By: Hannah Nichols
Excerpt: According to research led by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., household dust exposes people to numerous toxic chemicals that are associated with severe health problems. Researchers say that children are particularly at risk.
T he multi-institutional team found a broad range of toxic chemicals from everyday products accumulated in household dust while analyzing compiled data from dust samples collected throughout the United States from multiple studies. They aimed to identify the top 10 toxic chemicals that are most commonly found in dust.
In the first-of-its-kind meta-analysis, published in Environmental Science & Technology, the researchers discovered that the number one chemical identified in household dust was DEHP, which belongs to a hazardous class of chemicals called phthalates that are used in everything from household cleaners to food packaging to cosmetics, fragrance, and personal-hygiene products. …
Simple steps to reduce exposure to chemicals in household dust include using a strong vacuum with a HEPA filter, frequently washing hands, and avoiding all products that contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to health.
"Consumers have the power to make healthier choices and protect themselves from harmful chemicals in everyday products," says Robin Dodson, Sc.D., an environmental exposure scientist at Silent Spring Institute.
"These things can make a real difference not only in their health but also in shifting the market toward safer products," she concludes.