Health Threats Caused by Home Dust

If you or someone in the family is allergic to dust and pollen, you’ll need to do more than invest in hypo-allergenic comforters, pillows and other household items. Many health threats are caused by home dust that can be prevented. You can incorporate some simple dust-removal strategies into your weekly cleaning routine to rid your living spaces of common household allergens. In addition to dusting all appliances, window sills, TV and computer screens, and shelving using a feather duster and dry washcloth, I keep an air purifier with an ionizing setting to clean the air and reduce dust buildup in the home altogether.

Here are some of the top health threats caused by too much dust in the home, and ways to prevent dust buildup:

Common Health Problems Related from Dust in the Home
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on dust in the home. Most dust in the home is made up of flakes of human skin, but can also be the result of dirt and toxic waste circulating in your living space. Dust mites attach themselves to particles of dust and can spread to several areas of your home, including mattresses, cushions, pillows and carpeting.

Some of the most common health problems that are a result of too much dust in the home include:

– Dermatitis
– Asthma
– Breathing problems
– Difficulty sleeping
– Blocked sinuses

If you have severe allergic reactions to dust, leave the house while it’s being vacuumed or you may be exposed to more dust in the air than usual.

Ways to Prevent Dust Buildup and Clean the Home
Dust mites are commonly found in bedding, carpets, rugs, sofas, stuffed chairs, cushions and pillows. While you can purchase dust covers for some of these items and vacuum or clean them regularly, there are some ways to prevent dust from forming in the first place.

Some effective ways to prevent dust buildup in the home include:

– Use a bleach-based solution to kill dust mites. Use a wet mop to clean many of your hard surfaces and clean all surfaces as often as possible – preferably once or twice per week – to keep dust at bay.
– Place air-purifiers in the main living areas. Air purifiers that have an ionic air cleaning setting can help to prevent dust buildup and keep the air in the home as clean as possible. Invest in a quality air-purifier to prevent a dust mite invasion.
– Reduce static in the air. Humidity causes static which tends to attract dust. Use a static-reducing spray to clean stereo equipment, TV screens and computer equipment. You can also use static reducers on upholstery and carpet.

Sources:
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: What are the Effects of Dust on the Lungs?
Aerias Air Quality Sciences: Dust Mites – The Unwanted Houseguest