Living With Pollution

How do people live with pollution?

Pollutants and contamination exist all around us, but there are ways to keep our homes and gardens safer. Here you can find out where the contaminants are coming from and how to minimize the potential risks they pose.

Meet the Gordon family in Sydney, Australia

The Gordons built their dream vegetable garden to feed themselves and their children; however, there may be dangerous contaminants inside the soil. But wait! Here comes a hero from Macquarie University to help round up those contaminants.

While there can certainly be contaminants in the soil outside of the home, these contaminants can also be found as a part of the dust inside of the home. You may be asking yourself questions like these.

How can I reduce soil pollution risks?

How do contaminants get in my home?

How can I reduce the risk from dust in my home?

Scroll down to learn more.

How can I reduce soil pollution risks?

About two-thirds of dust in your home comes from outside.

Not all of this comes from your yard, but any adjustments you make near your home will make a positive impact.

Plant grass in your yard

Add layers of mulch to otherwise barren soil

Loose soil with nothing covering it becomes a dust source. When the soil dries out, wind carries small particles through doorways and open windows into your home. Grass helps to hold the soil in place, reducing the amount of dust produced.

kids in grass

How do contaminants get in my home?

External sources of contaminated dust may not be obvious. For example, soil containing lead from the use of long-banned leaded gasoline can still be found close to roads and streets lined by homes decades after the fuel ceased to be used.

Dust can be tracked inside by shoes or pets; it can be blown in from outside or generated by home repairs. Dust may come from deteriorating old paint, insulation or other indoor materials.

Without analysis, there is no way to know if exposure levels in daily life should be cause for concern.

Click below to learn more about the possible contaminants in your dust and soil.

How can I reduce the risk from dust in my home?

dust sponge

About one-third of household dust is created inside your home.

The components vary depending on the construction and age of your home, the climate, and the cleaning and smoking habits of occupants. Some of the dust comes from sloughed off human and pet skin cells, or the dust mites that feed on skin. Other dust sources include food debris, fibers from carpet, bedding, and clothes, and particulate matter from smoking and cooking.

A few simple steps can make a big difference.

Use a high-performance vacuum that keeps all the dust in the machine

Frequently wipe down surfaces (counters, tables, mantles, etc.) with a wet cloth

Take off outdoor clothing like jackets and shoes before moving around the home

It's impossible to get rid of all the dirt and dust in your home, but just know that every effort you make goes a long way toward the health and safety of your family.