TreeHugger - Your Dust Bunnies are Likely Toxic, Study Reports

September 26, 2012

Excerpt: Do dust bunnies slowly drift across your floor like delicate dirty tumbleweeds, to settle out of sight beneath the bed? Does dust collect in the corners and perch daintily atop your baseboards? It happens to the best of us. But if you're a dust-phobe who incurs rolling eyes at your obsessive cleaning, consider yourself justified. Dust has been found to contain a potent mix of toxic chemicals that migrate from home products, roll in through open doors and windows, and hijack rides in on shoes - eventually winding up as a major component of the dreaded dust.

The distinct dust mix in any home will vary based on climate, age of the domicle and the number of people who live in it — not to mention the occupants' habits. But nearly everywhere, dust consists of some blend of shed bits of human skin, animal fur, decomposing insects, food debris, lint and fibers from clothes, bedding and other fabrics, tracked-in soil, soot, particulate matter from smoking and cooking, lead, arsenic, pesticides, and even DDT.

A groundbreaking study by the Silent Spring Institute found 66 hormone-disrupting chemicals, including flame retardants, home-use pesticides and phthalates, in household dust.

Household Exposure Study: Cape Cod, Massachusetts