DUST in YOUR HOME
Effective removal of dust is important.
Dust comes from objects in the environment and from the people, bugs and animals in it. Although your air may appear clear or clean, unless you have an air purifier or some other means of filtration it contains dust. Humans lose a mass of dead skin cells every minute. Common biological pollutants also include dust mites, cockroach parts, infectious agents (bacteria and viruses), mould and pollen.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says:
“Biological pollutants are or were living organisms. They promote poor indoor air quality and may be a cause of days lost from work or school, and of doctor and hospital visits. Some can even damage surfaces inside and outside your house. These pollutants can travel through the air and are often invisible.”
Dust mites have been found living all over the world, except Antarctica. They love warm and moist environments such as your mattresses and pillows, where they feed on shed skin cells. Their fecal matter can trigger allergic reactions in some people and this matter, along with dead mites, are also part of house dust.
The type and size of a dust particle determines how toxic it is.
Dust particles vary in size from visible to invisible. The smaller the particle, the longer it stays in the air and the further it can travel.
Large dust particles tend to be trapped in the nose and mouth when you breathe them in and can be readily breathed out or swallowed harmlessly.
Smaller or fine dust particles are invisible. Fine dust particles are more likely to penetrate deeply into the lungs while ultrafine particles can be absorbed directly into the blood stream.
The type and size of a dust particle determines how toxic the dust is. However the possible harm the dust may cause to your health is mostly determined by the amount of dust present in the air and how long you have been exposed to it. Dust particles small enough to be inhaled may cause:
· irritation of the eyes
· asthma attacks.
Furniture fabric, bedding, carpet and clothes release particles into the air every time they are disturbed. Pets also contribute by shedding skin cells and hair. Dirt, pollen and mould are brought into the home from the outside, where they add to indoor dust.
HELPFUL WAYS TO DEAL WITH THAT DUST
+ Much of the dust in our homes comes in through our shoes. Keep daily-wear shoes out of the house. We have an entrance hall so I have a shoe rack there and keep house shoes, slippers and socks nearby.
+ Put a large floor mat at the front and back door. A doormat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides and other pollutants from getting into your home. If the mat is big enough, even those who don’t wipe their shoes will leave most pollutants on the mat – not the floors in your home.
+ Dust with microfibre cloth. Use microfibre cloths and mops. The splits within the fibres have edges that collect dust as opposed to pushing the dust away. They can be hand-washed or machine-washed in warm water.
+ Mop those wooden floors often.
+ Beat your cushions and rugs monthly. If possible, remove the covers and give them a wash or at least some time outside in the sun.
+ If where you live is especially dusty go over the walls with a microfibre cloth.
+ Consider putting those knick-knacks you want to keep in a glass display unit. It saves on dusting time and keeps dust to a minimum. Alternatively, store some or move the dust collectors to a less used room. I have some family mementos I like to keep in the living room so I treated myself to a great cabinet worthy of these treasures.
+ Remove piles of magazines and books. Place your books on bookshelves, and regularly recycle magazines and other paper items. If possible, invest in enclosed bookcases.
+ Have fewer textiles that are high maintenance. Use washable cushion covers and throws.
+ Ceiling fans – dust with a damp microfibre cloth. Put a drop of tea tree or lavender oil in the water.
+ Invest in a vacuum that guarantees it releases no dust.