Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Valiant - possessing or showing courage or determination.

This photo was taken as part of a campaign for a local sydney church. The photo shows feelings of strength and courage through the model, as well as joyfulness and fun.

Model: Maria Stanica
Photo by Joel Henry / Unsplash

A strange blog topic, but I'm tired of dusting and cleaning this never ending state of dust. What makes up dust?

I found an old 2010 article, that made a claim that "60% of dust comes from outside". This doesn't really help me understand it, but we can look back to the Time's article to see the list of what makes up dust:

  • Human skin
  • Animal fur
  • Insects
  • Food debris
  • Lint
  • Organic fibers (clothes, bedding, fabrics)
  • Soil
  • Soot
  • Particulates from cooking/smoking
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • DDT

So of course, I had no idea what DDT was - turns out it's an insecticide. The more deadly one when paired next to DEET. One is a repellent while the other is a killer.

Though as I started researching DDT, I realized C&EN had their own article describing the compounds that are found in 90% of dust. Listing these compounds would be quite boring, so instead I'll list the common product associated with them:

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Food packaging
  • Scented products
  • Baby products
  • Treated furniture
  • Paint
  • Nail polish
  • Personal care
  • Insulation
  • Cosmetics

Both articles go on to say that each list is not the full story as dust is literally just a mix of tons of things, but it gives us enough to go on.

It seems you can cut down on dust by doing a few things:

  • Never go outside.
  • Never open window/doors.
  • Never cook/smoke.
  • Never own a pet.
  • Never take care of yourself.
  • Have an expensive air purifier system.

So yeah obviously that is not possible, so how can you cut down on dusting? Since it seems like a never ending job to dust the surfaces of everything.

After some research I learned if you want to take dust cleaning seriously you have to rethink the way you clean. If you just vacuum you start stirring around dust that may not even be isolated to the carpet. It may be on the walls, furniture or fans and then just be dislodged into other areas.

You must start from the top of your home and work down using tools to clean fans, windows, doors, ceilings, etc. What I found the most interesting is that many websites referred to using a water/vinegar solution after dusting on surfaces to help repel dust. The smell of vinegar, even diluted, is quite strong so I wonder how viable or used that option is.

Some flame retardants are made of chemicals called volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs or SVOCs), which simply means that they can become airborne or collect on the dust particles we breathe.
National Center for Health Research

After that research I stumbled upon the term "flame retardant" which helps make up some of the dust particles if you are rocking furniture older than 2013. This chemical was used to help prevent furniture turning into fuel if a home caught fire. Turns out, it really didn't work and instead just poisoned the homes.

There is too much research about it causing issues with children, learning and more so it sounds like living with dust or even poorly made furniture can have an affect on you. That is probably why a breeze of fresh air outside on a clear day feels better than a poorly ventilated unclean home.

I may have done a bit too much research, but all I've learned is I need to clean more often and look into better quality air filters.

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