Your dusty house may make you sick
December 16, 2016
Article courtesy of Joe Dziemianowicz for New York Daily News.
A tip that may keep you healthy — clean your dusty house.
That’s the takeaway of a new study that found that everyday dust may harm you. Why? Because it harbors hazardous chemicals — and lots of them. After sifting through dust-related data covering 14 states, the research team learned that a dusty house contains 45 toxic chemicals. Ten of them present in 90% of homes across the country.
The potential poisons come from consumer products and building materials and belong to five classes of compounds. Phthalates, make plastic softer. Flame retardants contain phenols. Phenols are preservatives in products like shampoo; fragrances; and fluorinated chemicals used in an array of stain- and water-repellents. Hormone problems and fertility issues are all linked to these chemicals.
Exposure comes through contact with the skin and the simple act of breathing. What to do? Avoid products with dangerous chemicals. Vacuum. Mop uncarpeted floors and pay special attention to places kids play. Children may be at higher risk to dust dangers since they crawl on the floor and put their hands and their mouths.
The study is the first comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemicals found in households. This is according to Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental occupational health at George Washington University. Researchers noted that more research must continue to understand the health risks of dust.