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Common Sources of Dust and How to Deal With Them

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Dust can collect easily in even the cleanest homes. While most people clean it to keep the place looking good, appearances are actually the least of your concerns with dust. If you breathe in the small particles, they can make breathing more difficult, irritate the lungs and throat, and in some cases even cause allergies. Having some amount of dust in your house is unavoidable, as it's partially made up of skin cells and clothing fibers, but it comes from many other sources as well. Knowing what they are may help give you the edge in the war on dust.

Go to the Source
Your closet may be a major source of household dust, according to Reader's Digest magazine. Small fibers shed from clothing and other items in storage can accumulate in the closet, and when you open the door, they're likely to come flying out. Keeping your closet clean could prevent those fibers from escaping into the rest of your house. If you have items such as blankets or heavy coats that only get used for part of the year, keep them in garment bags or plastic containers the rest of the time to keep them from shedding into the air.

As Old as Dirt 
Dust can also hang around for much longer than you may think. As Andrea Ferro, described as a dust expert from Clarkson University, told NPR, chemicals such as DDT can still be found in the dust in some homes, despite the fact that it's been out of use for decades. Even ordinary dust particles tend to remain in the air for a long time. Since they're so small, many circulate through the air without ever falling to the ground, making them a potential danger for as long as they're allowed free rein.

Keep it Clean 
Giving your home a regular cleaning can help, but vacuum cleaners may be helping to circulate dust. The powerful fans and moving parts on vacuum cleaners can kick up dust, spreading it throughout the house rather than picking it up, Reader's Digest reported. Woman's Day magazine also recommended some more passive, long-term dust-fighting techniques.

When the air is too dry, static electricity in the air can attract dust, so the source recommended keeping humidity between 40 and 50 percent in the home. Room humidifiers can help in rooms that are chronically dry. To actually remove the dust that's already in your home, Woman's Day suggested using an air purifier. These devices may remove not only dust, but also other allergens and household odors.


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