Dust, the kind people are allergic to, is different from the dictionary definition of dust. This is important if you are asthmatic, or have a dust allergy.

Really, we are talking about house dust.  Especially bad if you have asthma or are allergic to dust, house dust really isn’t healthy for anybody.  You’ll see why as you continue to read.

The dictionary definition of dust amounts to “tiny particles”.  Dust, according to this general definition, is not necessarily unhealthy in small concentrations.  Of course there are types of dust you never want to be exposed to, asbestos dust for example.

Toxic dust is certainly a concern in certain (fairly common) situations, but that is a separate subject.  Feel free to leave comments about toxic dust, but in this article, we are focusing on house dust, allergies, hey fever and asthma.

House Dust

House dust has a great deal of human skin flakes.  We shed skin constantly.  These tiny skin flakes become food and habitat for dust mites and yeasts.

The dust mites and yeasts are an allergen, one of the main triggers of allergies and asthma.

Dust mite feces (mite poo), is the major trigger of allergies.

Dust Control

The most obvious way to control dust in the home is to vacuum regularly – at least once a week if not more often.

The problem with vacuuming is that the average vacuum cleaner sucks up all the dust, captures the largest particles, and sends the tiniest – and most allergy-inducing, asthma-triggering particles – into the air.  Over time, vacuuming concentrates the worst of the dust.

A vacuum cleaner must have a HEPA filter to be of any use to asthmatics or those with a dust allergy.

Central vacs, that exhaust to the outside are even better than portable vacuums with HEPA filters.

Portable air filters with a fan that forces air through a HEPA filter is helpful. It can not get rid of all the dust in a room, but it does help to reduce the concentration.

If you have a forced air ventilation system in your house, install a HEPA filter in the system.  This has to be done properly, because if air leaks past the filter, it won’t be effective.  

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