Floating around in sunbeams and seemingly gathering in every nook and cranny, dust is a never-ending battle. As spring lies just around the corner, it may be time to update your house cleaning regimen with a good dusting.

What is toxic dust exactly?

A fine, dry powdery substance you would normally find on household surfaces like tables or lamps. Dusts consists of everything from dead skin cells, hair, fibers, foam from cushions, and much more. Although dust seems like a harmless, yet bothersome part of every home, it can absorb some nasty chemicals that can cause health problems for you and your family. The average U.S. household produces nearly 40 pounds of dust each year, so it’s important to be aware of how this toxic dust can impact your health.

What makes dust toxic?

Like milk going bad in your fridge, or depreciation on a car, synthetic foams most commonly found in couches and mattresses degrade over time. This degradation releases toxic particles directly into the air we breathe. Sometimes, especially in older furniture, these chemicals may have an odor, but most are completely odorless.

Dust particles aren’t just a menace on lamp shades; they act as a tiny sponge that literally absorbs chemicals given off by the toxic foam from your furniture! These chemicals are then stored inside these seemingly harmless particles you and your family breathe in everyday. If your furniture foam contains chemical flame retardants – and most mattresses and couches do – you’re being exposed to compounds that have been linked to cancer, infertility, and developmental brain disorders such as ADHD.

How can I bust the dust?

  • Vacuum frequently with a vacuum that has a high efficiency particulate air filter.
  • Wet mop uncarpeted floors. Try this one from e-cloth. Water and a little oomph is all you need!
  • Wipe furniture with a wet and/or a microfiber cloth
  • Install high quality filters in your forced air heating/cooling system
  • Pay close attention to where little kids crawl and play

Let’s face it: dust is everywhere and a minor problem that households face everyday. Many families don’t see dust as harmful to your health, but over time breathing and touching these chemical-absorbent particles can leave some room for concern. It’s time to update your spring cleaning regimen, take these simple steps, and you and your family will breathe happier, and live healthier.