Domestic Dust

Domestic DustOne of the most common forms of dust that we encounter virtually every day in our lives is domestic dust, or house dust–it is the collection of small solid particles in the air of our homes and buildings, usually composed of dead human cells and animal cells, ash (from tobacco products, for example), fibers, plant pollen, and others. In fact, the most common component of house dust is the microscopic dead skin particles that we shed all the time. Dust is generated constantly; it is nigh impossible to fully get rid of dust for any extended period of time. Trying to keep your house relatively clean by using air purification technologies, and in some instances using protective respirators when needed, is an important part of dust control, as well as of the effort to keep potentially harmful dust exposure to a minimum.

If you don’t care too much for hi-tech solutions, opening your windows often and improving airflow in your house is certainly useful, as is finding hidden places where dust accumulates and cleaning them out with traditional methods. It is important to keep the level of house dust to a minimum, however, not just because better air quality contributes greatly to a better quality of life, but also because domestic dust presents some serious health risks to many people, especially to children and the elderly, as well as to those who have previous respiratory conditions. Dust related allergies can develop, as can chronic respiratory diseases, and asthma, with overexposure to dust. Most of the risk from dust allergies comes not from dust itself, as it is sometimes believed, but rather from house dust mites–microscopic organisms that feed on dust, and most of which can be found in places in our homes that are relatively warm and dry (and where there is, of course, lots of dust). The excrement of these little critters contains certain organic materials that can cause highly allergic reactions in some people. For more information about this, you can check out the “Health Effects” page.