A new study from George Washington University is sure to send the neat-freaks and cleaning-obsessed into a new frenzy. Researchers found toxic chemicals, including one known to cause cancer, often hide in house dust.
These chemicals can often be breathed in, ingested or absorbed through the skin, and can cause the most risk for young children who crawl on the floor. In all, there are about 45 chemicals found in house dust, and 10 of them are hiding in 90% of homes.
Many household items can contain the chemicals that then end up in house dust, but building products like insulation are also a common source.
Renters and homeowners don’t have to invest in sterilized bubble suits to protect themselves and their families. They should, however, ditch the feather duster and switch to a dust-gobbling vacuum with a HEPA filter, according to the study. Frequent hand-washing and using chemical-free products can also work wonders.
For those in need of extra assistance, the Silent Spring Institute, a Newton, MA–based breast cancer prevention organization, created a Detox Me app to help folks eliminate dangerous chemicals from their homes.