Household Dust: A Breeding Ground For Toxic Chemicals
Did you know that household dust exposes you and your family to a wide range of toxic chemicals from everyday products?
A 2016 first-of-a-kind study on consumer product chemicals found in household dust, led by researches at the George Washington University, found that ninety percent of household dust contains ten harmful chemicals.
In the study, indoor dust consistently contained four classes of harmful chemicals in high amounts: phthalates, phenols, flame retardants, and highly fluorinated chemicals. In total, 45 toxic chemicals that are used in many consumer and household materials were found.
The most frightening fact is that the toxic chemicals that are found in dust pose a much higher risk to young children who are more vulnerable to the effects of the exposure on their developmental health. The chemicals from dust are much more likely to get into their bodies and cause harm.
That is not the only reason to be concerned. Dust is a breeding ground for another threat to your health: dust mites. They are microscopic, multiply very fast, and can be very harmful, especially to those who suffer from asthma and/or allergies.
For these very reasons, dust should be taken very seriously, and your exposure to it within your home should be reduced significantly.
In this article, a Hello Lovely Living contributor shares tips on how to reduce dust from entering into and accumulating in the home. I, for one, need to apply a few additional measures of dust prevention in my home because I am scared out of my mind about the dangers it poses to my family’s health now. I didn’t know just how serious it was.
I hope you will find these tips helpful as well and find yourself better informed about the dangers dust poses to your health.
Take Off Your Shoes
Did you know that 80% of household dust comes from shoes? For this reason, it helps to take your shoes off whenever you enter your home. When you do this, you can stop yourself from dragging dust throughout your home and you can also keep allergens outside where they belong. It also helps to have a shoe basket as well. When you have one of these, you can collect the dust that comes off the shoes and dispose of it accordingly.
Always Dust Your Doormat
If you do not have a doormat, then this is another huge mistake. Doormats can help you to trap dust, and they are ideal if you sometimes forget to take your shoes off at the door. It is really important, however that you clean your doormat on a regular basis. To do this, you need to shake it outside, then vacuum over it. When you do this, you can reduce the amount of dust in your home by a significant amount, and you can also keep your home cleaner, too.
Change Your Air Filter Frequently
Many manufacturers will tell you to change your air filter every 3 months or so. If you change them more often, then this will really reduce the amount of dust in your home. If you can, use disposable filters as these can be thrown away, and they are much more hygienic. AC repair may also be required, because if your unit is not working, then dust will collect and become stagnant, leading to a build-up of allergens in the home.
Avoid Feather Dusters
You may think that feather dusters are retro, but they really are awful. They don’t remove dust at all, in fact, they spread it throughout the home. If you want to stop this from happening, then you need to use the bristle attachment on your vacuum cleaner to dust down your curtains. When you do this, the dust will be removed rather than being transferred from one room to another. If you find that the bristles do not remove all the dust, then a wet towel is the way to go.
Don’t Forget Those Hard-to-Reach Areas
Doors and window frames, skirting boards, and underneath the fireplace are all areas that people often forget to dust. If you don’t get these areas, you will find that dust accumulates rather quickly. In addition, some of these areas are prone to humidity, which combined with dust, becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold - yet another health hazard you do not want. Dust these areas down at least once a month if you want to prevent dust from accumulating over time.
I hope that this article wasn’t too frightening, but sometimes the truth is. To know that we are exposed to so many environmental toxins in our homes is scary. We think of our home as our safe-haven, and we try our best to ensure that it stays that way, but unfortunately there are still so many threats to our health that even we can not avoid, not even in our home.