3 Easy Tips to Improve the Health of Your Home.

photo of kids kissing their parents

Healthy home, healthy family, right? We all want to live the healthiest life possible, and one way we can do this is to live in a healthy home. But what is a healthy home? Simply, it is a home that is designed and maintained to support our health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of our family. And there are many easy ways to improve the health of your home that don’t need to cost a cent.

healthy home and family

Dust in Our Homes

We all have dust in our homes.  Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable.  Some of us may have more dust than others. 

Did you know that dust is made up of many different components, including human skin cells, soil, pet hair, clothing and furnishing fibres, cigarette smoke, biologicals (bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen), insect parts, dust mites and their faeces, plant debris, particles from insects (cockroach body parts, rodent excretions) volatile organic compounds such as pesticides and flame retardants, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals such as lead from road dust and old paints, insulation fibres (asbestos) and food debris?

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From that list we can see that there are many potentially allergenic agents found in dust and these may be particularly close to your child’s breathing zone when they are on the floor.   We actually breathe in or ingest small particles of dust or absorb them through the skin with children being the most vulnerable group since their hands are in their mouths often, and they are closer to the ground.

Child crawling on the floor healthy home
Did you know that infants may ingest up to 10 grams of dust per day?

What are the Health Concerns of Dust?

Exposure to dust can lead to allergies (hay fever), lung illness such as asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis. Some pollutants found in dust are known to trigger cancer, worsen asthma and hay fever and bring about heart disease. 

Lead found in dust is a serious health risk as it is associated with anaemia as well as learning and behavioural problems including reduced attention span, altered motor development and poor performance in children.  Lead is also harmful to pregnant women as it may lead to premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage and still birth. 

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Pesticides found in dust can cause serious long term health risks, such as lung problems, exacerbating asthma, learning and behavioural issues in children,  reproductive issues such as early puberty, infertility, miscarriage and birth defects, multiple chemical sensitivity and chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle and joint paints, twitching, tremors numbness and tingling and increased chance of lymphoma, leukaemia and cancer of the breast, testicles and prostate.  We trek most of pesticides into our homes on our shoes.

create a healthy home - dont trek dust inside on your shoes

Some dust may also contain asbestos, which can cause asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs and abdomen). Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos deaths in the world, with DIY home renovators accounting for an increasing amount of new cases of mesothelioma since the tragedy of former asbestos miners from Wittenoom.

And of course, dust is the perfect food for dust mites, which are a health concern all of their own.

Where Does Dust Come From?

Dust can come from many sources, such as:

  • Motor Vehicle Emissions
  • incinerators
  • wood heaters
  • open fireplaces
  • unpaved roads
  • pollen
  • carpets
  • rugs
  • fabric furnishings
  • cooking
  • unflued gas appliances
  • cigarette smoking
  • asbestos containing building materials
  • food
  • clothing
  • soft toys
  • bedding
  • insulation
  • pets
  • general clutter
  • lead paint
  • your shoes
healthy home - get rid of dust allergies

Those of us with respiratory disease, children, the elderly and those that suffer from asthma are at the greatest risk from dust exposures.  However we can do something about it, it’s easy, and you can do it today. 

Here are my 3 healthy home tips to reduce the amount of dust in your home and improve your health.

3 Easy Ways to Improve the Health of Your Home

1. Don’t wear your shoes inside.  It will significantly reduce the amount of dust in your home, in turn removing unwanted toxins.

2. Use a damp microfibre cloth to remove dust.  Dry dusting will displace the dust into the air making it easier to inhale, and it will resettle back onto surfaces.

3. Some vacuum cleaners will actually redistribute most of the dust back into the air. Make sure that you clean your home regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter, motorised head and disposable electrostatic bags to remove larger amounts of dust and contaminants from your home. 

a woman using a vacuum
Photo by Matilda Wormwood on Pexels.com

These are my favourite ideas, because they are easy to do and when you reduce the amount of dust in your home, you ultimately have to clean less often.  And I don’t know about you, but personally I would rather be doing just about anything else other than cleaning.

Give this a go today, and if you have any healthy cleaning tips, I would love for you to share them with use.


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