The Washington Post - Your household dust probably contains these chemicals

September 14, 2016

By: Brady Dennis

Excerpt: Do you know what’s in your household dust? Chances are, an array of potentially harmful chemicals, according to new research published Wednesday.

Researchers analyzed dozens of studies from coast to coast and found that the vast majority of dust samples contain the same types of chemicals, many of which come from household items. Among them: Flame retardants commonly found in furniture, highly fluorinated chemicals used in such items  as non-stick cookware, and phthalates, which exist in everything from cosmetics to toys to food packaging and which some research on animals has suggested could affect the reproductive system and disrupt hormones.

The findings suggest that each day, household dust exposes most Americans — particularly children, who face heightened risks because of their still-developing bodies — to chemicals that have been associated with potential health risks, especially when ingested over long periods of time. …

While it might seem nearly impossible to avoid encountering dust, given that we spend much of our time indoors, researchers said there are simple steps people can take to limit their exposure. …

Strategies include frequent handwashing, using a strong vacuum with a HEPA filter, and avoiding personal care and household products that contain potentially harmful chemicals. Earlier this year, the Silent Spring Institute, which contributed to Wednesday’s study, released a mobile app that helps individual consumers find ways to reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals.

It’s name? Detox Me.

Everyday Chemical Exposures