"This review of evidence for the presence of consumer chemicals in indoor dust from the U.S. confirms the substantial evidence for the presence of the same chemicals in dust from United Kingdom cars, homes, and offices, as well as school and nursery classrooms", he said. Some, like oxygen, sustain life.
"There is accumulating evidence that exposure to these agents might lead to disease that we are seeing in modern cities, such as obesity, asthma and autism", Wills-Karp said.
The authors said small amounts can add up over time and potentially impact health.
Professor Ami Zota, of George Washington University, said: "Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemicals found in household dust".
Prof Zota and colleagues pooled data from 26 previous studies and one unpublished dataset that analysed dust samples taken from homes in 14 states. The samples came from urban, suburban and rural settings, and included houses as well as other locations like schools and workplaces.
Everyday items like non-stick cookware, children's toys, cosmetics, pizza boxes, and cellphones release toxic chemicals into the air that settle into the dust inside your home, a revelation that new research is linking to a host of serious health problems - including cancer and developmental issues in children. These chemicals have been linked to a variety of health problems, including those affecting the immune, digestive, developmental and endocrine systems. A flame retardant added to couches, baby products, electronics and other products, TCEP, had the highest estimated intake followed by four phthalates-DEP, DEHP, BBzP and DnBP. TCEP has been linked to cancer and brain damage in mice, but like many of these household chemicals we don't know whether it might be unsafe to humans. "The findings suggest that people, and especially children, are exposed on a daily basis to multiple chemicals in dust that are linked to serious health problems". Zota's study marks the first time so many chemicals have been studied at the same time, and in so many places.
"One of our objectives with this - because there are so many consumer product chemicals being used now in commerce with incomplete health and safety information - was to conduct this analysis with the objective of helping researchers as well as decision-makers to set priorities", Zota said.
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There's bad news today for those of you who consider dust to be a protective coating. "The dust is out there". "Especially for building materials there is not as much turnover of a lot of those products, like flooring", she said, adding: "Unfortunately even though some of these phthalates have been banned from kids products, they are not banned from other kinds of products". "And what we found paints a disturbing picture of what's really inside home sweet home across America".
The study doesn't answer all of the researchers' questions, however. Work published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on September 6 suggests magnetite nanoparticles, typically found in the air, may travel farther than previously believed throughout the human body and ultimately lodge in human brain tissue.
Aside from using a good vacuum, an excellent way to limit your contact with these chemicals in general is to identify products you want to avoid, she says. They also said that because the data came mostly from dust samples gathered on the East and West coasts, the findings might not be nationally representative. "If they cool quickly enough, they keep that spherical shape".
This can be harmful as people can breathe in small particles of dust or absorb them through the skin.
Young children are particularly vulnerable. The non-profit group helped to fund the study. "There's a big change in the authorization of these chemicals", says Mainelis.
Therefore, the research team undertook a meta-analysis of some 27 studies, all employing relatively current sampling (since 1999) and methods that made their findings reliable and tailored to the same research objective: measuring the chemical taint of dust gathered by vacuum cleaners from US residential environments. They also recommend vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which is created to remove very fine particles.