How dangerous is house dust?

Given the modern pace of life, have time to doall things planned for the day are not so easy. Work, study, family and friends take time. Like the household. Sometimes, instead of cleaning, we prefer to relax. Agree, it is much more pleasant to go to the cinema in the evening, for example, than to wipe the dust and mop the floors. However, scientists advise once again not to neglect cleaning. According to a recent study, particles of dirt and dust entering your home can have unexpectedly harmful effects on your health.

It looks like house dust under a microscope


  • 1 Where does the dust come from?
  • 2 Dust - the cause of allergies
  • 3 Chemicals in dust
  • 4 Household dust - a threat to life?
  • 5 How to deal with dust

Where does the dust come from?

According to a study by Paloma Bimer, a professor fromUniversity of Arizona (USA), about 60% of dust particles enter the house from the street. Through the front doors, on the sole of the shoe or through the windows that are open when airing. Tiny particles penetrate from everywhere. But the remaining 40% is formed already indoors. According to Beamer, these particles are both organic and inorganic, so it is impossible to determine the exact composition of the constituents of house dust.

What is household dustdepends also on the geographical location of the house, the number of residents and their habits, the presence of pets, the time of year and even on the materials used in decorating the house and cleaning. The sources of dirt and dust particles are so diverse that their complete destruction is a struggle that we take for granted. But how does dust affect health? Can she kill us? From a scientific point of view, answering this question is not easy.

Dust is the cause of allergies

People with allergic diseasesfor example, rhinitis or hay fever know firsthand how harmful it is to inhale dust. Due to its physical properties and ease of inhalation, dust irritates the respiratory system. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that dust mites or plant pollen can be present in the dust - one of the most common allergens.

A dust mite under a microscope looks like a creature from nightmares

However, dust can contain a wide variety ofchemicals, such as lead or asbestos. We know very little about how exactly they affect health. But these pollutants, which can be found in household dust, carry huge and well-documented health risks. And this is given as an example, only two substances, and they are much more in house dust. If you know the dangerous elements that make up household dust, tell the participants in our Telegram chat about this.

Do not forget that particles from the outside cancontain a certain amount of pollutants generated in factories and internal combustion engines. The composition of household dust contains elements from detergents and personal hygiene products, cosmetics, as well as from floors, furniture and everyday items.

Dust chemicals

A group of scientists from American universitiesHarvard, California, and George Washington met earlier this year to put together all existing data on household dust composition and perform the first meta-analysis - a review of all studies carried out to date. The results paint an alarming picture. According to the analyzed studies, household dust contains at least four groups of potentially hazardous substances in fairly high concentrations.

The most numerous group are phthalates.- phthalic acid esters. They are used to soften plastics and are found in toys, PVC, as well as in cable coatings used in household appliances and electronic devices. The second largest group consists of phenols added to detergents and cleaners.

They are followed by a third group - substances thatused in the manufacture of cookware with non-stick coating. Once in the environment with dust particles, these substances decompose with great difficulty. They can be absorbed through the skin, ingested by inhalation, or even stored in the body indefinitely.

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It looks like house dust NOT under a microscope

Is household dust a threat to life?

However, not all experts agree that the compositionHousehold dust can be overly dangerous. Representatives of the American Chemical Council (ACC) were very critical of the findings of the meta-analysis. The organization believes that "the assessment of health risks depends not only on the knowledge of which substances are present in the dust, but also on their actual amount, route, duration and time of exposure to these elements."

It is also worth noting that the criteria for evaluationThe toxicity of the particles that make up house dust has not been established to date. And yet, according to the results of the meta-analysis, some substances are present in household dust in very high concentrations.

How to deal with dust

High concentration of harmful chemical elementscontained in household chemicals, cosmetics and many everyday items. But, even if all dangerous compounds are banned tomorrow, it will take decades to remove them from our midst. An example is DDT, a pesticide banned since the 1970s due to its high toxicity, but which, according to a study published in Germany in 2002, is still found in 70% of household dust samples.

Meanwhile, experts agree thatsome measures may help reduce the risk of prolonged exposure to these substances. Researchers conclude that frequent hand washing, the use of a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that prevents particles from escaping, and awareness of products containing hazardous compounds can positively affect your health. So, if you have been putting off cleaning for a long time, it's time to do it.