Is your Dust Dangerous?
New research shows everyday dust could hide serious health concerns
Whether clouding windows or tucked between computer keyboards, dust remains a constant challenge for any cleaning program. But does dust prove more than just an unsightly annoyance? New research by the Milken Institute School of Public Health says that toxic chemicals could be lurking in everyday dust. These materials in particular may pose carcinogenic health risks for young children.
So what makes dust so dangerous? Researchers have pinpointed the main culprit as DEHP. The substance belongs to a hazardous class of chemicals found in everyday items, from cleaners to personal hygiene products. Researchers also connect these chemicals to hormonal issues, as well as respiratory problems in children. Another common substance found in dust, phenols, stands second in line for hazardousness.
To reduce your facility’s dust risks, discuss with your cleaning care provider about adopting these potential strategies.
Not all vacuums prove equal. Make sure your cleaning provider uses powerful vacuums installed with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Already a great resource for removing common allergens, these super dust catchers can filter an estimated 99.7 percent of small particles, including those more toxic materials.
Since many household and personal hygiene products contain these chemicals, many people entering your facility could also be bringing in unwanted materials. Researchers recommend regular hand washing to combat the danger. Just make sure to discuss with your cleaning provider about sourcing green, non-toxic hand soaps for your restrooms, as many hand soaps run rampant with fragrances, which commonly contain phthalates.
The most obvious way to reduce everyday dust toxins? Not introducing them to the environment in the first place. Be sure your cleaning provider is using green certified products that provide a safer alternative to traditional solutions on the market. Popular and trusted green cleaning brands include Green Seal, EcoLogo, Safer Choice, and GREENGUARD – all dedicated to providing high cleaning results while reducing chemical emissions.
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