Indoor Air Quality – Much More to Dust than Meets the Eye | Grand Rapids, MI

Do you dust your home regularly? Many people are concerned about dust settling on surfaces within the home. They ensure that the home is dusted to keep it looking in top shape. However, there is much more to the dust inside your home than the effect it has on the appearance of your surfaces.

A study by researchers from George Washington University found 45 toxic chemicals in dust samples taken from homes. Ten of these chemicals were found in 90% of the homes in the study. The houses where the samples were taken from were spread throughout the country.

The most common chemicals identified in the dust samples were flame retardants and phosphates. Many of the chemicals found were those that were typically found inside the home. These chemicals are often found in baby products, furniture, flooring, cosmetics and other items within the home.

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However, it’s about much more than your level of exposure. It’s also about the ease with which these chemicals enter the body and cause harm. For example, phosphates were found to be of the highest concentrations in home dust. However, flame retardants, though lower in concentration, are more easily taken up by the body. You are more likely to develop problems as a result of exposure to flame retardants as they are easily absorbed into the skin.

Why you should be concerned

You should be concerned about indoor air quality as it will affect your health. Many of these chemicals are known to affect the reproductive system and cause toxicity when you’re exposed to the chemicals in high concentrations. Hormone disruptions are also a common side effect of exposure.

The saddest part is that we are exposed to many of these chemicals on a daily basis. This is because they are present in products that we use every day, including shampoo, personal care products, cleaning products, electronics, furniture, stains and food containers. Reducing your exposure to these chemicals can be difficult but not impossible.

Ventilating your home

Indoor air has been shown to be more polluted than outdoor air. Using an air conditioner won’t improve the situation. In fact, it will only make indoor air quality worse by circulating the same polluted air throughout the home.

The best solution to reducing exposure to toxic chemicals would be to circulate outdoor air into the home. This is possible with the whole home ventilation system. You get fresh air without compromising the energy efficiency of your home.