely recommend washing of bedding as an anti-allergy strategy. Course, they also usually recommend complete cat avoidance.

At least you're not suggesting the cat is coming over to your place. You may want to talk to your doctor about the risks in your particular case. But your girlfriend should know that for those with asthma, cat dander is a common and insidious trigger.

Here's a link Allergic Living's article: A Gander at Dander: http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=144

It'll give you/her some insights. This one para illustrates some of the issues with cat residue:

Quote:
Removing a pet may not be the end of the story. Cat and dog proteins are ubiquitous: one study found the proteins in 100 per cent of U.S. homes tested, though only 49 per cent actually housed a dog or cat. Davidson explains that cat protein is dispersed in particles so small that some remain suspended instead of sinking to the ground. Enough protein to cause symptoms can be present for months, or even years after the cat has left the building.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 3:43 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
_Susan_ wrote:
I have to wonder...if she knew you had severe allergies to cats, why did she get one?

Thank you, finally someone who understands why I am upset!!

To answer your question, she got one because her son wanted one, and she thought if she already had a dog, what's the difference.

gwentheeditor wrote:
At least you're not suggesting the cat is coming over to your place.

Nope, the cat will never come over to my place!

I'll keep trying to google for something that can tell me if a household washer and dryer will actually remove cat dander, or just spread it around. Most of the pages I find on google that have "dander" and "washer" or "dryer" are a one-size-fits-most generic web page about allergies that mentions "dander" in connection with cats and dogs, then "washer" in conjunction with removing dust mites. No mention of the washer and dryer eliminating the dander or not. Surely there must be some research on this somewhere?

If anyone finds anything, please let me know!

Thanks
komatsu


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:12 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
re your:

Quote:
I'll keep trying to google for something that can tell me if a household washer and dryer will actually remove cat dander, or just spread it around.


Allergic Living has written several articles on both pet dander and dust mites. The bedding advice given usually relates to dust mites since, when it comes to pets and allergies, the standard advice is about removing a pet from the home.

I've seen no reason to suggest that washing would 'spread around' dander. In fact, with microscopic dust mites, the idea is that washing the sheets in hot water and using a hot dryer should kill them and get rid of their allergenic droppings. One can see pet hairs in a dryer lint trap, so I think it's safe to assume washing/drying would also be beneficial with pet hair and dander.

That article I referenced notes that wiping down the cat weekly with a damp cloth should help cut down the amount of dander released into the air. (Not to be done by the allergic person). Good luck with it all.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
normal washing should help with the dander apect of your allergy.




if you are dustmite allergic, to kill the dustmites, you need to wash clothes /bedding on a really hot wash.

i boil wash my sons bedding, then tumble dry it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:07 am
Posts: 24
komatsu wrote:
Question 1: Anyone have any experience or insight on the shower-and-change plan? Could it work to keep the dander out?


Not by my experience. Cats get into ev-er-y-thing. They climb into clothes closets and drawers, and all over furniture and beds. If she puts her laundry on the bed to fold them, or her cat gets anywhere near her clean clothes, or she sits down on anything before leaving for your place, she'll be contaminated. And that's not counting the airborne hairs and dander that settle on everything in the house.

komatsu wrote:
Question 2: Would an ordinary household washer and dryer actually remove cat dander from clothing, or would it just smear it around and make it angry? Or worse, would it line the inside of the dryer drum with dander, ready to infect the next load of laundry unfortunate enough to be placed in there?


I am extremely allergic to cats myself. It's my understanding that our problem is caused by the cat's skin oils and saliva. Those oils, just like most other oils, seem to wash away with detergent. I've been a long-time apartment-dweller and of course many other tenants have cats and dogs (which I'm also allergic to). I use the same washers and dryers. I try to minimize risk by checking the washers and lint screens for hairs and if I see any I use a different machine. It seems to work for me.

gwentheeditor wrote:

Quote:
Enough protein to cause symptoms can be present for months, or even years after the cat has left the building.


I can vouch for this. I went to my aunt and uncle's house to visit for a few days and started having severe aggravation of my asthma for unknown reasons. Found out partway through my stay that they'd had a dog who died a year prior. This serious reaction despite the fact that my aunt is a serious clean freak of monumental proportion. You just can't get the stuff out of the environment.

_susan_ wrote:
I would have to think hard about the long term goals of a relationship with someone who is physically toxic to me.


+1. A partner's failure to take your allergies seriously and avoid causing you additional suffering is a warning sign that they do not have your best interests in mind.

_________________
Self: Asthma; allergic to cats, dogs, grasses, housedust, moulds, various tree pollens, most tree nuts, ragweed, cockroaches, tobacco, most hair products, many soaps and lotions, and many chemicals
DW: Cashews, latex, springtime pollens


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 3:43 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
Eep wrote:
Not by my experience. Cats get into ev-er-y-thing. They climb into clothes closets and drawers, and all over furniture and beds. If she puts her laundry on the bed to fold them, or her cat gets anywhere near her clean clothes, or she sits down on anything before leaving for your place, she'll be contaminated. And that's not counting the airborne hairs and dander that settle on everything in the house.

Oops I should have been more clear. The shower takes place at my house and the cache of clean clothes is also at my house. The cat-infested clothes are left in a plastic bag. It's been a little over a month; so far I haven't noticed extra illness but I am still curious about dander building up over time.

Eep wrote:
I am extremely allergic to cats myself. It's my understanding that our problem is caused by the cat's skin oils and saliva. Those oils, just like most other oils, seem to wash away with detergent. I've been a long-time apartment-dweller and of course many other tenants have cats and dogs (which I'm also allergic to). I use the same washers and dryers. I try to minimize risk by checking the washers and lint screens for hairs and if I see any I use a different machine. It seems to work for me.

OK your experience with this is good to know. I haven't found any other info on cat dander standing up to washer and dryer or not.

Eep wrote:
+1. A partner's failure to take your allergies seriously and avoid causing you additional suffering is a warning sign that they do not have your best interests in mind.

The cat issue has definitely damaged the relationship.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 3:43 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
gwentheeditor wrote:
One can see pet hairs in a dryer lint trap, so I think it's safe to assume washing/drying would also be beneficial with pet hair and dander.

Actually it's a very common misconception that people are allergic to the hair, they are actually allergic to dander particles which I understand are a kind of secreted protein in the skin, saliva, and urine. They measure the size of dander particles in micrometres, and the particles go right through a normal furnace filter (but not a HEPA furnace filter). I don't think the dander would get taken out by the lint screen, just the hair does.

From Eep's experience with it, I would guess that the soapy wash water rinses out the dander particles down the wash drain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:07 am
Posts: 24
komatsu wrote:
Oops I should have been more clear. The shower takes place at my house and the cache of clean clothes is also at my house. The cat-infested clothes are left in a plastic bag. It's been a little over a month; so far I haven't noticed extra illness but I am still curious about dander building up over time.

The problem is that it's fine particulate matter so it's very lightweight, airborne stuff. Every time she comes over she's going to track it in to some extent. It will also puff out of her contaminated clothes into the air when she puts them in the bag. I can't see how it wouldn't build up over time. (Sorry! :( )

komatsu wrote:
The cat issue has definitely damaged the relationship.


I hate to be a wet blanket, but I would be asking myself some difficult questions at this point. Cats live 15-20 years or more. If this relationship was to result in marriage, for example, where would I be expected to live all that time? Would we continue to live separately and do the current shower-change routine, all for the sake of a cat? Or would they get rid of the cat when we got married? But since they want one so badly right now that they are willing to sacrifice my well-being, doesn't that mean they would resent me for having to get rid of it later? Is this ultimately a good match?

This is a very unpleasant line of thought, to be sure, but allergies don't leave us much room for negotiation when significant others choose to bring known triggers into their homes.

komatsu wrote:
I don't think the dander would get taken out by the lint screen, just the hair does.

From Eep's experience with it, I would guess that the soapy wash water rinses out the dander particles down the wash drain.

You're right, the dander has very fine particles and would not get trapped by a lint screen. The reason I check washers and dryers for hairs is because hairs are a visible warning sign that the last load in the machine was full of dander. By using a different machine I know I still won't have 100% dander-free clothing but at least it helps minimize my exposure.

_________________
Self: Asthma; allergic to cats, dogs, grasses, housedust, moulds, various tree pollens, most tree nuts, ragweed, cockroaches, tobacco, most hair products, many soaps and lotions, and many chemicals
DW: Cashews, latex, springtime pollens


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:36 pm
Posts: 2
I believe the actual act of washing should remove most, if not all of the particles. Depends on how allergic you are. If you are a severe enough sufferer, complete avoidance is best. I think the steps you are taking should be enough for most allergy sufferers, but not knowing the depths of your allergy, can not say for sure.

I don't think you are over-reacting but it often helps to explain the allergy symptoms in depth to people, because a lot of people seem to think it is a matter of a few sniffles or that it's in your head. I've actually had people hide their pets to see if I was "exaggerating". :( At least your girlfriend is complying with your suggestions re: your space.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:39 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Quote:
I've actually had people hide their pets to see if I was "exaggerating".


Lovely. Guess that made you feel all, uh, warm and fuzzy. :roll:
Did they believe you once you were reacting?

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:27 pm
Posts: 3
Hello, Has anyone found a conclusive answer to the question of whether or not washing clothes/bedding in super-hot water will eliminate cat dander? I purchased some custom waterbed sheets on the internet. They had a strong fragrance to them, so I washed them several times on the super-hot setting and aired them outside. The fragrance is finally gone, but when I contacted the seller to see if she had washed them in scented detergent, I learned that she has a cat. I really like the sheets, but don't want to risk it if the washing doesn't eliminate the dander (I'm highly allergic). My allergy nurse said she "thought it should be OK", which didn't instill much confidence. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Perhaps a neutral place to visit your "friend" would be a better solution than coming into your home. It can be quite pleasant to meet for tea.

Really question how seriously this friend take s your allergies.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:36 pm
Posts: 2
Wow, it seems like most of the reactions have the same as my initial one, but I must reiterate...why did she GET the cat if she knew you were already struggling with the fact that she has dogs? The fact that she's going to have to shower and change EVERY TIME she sees you is going to get difficult if it hasn't already...and quick!

You mentioned that she has a son...is he going to under the same "shower/clean clothes" rule? He's going to carry the dander as well, maybe even more if it's "his" cat. Sorry, I just don't see this going well for your relationship. GOOD LUCK!

Cheers!
-Booker

_________________
Filtrete


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group