Dust might not be as big a health hazard as you think

skin flakes mopping up ozone air pollutionKeeping a house clean is a full time (torturous) job.

Italics added to reflect author’s opinion.

The question foremost on the mind of someone wielding a feather duster is,

“Where does all the dust come from?”

Maybe you blame the puffing billies in your life :

Actually, a lot of it is coming from YOU !

Shake it off and shake it up

You dirty thing – you. Just like the dog, you’re shedding all the time, not hair, skin flakes. In fact, over a 2-4 week period, you slough off the entire outer layer of your skin.

So you are drizzling a trail of skin flakes every second of the day. The flakes comprise fragments of dead skin cells, layered with skin oils which include cholesterol and “squalene”.

So the dust on the shelf is really human remains.

The human air pollution “problem”

At first glance, this sounds like a health hazard.

Think of the air in a confined space, packed with humans all shedding in the region of 300 000 cells an hour.

The air in a jumbo jet. Cough ! Splutter !

Human remains not a health risk per se

Actually it is not as bad as it sounds. Turns out the oils, especially squalene, acts a bit like a giant sponge.

The chemical that is being soaked up is ozone.

Ozone is good in the upper atmosphere, but not so good in the house atmosphere. It can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and worsen asthma symptoms.

Air passengers skin is cleaning the air

Squalene plays a big role in oxidation chemistry within indoor environments.

Tests run in simulated aircraft cabins , suggest passengers mop up more than 50 % of the ozone circulating in the air. Maybe we should send the airline a bill for services rendered.

The impact is not quite as dramatic down on the ground, but Danish scientists calculated human dust is reducing ozone levels by 2 – 15 % in homes and day care centres.

Mopping up dust

You still need to mop up the dust for aesthetic reasons, but maybe now you know about its tiny contribution to your well being, it won’t be quite as big a chore.

And go on, create more human dust and shake it up baby !


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Further reading

bacteria wafting off dog pooh little girl avoiding dirt mutant man
 Poop scooping clears the air Little girls need to wallow in dirt to grow up healthy  Do you have a superpower hidden in your genes ?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 12 Sept – 16 Sept on September 17, 2011 at 8:02 am

    [...] Dust might not be as big a health hazard as you think [...]

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