Dusty matters

I read an article the other day about dust mites and their link to asthma in children. After first claiming that children increasingly develop asthma because of exposure to animals or to dust (like houses were cleaner and without pets in the past?!), the researchers have now come up with the ‘novel’ idea that other factors in the ‘complex’ environment may be the cause. Apparently, children ‘brought up on farms’ are less likely to develop asthma. I wonder what may be the cause… Could it be, as the Guardian writes traffic emissions or cleaning chemicals? Or, as the Telegraph claims, sports ? Interestingly, the asthma help website http://www.asthma.org.uk neither mentions chemicals or traffic pollution as asthma triggers, but sex, emotions and the weather (it’s better to abstain from those far more dangerous and unexplained things!). Obviously more research into the link between asthma and dust mites (and maybe emotions and sex?) needs to be done. Ask anyone who has blown their nose and looked at their black tissue in central London…

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