A side-by-side comparison of three allergen sampling methods in settled house dust

Understanding allergen exposure and potential relationships with asthma requires allergen sampling methods, but methods have yet to be standardized. We compared allergen measurements from dust collected from 200 households with asthmatics and conducted a side-by-side vacuum sampling of settled dust in each home's kitchen, living room and subject's bedroom by three methods (EMM, HVS4 and AIHA). Each sample was analyzed for dust mite, cockroach, mouse, rat, cat and dog allergens. The number of samples with sufficient dust mass for allergen analysis was significantly higher for Eureka Mighty Mite (EMM) and high volume small surface sampler (HVS4) compared with American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in all rooms and surfaces tested (all P<0.05). The allergen concentration (weight of allergen divided by total weight of dust sampled) measured b. The EMM and HVS4 methods was higher than that measured b. The AIHA. Allergen loadings (weight of allergen divided by surface area sampled) were significantly higher for HVS4 than for AIHA and EMM. Cockroach and rat allergens were rarely detected via any method. The EMM method is most likely to collect sufficient dust from surfaces i. The home and is relatively practical and easy. The AIHA and HVS4 methods suffer from insufficient dust collection and/or difficulty in use.