Toxic DustHousehold dust can be bad for our health.
Common household dust can contain up to 45 toxic chemicals, according to a new study by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Heath.
Researchers analysed household dust in 14 states of the USA, and found dangerous chemicals from five categories:
- Phthalates: linked to obesity and insulin resistance, found in many types of plastics and banned from many children's products
- Phenols: linked to diarrhea, vertigo, abnormal brain and body growth, and liver disease. Found in antiseptics, hair colouring, herbicides, and glues
- Flame retardants: linked to cancer, asthma, lower IQ, and poor fertility. Thes VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) are found in carpets, furniture, pyjamas and building insulation
- Fragrances: linked to kidney damage, central nervous disorders, and respiratory failure. Found in perfume, soaps, cleaners, fabric softeners, personal care products, and contain acetone, benzaldehyde, camphor, and methyl chloride
- Highly fluorinated substances: linked to brain cancer and leukemia, and found in non-stick pans, carpeting, and products treated to repel water
Most of these chemicals are linked to health problems including:
- Hormone disruption
- Fertility problems
- Alzheimer's disease
"People, especially children, are exposed on a daily basis to multiple chemicals in dust that are linked to serious health problems."
Where does dust come from?Chemicals in household dust comes from consumer products and construction materials, including:
- Vinyl flooring
- Furniture coverings
- Cleaning products
- Paint, varnish
- Takeaway food containers
- Microwave popcorn
When each chemical is studied, it is usually in isolation. What we do NOT know is what happens when our bodies absorb multiple chemicals.
And one of the fastest ways to absorb chemicals is to inhale them, where they are absorbed through the lung tissue straight into the blood.
How to reduce toxic dust
- Use a central vaccum cleaner, where all of the dust exits outside the home
- Next best is a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filter that filters 99% of particles
- Air purifiers with ionisers that remove dust and also microscopic particles
- Open windows to bring in fresh outside air, but NOT if you live by a main road or pollen-laden fields!
- Use exhaust fans in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas
- Store paints, solvents, glues, pesticides or any toxic chemicals in the garage or other outdoor storage area
- Wipe surfaces regularly with a damp cloth, and wash hands afterward
- Use indoor plants to clean air, and these are the best:
- Aloe Vera - helps reduce formaldehyde
- Areca Palm - helps remove most indoor air toxins
- Lady Palm - helps remove cancer-causing chemicals
- Rubber Plant - helps remove formaldehyde
- Corn Plant (cornstalk dracaena) - helps remove cigarette smoke carcinogens like benzene
- Dwarf Date Palm - helps remove xylene (from paints, solvents, adhesives)
- Chyrsanthemums - helps remove formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia
- Spider Plant - helps eliminate carbon monoxide
- Peace Lily - helps remove acetone, benzene, formaldehyde. Note: Toxic to cats and dogs
- Gerbera Daisy - helps remove many indoor toxins
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DisclaimerLeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2011 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia - Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia - Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia - Chemistry - Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA - Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA - Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA - Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA - Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England - Inside Cancer
WebMD Education - The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands - Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
LeanMachine has now read thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Updated 10th December 2016, Copyright © 1999-2018 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285