Why is There So Much Dust at Home and Is It Harmful to Human Health?

Have you ever experienced the annoying cycle where you clean the dust off of something but you turn around a few hours later and it is covered in dust again? This happens even when you have the windows closed. In this case, you must have wondered about the source of this house dust.

 

House dust can come from a variety of sources and the extent of dust in your home depends on several factors like where you live, how many people live in the house, pets you have, weather, and more.

 

If you have been faced with this issue, keep reading to know all about the origin of dust in your home, whether it is harmful to you, and what you can do about it.

Where does the dust come from?

Dust inside your home can settle on different things like carpet, rugs, books, upholstered furniture, fireplaces, and more such places.

 

The dust in your home is a mixture of several different things and it can come from a variety of sources depending on the situation. Below are the few sources of dust you see spread around your home.

You Are A Source of Dust

You might not think of yourself as contributing to the dust in your home but there are some bits and particles of dust that come from you.

 

Human beings shed their skin cells and get new skin after 4-5 weeks. If there is more than one person living in the house, more dust can accumulate.

 

Our hair breaks down often and they become a part of the dust too. Your eyebrow hair and eyelashes break and fall all over the place as well and if you are wearing nail polish, it will chip off and add to dust. Any products you use on the skin can fall off separately too.

 

In the same way, other people that visit your home or live in the house can add dust through their skin, clothes, and other stuff they use.

The Stuff You Use

The stuff you use is a big part of creating the dust around you. Consider the clothes detergents you use and the fabric softener. The layer of fabric softener wears off from the clothes and becomes a part of dust. The clothes themselves have fibers that shed and add to dust particles.

 

The other stuff in your home like the exhaust, carpet, rugs, upholstered furniture, and more can cause dust. Food crumbs and other equipment related to food can add significantly to the dust around you.

Other Living Beings in The House

Besides the humans, there are other tiny and sometimes larger living beings that live in your home uninvited.

 

Dust mites are a major source of dust in your house. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells that you shed. As they feed on the skin cells, the mites grow in size. As they grow to a certain size, dust mites shed their shell which becomes a part of the house dust. The feces of these mites are also present in the dust. After they die, the dust mites themselves are also added to the dust.

 

Other living beings include fleas, cockroaches, and some more insects and pests. Besides pests, your pets are also a big source of dust in your home.

 

Pets shed their fur all the time too and their dander is a part of the dust you see. The saliva of the pet becomes dried out and gets attached to the fur. It might drop on its own or with the fur and become a part of the dust.

 

The dried saliva also gets stuck to the owner’s clothes and gets transferred around the house. Your pets may also bring pollen and mold spores into the house from the outside, attached to their fur. Inside the house, it may fall and add to the dust.

From the Outside Environment

A lot of the dust in your home comes from the outside. The windows, doors, cracks in the walls and floors, and more open areas provide a path for the dust to come into the house from the outside. The birds on the trees nearby can add to the dust due to their feathers.     

 

If you open windows often, you can expect to see lots of dust in your home.

Is Dust Harmful to you?

Whether or not dust is harmful to you depends entirely on how you deal with it and on the individual’s health condition. In some cases, the person might be allergic to dust which can start a series of dangerous reactions such as wheezing, sneezing, coughing, and it can turn into asthma attacks, dermatitis, and bronchial infections in severe cases.

 

You might be allergic to pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and more. Insects and insect droppings create a disgusting environment that may or may not be harmful.

 

If there is a lot of mold and bacteria in the dust, it could be harmful to you and can compromise the immune system. In certain cases, lead and man-made chemicals were found in the dust which can cause infections and serious health conditions if the amount increases beyond a threshold in the blood.

Consequences of breathing in the dust

We inhale a lot of dust on a daily basis considering it’s everywhere but the good news is that most of it is not harmful. However, constant inhalation of dust, especially if it contains harmful elements, can lead to lung problems.

 

Most of the larger dust particles are filtered in the nasal passage via the mucous. They cannot enter the lungs but can still cause irritation in the nose and throat leading to sneezing and coughing.

 

However, inhaling fine dust that contains harmful particles, like certain bacteria, mold, and chemicals, can cause several health issues. It can start with sneezing, and persistent cough and can lead to hay fever and asthma attacks in severe cases. In such situations, you may suffer from chest tightening, breathing difficulties, runny nose, watery eyes, headaches, and more.

Hidden ways for the dust to enter your home

While you may be taking care of keeping doors and windows closed, there are some not-so-obvious ways in which dust can enter your home.

 

Your carpet fibers can be a source of dust. Dust can also come from air conditioning, floor cracks, unwashed bed sheets, heating system, shoes that came wrapped with the soil from outside, and more.

 

All of these have particles, dirt, and fibers that can add to the dust in your home.

Where does the most dust gather?

Some of the most common places where dust can gather easily include baseboards and molding, tops of doors, carpets, floors, curtains and blinds, clothes and bedding, and filter ducts.

Bad effects of dust on lungs

If you come into too much dust exposure on a daily basis, it can lead to lung problems for you, especially if there are chemicals in the dust.

 

Too many harmful chemicals and particles in dust can cause irritation and inflammation of the lung tissues which can further lead to diseases like bronchitis and fibrosis. In extreme cases, inhalation of harmful dust particles has been linked to lung cancer as well.

How to prevent dust and get rid of it?

Invest in a few good tools to keep your environment clean. Keep a doormat outside as well as inside your home. Buy one with bristles so it collects dust particles from the shoes when someone enters.

 

Groom pets regularly to prevent the dead skin cells and hair from accumulating and falling everywhere. Keep the windows closed and clean the carpets or get rid of them completely and clean floors regularly. Mop the floors as wet mops will clean off most of the dust particles.

 

Change bedding after every week and clean your pillows as well. Don’t forget to dust the upholstery, blinds, and top of the doors. You can also create negative air pressure inside the room by keeping a box fan near an open window and sealing the doors. Negative air pressure creates low pressure in the space where dust has accumulated so that fresh air flows from the area of high pressure to low pressure and dust is forced out through the window.

 

Another way is to invest in an air purifier with HEPA filters. These air filters are one of the best and can clean out more than 99 percent of even the fine dust particles.  

General everyday wellness

Our everyday wellness is impacted highly by small nuances and irritants which can ruin the tone of our entire day. Even constant sneezing or some irritation in the throat can put our mood on the off mode and affect our wellness.

 

According to experts on health and wellness, keeping our environments free from dust and cleaning it regularly can have a huge impact on uplifting our moods. However, cleaning regularly can take a lot of time.

 

So, to solve this dilemma, maybe consider a compact robot vacuum cleaner which automatically removes dust from the biggest surface area of your home, the floor, and automatically empties its own bin. You can enjoy a dust free space and a clean mood while your robot assistant does the job.  

Don’t Miss This Fun Fact

Dust particles are not always useless. They have their functions in some fields. Dust particles have often been used to solve crimes in the forensics department. This technique is very old and goes back to the 1900s.

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