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What’s in Dust?

What’s in Dust?

Have you dragged your finger across a flat surface in your home to notice a fine powder smudged on the tip of your finger? We all know that fine powder is “dust.” But have you ever wondered what each of those fine dust grains is actually made of? The answer will surely surprise you! 

Dust is a fine powder that consists of microscopic solid particles of a substance such as dead skin, hair, or pollen. It is a common misconception that dust is mostly dead skin, but unless you’re a moulting bird or reptile, it’s unlikely the composition of dust in your home is primarily dead skin. It is a known fact that Humans shed and completely replace their skin every 4-5 weeks; however, most of our dead skin is rinsed away when we bathe – ending up not on common household surfaces but in our sewers. An estimated 60% of dust enters your home from outside, through windows, doors, vents, and significantly, on the soles of your shoes.

The composition of house dust changes based on geography, climate, the age of your home and the number of people living in it — not to mention the occupants’ cooking, cleaning and smoking habits. But nearly everywhere, the most common sources of dust pollutants include some combination of shed bits of human skin, animal fur, decomposing insects, food debris, lint, organic fibres, fabrics, tracked-in soil, soot (matter from smoking and cooking), and disturbingly, lead, arsenic and even DDT.

There is a higher risk factor to dust than you might think. When dust is disturbed, it can quickly become airborne, posing a health threat to children, older people, and those with respiratory illnesses. Dust mites, which feed on shed skin, produce allergens that are known triggers for people suffering from asthma. Dust mites are common tiny critters that you usually can’t see without a microscope. Dust is not impressive at a glance, but it is present in all of our homes and can affect your quality of life.

The average single-family home produces an estimated 40 pounds of dust every year! It goes without saying that our homes will never be dust-free, but there are ways to reduce the amount of dust in your home — and it’s essential you try! To prevent dust from accumulating in your home, you must regularly clean your floors, take your shoes off at the door,  smoke outside, and get an air duct cleaning from Power Vac of Ottawa. 

An area where dust accumulates most in your home, and where you are not able to clean yourself, is your air ducts. Power Vac of Ottawa recommends an air duct cleaning every 4-5 years as a regular part of necessary home maintenance. 

Call us today to learn more!