Does House Dust really Contain Cancer-Causing Compounds?
House dust is so common that people often just shake it off, literally. A study shows, however, that it can be carriers of something more potent than just allergens. In a study from the University of Saskatchewan, dust particles inside the home contained cancer-causing particles.
In the study, they discovered that 17% of the molecules came from flame-retardants. Fifty-six percent of the bromine is in molecules associated with dyes used in textiles. When these molecules decompose under UV rays or because of bacteria, they can become smaller particles that can penetrate the skin. In industrial settings, fume and down draft booths remove these particles from the air. Is it time to consider similar solutions for the home as well?
Don’t Panic Yet
The average person interacts with millions of chemical compounds in their lifetime. The links between these and dreaded illnesses are still unclear; especially in terms of how much is too much exposure. Co-author of the study, Jianxian Sun recommends conducting further studies to clear things out.
What else is in Dust?
Average household dust is a complex cocktail of grossness. In fact, it contains decomposing insects, food bits, animal fur, soil and organic fibers. To add to that mix, household dust also contains a significant amount of human waste — dead skin cells to be exact.
Just like a Fingerprint
Each home comes up with its own dust mix. The occupants, materials used to build the structure, location, and immediate environment all determine what makes up the dust mixture. Additionally, those who live near manufacturing plants should be extra careful about clearing out their dust.
This powdery filth is such a common occurrence that no one even bats an eye at its presence. It is, however, a very complex mix of benign and potentially very harmful things which could affect your overall well-being. So, the next time you take out the vacuum cleaner, think about the sources of these particles and get them tested if you are worried about serious sources of pollution.