Asthma sufferers to gain from anti-mite campaign

A Yorkshire company behind a novel treatment for asthma sufferers is gearing up for a major campaign targeting consumers, health professionals and politicians.

Alpine Environments is using Harrogate-based Ram PR to promote its patented system for purging house dust-mites, one of the most common asthma triggers.

It claims its treatment has shown a four-fold improvement in sufferers' breathing quality – and could save the NHS money if widely used.

The company tests sufferers' skin for allergic reactions to mites, cats, dogs and grasses. If a mite allergy is detected, household items are surveyed, with mattresses being heated – in situ – to above 100oC to kill the mites.

Steam is then injected to counter harmful allergens and mattresses are reheated, dried, sealed and wrapped in mite-proof covers. A ventilation system also needs to be installed in the bedroom to cut humidity so dust mites cannot return.

The three businessmen behind the venture – Eric Lumley, Ken Houlbrook and Cliff Freeman – have ploughed more than £1m into research and development, while the Bank of Scotland injected £300,000 late last year to help bring the product to market. Alpine Environments is so called to evoke the famed purity of air in the Alps.

The treatment costs around £3,500 for an average home. Around 100 households in England have so far shelled out for the system.
Ram is targeting health and consumer journalists, medical professionals and NHS budgetholders – such as Primary Care Trust heads – using family case studies and testimonials from medical professionals.

The agency is offering one suitable national journalist free treatment in return for a case study of their experience.

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