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Pet allergens universally present in homes

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BETHESDA, Md., Jul 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Scientists have found most U.S. households harbor pet allergens at levels that can cause allergic reactions -- even in those without a dog or cat.

Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development discovered allergen levels were especially high among dog and cat owners, despite whether they were indoor or outdoor pets.

The study suggests because these allergens can be transported on clothing, communities with more pet owners have a significantly higher count, putting pet-allergic patients at an increased risk. The research is part of a series of allergen reports in which researchers surveyed 831 homes around the nation, collecting dust samples and asking homeowners questions.

It is the first study to examine allergen levels in residential environments on a national scale.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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