Where’s your toxic dust coming from?
Modern homes shed toxic chemicals from many sources. If you’re interested in my services, the sources you’ll need to take care of may include the following.
- Flame retardants
- Lead or asbestos
California house dust contains the highest levels of endocrine-disrupting flame retardants in the U.S., according to Silent Spring Institute.
If your furnishings match any on my following list, they’re likely to be shedding flame retardants. That means your house dust is likely to be contaminated.
- Upholstered furniture made in 1975, or after, that contains polyurethane foam. But happily, you can find toxic-free furniture at Pine Street Natural Interiors, in Sausalito, or online. Or, more affordably, swap the foam in your seat cushions for safer foam.
- Adult mattresses made in 2007, or before. And baby mattresses produced January 2014, or before. You can find toxic-free mattresses at Savvy Rest in Berkeley, or online.
- Carpet padding made from polyurethane foam—often from recycled furniture foam. Yes, the same foam that leaks flame retardants. You can find healthier, greener padding at Rug Pad Corner.
- Off the hook, for my policy, are plastic foam insulations. All contain flame retardants. Also off the hook are plastic shells on electronics. Learn more about electronic sources from Scientific American.
Stay up to date by visiting Green Science Policy Institute. That’s where I found the above-mentioned product types that contain flame retardants.
Here’s why that’s likely a health issue. According to U.S. EPA, 18 out of 52 pesticides screened contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals. And according to Pesticide Action Network, questions remain unanswered about too many pest-killing products.
To be on the safe side, any toxic pesticides will have to go before I can clean. Even if they’re not directly contaminating your house dust, they can still vaporize out of sealed containers. According to EPA, pesticides include the following.
- Rat poisons
Safely dispose of your toxic pesticides, and other toxic products. Learn about your options at U.S. E.P.A.
Good news! You can control pests with safer methods. Learn more at The Soft Landing, a fab resource for healthy homes.
Lead or asbestos
Do you suspect hazards from lead or asbestos? To be sure, call in an expert. In San Francisco, contact Healthy Building Science, which serves homeowners and businesses alike.
Even if you only smoke outdoors, you’re still bringing third-hand smoke particles into your home. Particles that linger. Learn more at Science Daily.
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- Sources of toxic dust in your home.
- How to dust and vacuum safely, minimizing your exposure to toxic dust.
- How to declutter. And reduce the amount of stuff you have to dust and vacuum in the first place!