Tags: toxins | dust | phthalates

Household Dust Teems With Toxins: Study

Household Dust Teems With Toxins: Study

(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 22 September 2016 03:56 PM

The dust in the average household contains a dangerous cocktail of toxins that have been linked to myriad health hazards — even cancer.

That's because dust increases the exposure of chemicals from everyday products that accumulate and gather en masse in corners of homes, says a Milken Institute School of Public Health study.

Milken researchers collected dust from homes throughout the United States in order to identify the most common offenders. Here's a sampling of what's lurking in those not-so-friendly dust bunnies.

No. 1 on the list was DEHP, a plastic-softening phthalate that is banned in the EU. DEHP can leach into humans and has been shown to damage kidneys, lung, and reproductive systems. In fact DEHP as well as other common phthalates, DEP, DNBP, and DIBP have been found to interfere with hormones and are thought to be responsible for declines in IQ.

Another cancer causer, TDCIPP, is a flame retardant used in furniture and baby products. California lists it as a carcinogen. A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group and Duke University tested 22 mothers and 26 children and found all — 100 percent — tested positive for exposure.

PFOA and PFOS, fluorinated chemicals found in cellphones, pizza boxes, and nonstick products, have been linked to immune, digestive, and endocrine problems.

The study's lead author Ami Zota, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute SPH, suggested people should be aware of what's quietly taking place in homes: "The findings suggest that people, and especially children, are exposed on a daily basis to multiple chemicals in dust that are linked to serious health problems."

Chemicals become inhaled or ingested or even absorbed through the skin. Infants and young children are particularly at risk because they crawl on dusty floors, and put these chemicals directly into their mouths, the authors say.

Fortunately there are easy ways to protect families from these chemicals:

  • Keep dust levels low by using a strong vacuum with a HEPA filter;
  • Wash hands frequently;
  • Whenever possible, avoid personal care and household products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals.

Being an informed consumer seems likely the best route. Healthier choices can lead to healthier households, the researchers said.
 

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The dust in the average household contains a dangerous cocktail of toxins that have been linked to myriad health hazards — even cancer.
toxins, dust, phthalates
361
2016-56-22
Thursday, 22 September 2016 03:56 PM
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