Cockroach Allergens Can Increase Asthma Attack Risk
Posted October 8, 2002
DURHAM, N.C. — Cockroaches can create health problems for people with asthma, but local researchers are studying ways to help families eliminate the problem.
According to researchers at
, many adults and children are allergic to cockroaches, which can trigger asthma attacks.
Dr. Larry Williams, of the
at Duke University, has been studying the link between cockroaches and asthma for more than 10 years.
Williams and his research team are trying to help families reduce the amount of cockroach allergen in their homes.
The researchers first checked for an infestation problem by setting traps. They reported finding between 20 and 25 cockroaches per home tested, mostly in the kitchen.
If there was cockroach infestation, the researchers taught families how to control the population with inexpensive cleaning and pest products.
"Folks can go to the store, and for $20 to $30 buy what they need to generally control roach populations in single-family homes or duplexes without too much trouble," said Williams.
He also said he hopes educating people will help reduce asthma-related emergencies.
"The homes we most worry about are those where there's obviously cockroach infestation. The dwellers see roaches almost every day," said Williams.
The type of cockroach linked to asthma problems is the small German roach.
Duke is looking for families in the Triangle area to participate in this study. At least one person in the home has to have asthma. For more information call (919) 684-0191.