Friday, February 13, 2009

Cockroach Allergens Continue to be a Major Trigger of Asthma, Especially in Children

(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a projected $1B spent on the professional cockroach management services in the United States each year, this insect is one of the nation’s most prevalent and potentially hazardous pests. Cockroaches can spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that as these pests come indoors, their droppings and shed skin lead to allergen accumulation and subsequently, the potential increase for asthma attacks, notably in children.

Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens are responsible for numerous allergic reactions and are one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. In fact, the World Health Organization reported in its 2008 book, “Public Health Significance of Urban Pests,” that children who are not only sensitive to cockroach allergens but also, exposed to high levels of such allergens are 3 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than other children.

"Cockroach allergens – whether present in homes, schools or other public facilities – pose significant health risks for all humans, especially children," says Greg Baumann, senior scientist for NPMA. "As a major trigger of asthma, which the American Lung Association deems the most common chronic disorder in children, cockroaches are pests that must be properly controlled to prevent the build-up of allergens and the spread of bacteria."

The NPMA offers these tips to prevent cockroaches from coming indoors:

* Vacuum often to reduce cockroach allergens.
* Keep garbage in a sealed container and dispose of regularly to avoid attracting cockroaches.
* Keep any/all food in sealed containers to prevent infestations.
* Properly ventilate basements/crawl spaces to prevent moisture.
* Seal cracks and holes around utility pipes that enter the home to prevent easy access for cockroaches.
* If you find signs of a cockroach infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

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