The hidden dangers in dust

OK, quick question.

How dusty is your home?

“Well, Jeff, I run a pretty tight ship,” I can hear you say. “It’s clean as a whistle over here.”

Hey, it’s not that I don’t believe you. But you might be shocked to learn how much dust is actually lurking in your carpet, pillows, sofas, and other hard to clean places.

Anything you can’t wipe down with a sponge until it shines is a dust trap.

Dust is everywhere, even if you can’t see it…

Household dust is mostly made up of flaked off skin cells, but there’s a lot of other unfriendly substances in there as well.

That’s right—dust is far from inert.

Dust also contains dander from pets, bacteria, pollen, paint particles, viruses, and heavy metals. You’ll also find chemicals called PBDEs from the flame retardant furniture, fabrics, and carpet pads in our homes.

PBDEs are considered toxic and can mess with our hormones and our brains.

These and other chemicals in dust disrupt our hormonal systems, and they are inescapable.

Studies have found that chemicals like the ones lurking in our dust collections may be a risk factor for kids becoming obese when they get older.

And with the average kid inhaling about 50 milligrams of dust every day, the stakes are high.

In other words, dust might be helping make us fat.

You can minimize how many chemicals you have in your home environment, but you can’t get away from them entirely.

PBDEs and other unfriendlies in typical dust are now a sad part of our lives.

What we can do is reduce how much dust we’re breathing in or absorbing through our skin by cleaning up the dust in our homes.

Here’s a few tips to beat back the dust…

• Consider wood, tile, or concrete flooring in your home instead of carpet, which is a major dust trap

• Damp mop or vacuum several times a week to keep dust levels at a minimum

• Get a quality air cleaner with a HEPA filter in it to filter out allergens, VOCs and other contaminants

• Wash your bedding in extra hot water weekly to keep dust mites at bay

• Make sure you dust with a damp cloth and a wet mop

• Pay special attention to floors before the grandkids come over. Kids are experts at ingesting dust.

Cleanliness, as they say, is next to Godliness. And with our kids’ health and weight on the line, we’ve got a pretty good reason to pull out that mop and get to it.

You’ll definitely be healthier in the bargain too.

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

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