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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2001 Jul;87(1):60-4.

Cockroach allergen abatement with extermination and sodium hypochlorite cleaning in inner-city homes.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. rawood@erols.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although the importance of cockroach allergen in chronic asthma has now been well defined, little progress has been made in the control of cockroach allergen in infested homes.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to examine the ability of a combination of professional pest extermination and household cleaning using a solution of sodium hypochlorite to reduce cockroach infestation and allergen levels in cockroach infested homes.

METHODS:

Seventeen cockroach-infested homes were studied with three homes serving as controls. In the intervention homes, a professional exterminator applied 0.05% abamectin twice at 2-week intervals at study entry and a professional cleaner cleaned the homes before and after the extermination. All washable surfaces were cleaned throughout the study with a solution of 0.5% hypochlorite. Monthly home visits were conducted to inspect the home, interview the homeowner, place passive cockroach traps, and to collect settled dust samples from the kitchen, bedroom, and TV/living room.

RESULTS:

The number of cockroaches in the passive traps decreased rapidly after the initial intervention in most homes. Median Blatella germanica allergen 1 levels in the settled dust samples fell by 91% in the kitchen, 78% in the bedroom, and 77% in the living room over the course of the study in the intervention homes but gradually rose in the control homes. The overall reductions were very similar to those seen in a previous study with a similar protocol except for the use of the sodium hypochlorite.

CONCLUSIONS:

Successful extermination is possible in most inner-city homes and cockroach allergen levels can be reduced by 80% to 90%. However, 0.5% sodium hypochlorite did not seem to improve allergen reduction, and in many homes, allergen levels remained above the proposed threshold of 8 U/g of dust throughout the study.

PMID:
11476465
DOI:
10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62324-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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