Insect fragments, lead dust, pesticides, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, human skin flakes, or fungal spores are just some what makes up your household dust. This means that between 30 to 40 percent of the dust inside your household has been brought in from the outdoor world. This can be tracked in from dust on your shoes and clothing, or from the paws and fur of your pets. Not surprisingly, much of the dust in your home can be found in the carpeting near the entryways.
Young children in your household are at greater risk for these exposures, because they are more likely to be sitting and crawling on the floor. Anyone who has asthma, a weakened immune system, or other respiratory problems should take great efforts to reduce exposure to household dust. So, what can you do to reduce indoor dust and contaminants? Start at the front door. The first four steps inside your home bring in close to 85% of the outdoor contaminates found inside your home.
The first step is to place a doormat at all exterior and garage doors.
The EPA recommends establishing a system that captures soil, pollutants, moisture at the door you use the most. Start with a grate-like mat, then an absorption mat, and finally a finishing mat.
Take an additional step by taking your shoes off at the door. You can put on an indoor shoe with a non-slip sole to reduce falls inside your home.
Placing a doormat system and leaving your shoes at the door can provide health benefits and reduce exposure to pesticides, lead dust, asthma and allergy triggers. Click to learn more about contaminants in your home.
Keep a healthy home for a healthy you!
Written by: Becca Stackhouse, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, University of Georgia
Originally published in the March 2021 edition of the Healthy indoor environments: Where we live, learn and play newsletter.