Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Managing Toxic Dust in the Home: Modern homes boast tighter insulation for greater energy efficiency; the downside is toxic dust and fumes remain inside. Organic Living's Gerard Windstein explains how to eliminate them.

May 25, 2016 08:58AM ● By Managing Toxic Dust in the Home

The dust in our home is not the same as our grandma’s dust. We build homes that are so tightly insulated we are creating a "Ziploc bag" type effect. There is hardly any transfer of air, which means that whatever we bring into our home that may be off-gassing manufacturing fumes will be a part of what we breathe and ingest. From flame retardant-loaded mattresses and upholstery to pest control residues, these chemicals will bind to the existing dust particles in the home. Add in allergens, pollen and mold spores that we and our pets track in, and we have a mix that can wreak havoc on the quality of our indoor air.

The best method for dealing with toxic dust is a two-pronged approach. Most small particles that range from .01 microns up to .50 microns will stay airborne, and the best way to filter these ultrafine particles is with a high-efficiency air purifier. I.Q. air purifiers will remove virus and bacteria-size particles down to .003 microns in size.

The particles 50 microns and larger will not stay airborne, but actually end up on furnishings and flooring. To control this dust, a quality HEPA vacuum such as that made by Miele, will help suck up those particulates.

It is always better to be proactive and avoid purchasing chemical-laden furniture, but having a quality air purifier and HEPA vacuum will give homowners the tools to gain the upper hand on the dust in their home.

Natural Awakenings readers receive 15 percent off any Miele vacuum at Organic Living. Location: 8342 N. 7th St., Phoenix. For more information, call 602-224-5313 or visit

Gerard Windstein is a certified indoor environmentalist highly experienced in helping those with breathing issues and chemical sensitivities for more than 30 years.