The Chemicals in Household Dust – and How to Avoid Them

How toxic is your household dust?

Did you know that household dust can often contain harmful chemicals including phthalates, pesticides, brominated fire retardants and countless other pollutants tracked in from outdoors, or shed from your inside furnishings and appliances? Indoor pollution is often significantly worse than outdoor.

Five things you can do

  • Vacuum regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter.
  • Dust regularly with something like the Norwex dust mitt or dry mop that actually picks up the dust, doesn’t just spread it around, or dust with a damp cloth (not with a synthetic spray!). Make sure to dust around the back of electronics such as stereos and TVs, these are a common source of toxic fire retardants.
  • Take off your shoes at the door and/or invest in a high quality microfibre entry mat (the Norwex entry mat will take 85% of the contaminants off your shoes in 4 steps – it’s still better to take them off or change to indoor shoes as well though).
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products.
  • Avoid artificially fragranced candles, air fresheners, reeds or other fragrance products.

Find more ideas on cleaning your indoor air in the archives, and for more on toxic dust check out this article from the Environment Working Group.

  9 comments for “The Chemicals in Household Dust – and How to Avoid Them

  1. June 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Take advantage of smart cleaning solutions and tools that help streamline the process. Think about different changes you can make in your day to day life that will cut down on the amount of dust generated in your home to begin with.

  2. June 28, 2017 at 5:01 am

    We’ve stopped using chemical based cleaning products ever since my son was diagnosed with skin asthma. It’s amazing how powerful (and not to mention cheaper) vinegar, baking soda, and lemons are!

    • Kirsten
      July 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Absolutely Bradley!

  3. July 29, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Wow didn’t know dust had so many harmful chemicals in them. I have always used natural based non-toxic sprays to clean around. I’m wondering if air purifiers would help reduce the dangers from dust.

    • August 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      They can definitely be part of the solution Leo, and also just opening up your house every day (depending on where you live I suppose – there *are* places where the outside air is so bad it’s worse than in-door air, but most places it’s the other way around) helps. But neither one is the whole solution.

  4. December 7, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Hi Kirsten McCulloch,
    Great article.
    Vacuum regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a Hepa filter is the best way i think personally.
    Thank you so much for sharing !

  5. December 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Great share Kristen, you have mentioned good tips to avoid chemicals in the house from the vacuum and other things, thanks for sharing.

  6. January 17, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Keeping in mind health issue! it is necessary to get the best vacuum for tile floors so that it does not scratch my floor. I would not mind money for a good cleaning device.

  7. April 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    vary helpful article for me.
    I have a blog for vacuum cleaner also i write this subject.
    Thanks for sharing.

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