What can we learn from air particles floating in our living rooms? What can dust teach us about our past—and our future? It turns out, even invisible specks of dust can reveal a great deal.

Silent Spring’s pioneering research was the first to show that consumer products are a major source of exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds—chemicals that mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones. Companies used to assert that the chemicals in their products would stay put. We now know that’s not the case; hormone disrupting chemicals can migrate out of products, accumulate in indoor air and dust, and enter our bodies. We continue to investigate what factors influence people’s exposures to indoor pollutants that affect health.

Related Projects

Current

Our mission is to make human health an integral part of sustainability practices on college campuses by raising awareness of the link between health and exposure to everyday toxic chemicals. 

By studying the effects of green renovations in urban public housing on indoor air quality, Silent Spring Institute is helping to create healthier homes.

Past

By compiling data from studies throughout the United States, we showed what the average American is likely exposed to on a routine basis—what the most common toxic chemicals are in U.S. homes and how much of these chemicals enters our bodies. 

Our Household Exposure Study in Northern California was the first comprehensive analysis of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in low-income, minority homes, and the first study to test for large numbers of EDCs outdoors.

The Cape Cod Household Exposure Study was the first study to demonstrate that consumer products are a major source of exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals in the home.