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Pillows are known to contain significant levels of indoor allergens and endotoxin, that are of importance to house dust mite sensitized asthmatics. Buckwheat pillows are commonly used in Korea. We studied the levels of the house dust mite allergen, Der f 1, and endotoxin on new synthetic and buckwheat pillows and their accumu-lation over three months. Endotoxin levels were significantly higher on new buck-wheat pillows compared to synthetic pillows; geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 60,950 EU/g (30,270-122,700) and 4,887 EU/g (2,570-9,311) respectively (p<0.001). No Der f 1 was detected on the new pillows. After three months Der f 1 levels were similar on buckwheat and synthetic pillows, geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 1.16 g/g (0.02-8.13) and 1.08 g/g (0.19-1.68) respectively. These results indicate that buckwheat pillows are a source of very high endotoxin levels that may be of relevance to asthma severity of atopic asthmatics.


Pillows are known to contain significant levels of indoor allergens and endotoxin, that are of importance to house dust mite sensitized asthmatics. Buckwheat pillows are commonly used in Korea. We studied the levels of the house dust mite allergen, Der f 1, and endotoxin on new synthetic and buckwheat pillows and their accumu-lation over three months. Endotoxin levels were significantly higher on new buck-wheat pillows compared to synthetic pillows; geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 60,950 EU/g (30,270-122,700) and 4,887 EU/g (2,570-9,311) respectively (p<0.001). No Der f 1 was detected on the new pillows. After three months Der f 1 levels were similar on buckwheat and synthetic pillows, geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 1.16 g/g (0.02-8.13) and 1.08 g/g (0.19-1.68) respectively. These results indicate that buckwheat pillows are a source of very high endotoxin levels that may be of relevance to asthma severity of atopic asthmatics.