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Animal epidermal derivatives

An element capable of causing allergies

An element capable of causing allergies

The epidermal derivatives of pets are released from saliva, dander and urine of dogs and cats, but also from birds and cockroaches. Once dried and fragmented, they remain suspended in the air in dust.

In Italy, an important source of indoor allergens is represented by pets, and in particular by cats. Cats are a risk factor for allergies not only in the home, but also in offices, schools and probably in all community environments.

The most important allergen is identified as Fel d 1 and is localised mainly in the hair and to a lesser extent in the saliva. In contrast to dust mites, cat allergens are associated with very small particles, with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less. As they are very light, the particles remain suspended in the air in very large quantities for a long time and, when they precipitate, they accumulate in, for example, upholstery, curtains, carpets or upholstery, where they remain for a long time even after the animal has been removed. In environments where animals have lived, it takes at least six months after removal for concentration levels to return to values where the animal is not present.

Allergens can also be transported through clothing and can be found even in environments where animals have never been present.

Health effects

The presence of cat allergens can lead to sensitisation of non-sensitised individuals and, above all, induce or aggravate symptoms (rhinoconjunctivitis and asthmatic attacks) in allergic individuals.

Finally, allergic problems caused by dog dander, hair and saliva seem to be less common in Italy than those caused by cats, but there are concerns about this.

The presence of cat allergens can lead to sensitisation of non-sensitised individuals and, above all, induce or aggravate symptoms (rhinoconjunctivitis and asthmatic attacks) in allergic individuals.

Finally, allergic problems caused by dog dander, hair and saliva seem to be less common in Italy than those caused by cats, but there are concerns about this.

Measures to reduce exposure

cucciolo peloso che dorme

Cleaning

Proper cleaning of the pet's living quarters

ragazza che respira aria proveniente da finestra aperta

Air

Air exchange and proper expulsion of pollutants to the outside.

derivati epidermici che si depositano sui vestiti

Clothes

Clothes carry allergens within the confined environment.

Measures to reduce exposure

cucciolo peloso che dorme

Cleaning

Proper cleaning of the pet's living quarters

ragazza che respira aria proveniente da finestra aperta

Air

Air exchange and proper expulsion of pollutants to the outside.

derivati epidermici che si depositano sui vestiti

Clothes

Clothes carry allergens within the confined environment.

The health blog