1.31.17

We do our best to keep our nests clear of health-inhibiting chemicals; we scan cleaning product labels, DIY our cleaning products from time to time, and nerd out on non-toxic knowlege over our morning matcha.

But one area of green cleaning still evades us: toxic dust. House dust just happens: from pets, furniture, electronics and even our own skin. Some sources of house dust are more toxic than others (read up on that here), but it can all contribute to compromised air quality, lower immunity and a heavier toxic load.

Our bodies are built to resist environmental enemies we can’t completely avoid, but the toxic dust that sticks to home electronics can weigh heavily on our systems if we’re not careful. Here are our top picks for tools and tech best suited for ridding our homes of potentially toxic dust in the home…

Bust dust. We first learned about “the dust issue” from Honest Co.’s Christopher Gavigan, who told us,Household dust is often contaminated with chemicals, allergens, mites and more. Children can breathe it in and also ingest it through “dust to hand to mouth” behavior. Dust with a damp cloth and vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly.”

Dust buster x 1M. We’ve been test-driving this high-powered baby and can’t say enough. High-concept designs like this are alluring, but the powerful HEPA filter on this model actually delivers powerful results too. A home vacuum with a HEPA filter captures allergens and leaves air cleaner than it was before.

Learn about PBDEs. When dust accumulates on your electronics it actually create a toxic problem. We touched on the peculiar issue here in depth. The key to reducing PBDEs is in keeping electronics wiped down and using HEPA filters in air filters and vacuums.

Consider an air filter: Filter the air on your home. Whether that means more plants, beautiful charcoal filters like the ones we’ve chosen here or a heating and cooling fan that also cleans the air, find what works for you and your budget and your lifestyle.

Burn responsibly: Yes, we love candles. But we’ll only burn scented candles we know don’t have averse effects on our health. Here are a few of our favorite naturally scented candles and here’s how to shop better candles on your own.

That new carpet smell: We love that new home smell as much as the next guy, but did you know that the smell of new carpet can actually be toxic? That smell usually includes the off-gassing of hazardous VOCs like toluene, bromine, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, and acetone. Here is a list of certified “green” carpeting available for the home.


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  1. This is so classist it’s painful. Indoor air pollution causes upwards of 7 million deaths worldwide, primarily in low income countries where people burn biofuel inside. No one who reads Chalkboard Mag is going to die from air pollution but it’s actually a serious problem for people who are less privileged. Get a little perspective, this is pretty disappointing.

    Anon | 01.31.2017 | Reply
    • Indoor air pollution as we describe it above contributes to the overall toxic load of average Americans and can contribute to serious health problems, especially in children. We care about their health. We also care about the health of the population you refer to who is burning biofuel indoors but don’t know that we’re equipped to address that here.

      The Chalkboard | 02.01.2017 | Reply


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