Nærbilde av hybelkanin i et mørkt rom.
Vacuum often, is the advice from researchers. The dust can be dangerous.

Dust bunnies may be toxic: Researcher advises vacuuming often

House dust can contain many different environmental toxins.

Siloxanes, organophosphorus flame retardants, brominated flame retardants, and chlorinated paraffins. These were some of the environmental toxins researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) found after taking samples of house dust in five houses, writes Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

Higher than safe levels?

“These are just ordinary dust bunnies,” says Maja Nipen. She is a researcher at NILU’s Department of Environmental Chemistry and Health Effects.

Nipen says they know too little about the health risks for those living in homes with such dust.

“Several of our studies suggest that we can ingest some environmental toxins through dust in amounts that may be higher than what the authorities have indicated as ‘safe levels’. But we need more knowledge about this,” she says.

Nipen recommends vacuuming often.

Focus on children's rooms and TV areas

“Generally, you could say that the more often, the better. A damp cloth is also recommended because it binds the dust, which is then washed down the sink and ends up in the wastewater,” Nipen says.

She particularly recommends frequent vacuuming in areas like children's rooms and around the clutter of wires behind TVs.


Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no

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