Recent research into household dust, petrochemically produced plastics and petrol and oil driven transport reveals more reasons why we need to stop mining and using fossil fuels and quickly convert to renewably generated electricity. Doing this will make both us and our Earth and its natural environments healthier!   Here are some of the reasons!


We all know everything inside our homes gathers dust!  But what's in the dust? Where does it come from? AND What are it's dangers to our health and wellbeing?                  RESEARCH NOW GIVES US SOME ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS! - and they're NOT GOOD!

Research reports [reported in 'The Conversation' Jan. 2023- Jan. 2024] has provided some answers:

The research:  383 dust samples from homes across Sydney [166 garden; 166 indoors; 51 road & road environs [footpaths/verges etc]


* Some toxic contaminants [e.g., trace metals - arsenic, chromium, copper, manganese, lead, zinc] can accumulate to higher concentrations INSIDE our houses!  Particularly older houses, of metal construction [zinc enhanced] and with deteriorating lead-based paint.   These same results have been found in international research with dust samples from 35 countries. Australian samples were higher in arsenic and lead. These can cause cancers & respiratory problems as well as brain and nervous system development problems in children.

* 60% of dust came from OUTSIDE the house - soil , humans' shoes and pets' feet and bodies, wind, AND from petrol/oil powered transport vehicles!

CONCLUSION: 'Wearing your shoes IN the house is just plain GROSS!!'   - TAKE THEM OFF AT THE DOOR!

* 4o% of dust from INSIDE the house - clothes fibres, carpets, furnishings, skin, hair, smoke and smoking, cleaning products AND MICROPLASTICS which formed 39% of dust particles in 32 Sydney homes! [see separate article below]. 

** Some of the sources of dust particles analysed include potentially harmful contaminants  - trace metals [arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese, copper, zinc],  fluorinated chemicals and bacteria.

* The degree of risk depends on the strength of the contaminant and the length of time of exposure.

* THE RISKS are GREATEST for children below 5 years of age - more likely to be close to the carpet/floor - inhaling & ingestion! 

* Researchers suggest SEVEN ways to reduce our risk of contamination:

+ Regular vaccuuming all carpeted areas - this significantly reduces microplastics.

+ Wet mop and wet dust all hard surfaces [particularly those places hardest to get to [tops of wardrobes/cupboards; under beds].

+ Mulch all soil exposed garden areas.

+ Use a quality doormat at the entrance to each external door and a mat inside the door -  AND REMOVE YOUR SHOES!  

Washing/cleaning the mats regularly can reduce the amount of lead contamination by 50% in 3 months! 

+ Close windows and doors on windy days - and when lawns are being mown, gardens dug or blowers used!!

+ Wash bedsheets at least every two weeks and towels every few days; wash in cold water and add some vinegar regularly to your wash.

Don't leave towels/washers damp. Dry washing on a clothesline or in the sun whenever possible - not dryers!


+ Always wash hands and veggies thoroughly.

* DUST and the CONTAMINANTS it contains have the potential to cause longlasting serious illness and disease especially in young children, those with respiratory problems and those  immunity compromised.  Stay safe! Dust, clean, mop and vaccuum often- is the advice!    Driving more battery powered  vehicles will also make a BIG difference!