“If you really look at what’s in your dust, particularly for some chemicals, it’s just as concentrated—or more—as what you’d find in sewage sludge,” says Heather Stapleton, associate professor of environmental chemistry.”

“The chemicals she’s talking about are flame retardants, which she has found in the dust of every one of the several hundred homes she’s tested. The chemicals come into our houses via treated furniture, electronics, and insulation. Over time they accumulate in our dust. And in our bodies. Virtually all Americans have flame retardants in their blood, and at much higher levels than people in other countries.”

So how can we minimize our exposure at home, until these toxic ingredients are removed from everyday products and materials?

Aside from learning what products and materials contain harmful chemicals (these days it seems almost everything contains too many toxic chemicals), and then buying safer alternatives, it looks like it’s really important to keep the dust bunnies under control…

(disregard their suggestion to use furniture stuffed with polyester, as polyester has its own set of problems)

(To see a larger view of the info graphic, click here.)

Flame Retardants’ Effects on Health
This list shows how flame retardants affect humans and animals:

Choosing Safer Furniture

Other Actions:

Call or write your government reps and tell them you don’t want toxic chemicals in everyday products and materials. We need a major overhaul of the laws which currently give industries the right to pollute air, water and us.

Make Ecocide a Crime

Mind the Store

Persevering Through Changes

13 responses to “Dust

  1. In today’s news (the chemical industry wants to keep poisoning us):
    Flame-retardant maker sues over new Calif. law

    • Of course they sued. It will put them out of business. I would love a new piece of furniture and have been waiting to see what happens with all this here in CA.

      • I think there’s something terribly wrong with our laws when suing to keep polluting and committing Ecocide is even an option!

        I have read that the new CA laws still have big holes in them, so until things change, certified organic, GOTS, etc are the way to go if we want safe furniture. It’s especially important for beds.

  2. Pingback: Evil Dust Bunnies | Sound as a Crystal

  3. people should have a good portable hepa air cleaner our a central furnace hepa or hi merv rated filters running 24 7 to take the dust out of the air they breath , Murray

    • Good HEPA filters are very helpful, but for some people with MCS/ES, the glues used to make the filters are not tolerated.

      And even with good MERV rated central and portable filters, we still need to damp dust and vacuum!!!

  4. Also keeping the humidity up in the winter helps to keep the dust down

  5. There are two Canadian companies that make their filters with none toxic environmentally safe glue they are Amaircare from Brampton and Electro Air from Concord . When we heat our homes in Canada with out using a humidifier the air can be drier than than desert air. So by using a humidistat you can control how much moisture you put in your home before you would get a mold issue

    • Amaircaire used a very toxic caulk/glue for their HEPA RoomAid a few years ago. They weren’t very interested in discussing it at the time. I don’t know if they have changed since then.
      Air Pura uses the safest HEPA glue I have encountered for their machines.

      It is important for people with MCS/ES to get samples or be able to return unsuitable products if they do trigger symptoms.

      Moisture content needs to be monitored carefully. You didn’t mention that in your original comment.

    • Murray, in my opinion, any company selling things that doesn’t get their facts straight can’t really be trusted.

      The ElectroAir website mistakenly claims that, while “True HEPA Air Cleaner (High Efficiency Particulate Air) captures 99.97% of harmful airborne pollutants 0.3 micron and larger. THAT IT ALSO • Helps protect new home owners and renovators from the excessive dust and odours off-gassed from new carpets, construction materials, paints and more.”

      BUT *** HEPA does NOT remove VOC’s from carpet, construction materials, paints (and more). HEPA only removes particulate matter (dust). To remove VOCs, you need activated carbon, and not just a paper or felt that has some powder impregnated, but actual poundage (if that’s a word) of the activated carbon.

  6. Linda I do not know way you are always so negative with me I am 60 years old I apprenticed for 5 years as a heating and air conditioning technician then started my own company specializing in residential air filtration and all facets of indoor air quality I live eat and sleep indoor air quality

    • Murray, I’m not being negative.

      I am responding to things you say but from the perspective of someone with severe MCS/ES and with some experience in the MCS/ES community who has done a lot of research on the subject from the perspective of someone with MCS/ES.

      Most of my blog followers do have MCS/ES, which means we are more “sensitive” to smaller levels of pollutants than regular people.

      What you have learned might be fine for people who do not have MCS/ES, but some of the suggestions you have made here over the years are not appropriate for us, and also your attitude gets really bent out of shape when it is suggested to you that you might not know everything there is to know to effectively serve the MCS/ES population (since you keep trying to do some marketing and self promotion here).

      People with MCS/ES who are already having a hard enough time dealing with things need to buy things from people who understand our needs or are willing to work with them. We don’t have the extra energy to deal with people who claim to know everything and then argue and say things like bringing up facts about our reality and needs is negative.

      We’ve had parts of this conversation before Murray. Those of us with more than moderate MCS/ES are not your target market. So, give it a rest now, please.

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