Leave It at the Door

Leave it at the doorWhat’s in the dust in your home? 

There may be insect fragments, lead dust, pesticides, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, hair, human skin flakes, fungal spores or cigarette ash.

Many of the contaminants inside your home are brought in from outdoors. They can enter your home on your shoes and clothing. Not surprisingly, the greatest concentration of household dust is found in carpeting near the entryway.

The first four steps you take inside your front door bring in close to 85 percent of the outdoor contaminants.. By taking a few simple steps, you can improve the health of your home and reduce the time spent cleaning.

Children are at greatest risk of exposure to contaminants found in household dust. They are more likely to be sitting and crawling on floors, and placing their hands in their mouths. Anyone with asthma or other respiratory problems, or a weakened immune system should make every effort to reduce household dust.

Doormats help reduce tracking in contaminants. Findings from an EPA study indicated that when a doormat was used and shoes were not worn, lead dust and other chemicals in the home were reduced by about 60 percent.

Leaving contaminants and shoes at the door reduces the time and effort needed to clean your home. You will save money by reducing wear and tear on your carpets and floors. It also reduces your exposure to pesticides, lead dust, as well as asthma and allergy triggers.

To prevent slips and falls indoors, choose an indoor shoe, slipper or sock with a non-slip sole. If you have balance issues or a tendency to bump into things, choose a hard-soled shoe with good traction to wear indoors.

Adapted from: Leave it at the Door HACE-E-81. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Pamela Turner, Ph.D, Sharon Gibson, Ambre Latrice Reed. Article references available. Distributed by Oregon State University Extension Service. OSU ES provides programs to all without discrimination.


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