The greatest common denominator among all of us is – dust. Who knew dust was so complicated? And why should it be different on that account than any other constant in our lives… Since we at Four Winds Healthy Home are plant based carpet and air duct cleaners, we see more than our fair share of duct, we asked ourselves the following question. So what exactly is dust and how does it affect us? Does it matter where it lands? Evidently so. The evidence stacks up the claim that the dust that settles on your television is far more dangerous than the dust on the coffee table in the same room.

Scientists tell us that dust is older and in fact part of the life process itself. Apparently dust in outer space is considered far more primitive than dust here on earth. “So What” I say while dusting and resenting the absurd amount that collects almost daily. But then I must concede that in these matters, content is king. It appears that dust is made from everything around us. William Bray on¬†The Mad Scientist Network¬†states “…household dust is composed primarily of things like human skin and hair, waxes, pollen, mold, fungi, lichen, tiny acrylic (and in the disco ’70’s lots and lots of polyester), foam rubber, sheet pollutions such as auto and industrial emissions, heavy carbon waste…” He just goes on and on. And not surprisingly, after all that, he is another one who claims dust is “…more ancient than life itself…” I was not aware it was a substance to be revered in such terms.

Where are dust mites on his list? Absent, as they and their feces are considered to be a by-product of the dust itself. Dust mites are responsible for allergies, asthma and other ailments. A Danish dust mite study released in April of 2008 discovered that no product currently mass marketed has a significant impact on the symptoms described by many patients. In fact, most of these products, even the mattress covers and pillow covers that are readily available leave behind allergens and a chemical foot print which further aggravates asthma and causes multiple allergic reactions of their own accord.

However, the most dangerous dust in my book is the chemical kind. From asbestos, of course, but also from many common household synthetic chemical compounds such as dyes, cosmetics, furniture, paints and stains, plastics, and if you can believe what you read, even ice cream. Obviously we can all do without all of the previous items except for the last one. TV dust contains flame retardant chemicals which are considered quite harmful in general, and specifically, are believed to be endocrine disrupters. The name for these particular chemicals are called PBDE’s in short hand. But more importantly, ramneek sidhu now know why the TV always appears to have the most dust – it happens when the flame retardants inherently contained in the television set components heat up. Many in the scientific and health communities are quite concerned when most in the United States will be forced to switch to digital signals. That progressive move will ensure greater exposure to these PBDE’s as the HD TVs contain more flame retardants. Not to mention it takes many years for them to dissolve. The padding in most of our household and commercial upholstery also contains copious amounts of PBDE’s

If this isn’t enough, household dust is the major culprit for feline thyroid disease. I was shocked to hear this. How could this be? On a personal level, I have always noticed that I used to come down with everything that damn cat from my childhood had – you may say it’s all in your head – but when he had the sniffles, I cot a cold. He had a thyroid condition and I have a thyroid malfunction and have for many years. My mother was an above average housekeeper, but maybe she should have dusted more and washed the sidewalk less. She should have observed that people don’t walk like they do in Europe and been more concerned about the cat’s and my TSH levels. With cats constantly grooming themselves, they ingest more of the harmful PBDE’s the flame retardant chemicals that are found in carpets upholstery, and the very bedding they sleep on than we can imagine.

So What Can We Do Now:

  • Dust and carefully wipe down all surfaces regularly with a damp microfiber cloth. Wash it and reuse. Boring but effective. The corner stone of green cleaning.
  • Wipe the TV front and back, after every prolonged use with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Do not use any additional cleaning or polishing agents when you dust. The point is to remove the dust, not create a climate where dust will be attracted to various product residue as well as create chemical off gassing. You will save money as well!
  • Regularly vacuum your upholstery, draperies, and carpeted areas. Vacuum your mattress front and back and sides every six months. Use a HEPA filer and change frequently.

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