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Dust

Dust consists of a plethora of agents including micro-organisms, pesticides, dirt, pet hair, clothing and furnishing fibres, cigarette smoke, flame retardants, dust mites… plant debri, particles from insects, heavy metals such as lead from road dust and old paints and insulation fibres (asbestos) just to name a few!

Household dust primarily consists of human skin cells known as dander. We shed around 1.5 grams of this per day which creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. Dust also consists of a plethora of other agents from soil, pet hair, clothing and furnishing fibres, cigarette smoke, biologicals (bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen), insect parts, dust mite and their faeces, plant debri, particles from insects (cockroach body parts, rodent excretions..), pesticides, flame retardants, car exhausts, heavy metals such as lead from road dust and old paints, insulation fibres (asbestos), photocopiers and food debri. As you can see, dust encompasses a wide range of potentially allergenic agents! An allergy to dust could therefore signify an allergy to pollen, chemicals or to micro-organisms such as fungi or dust mite.

Testing

Dust sampling is a complicated procedure that requires a specialist. For more detail, click here.

Solutions

  • Take your shoes off before you enter the home
  • Use a damp microfibre cloth to dust the home (never dry dust)
  • Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter and motorised head
  • As a last resort, you may need to consider purchasing an air filter fitted with a HEPA, UV and carbon filter
  • To remove lead paint safely, refer to The Six Step Guide to Painting your Home