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Dust/Soil Ingestion Educational Tool 

About this study

This dust educational tool is associated with this project that investigates soil/dust ingestion for young children in homes across three different regions: North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.

This study focuses on young children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years and seeks to investigate their soil/dust ingestion rates.


The tips below can be used to protect against dust hazards for all homes and age groups

Railroad Set

What is dust?

What is the difference between dust and soil?

The US EPA states in their Exposure Factor's Handbook and Child's Specific Exposure Handbook: Dust is found in the indoor environment while soil is found in the outdoor environment, including outdoor attached spaces (e.g., patio).

Dust is a mix of hair, clothing fibers, dust mites and soil particles. Dust can also contain chemicals that migrate out of everyday products in our homes-flooring, furniture, personal care products, cleaning products, and myriad others.

Sources of Indoor Dust

  • Insects and Insect droppings

  • Food debris

  • Dead skin

  • Pet danger

  • Building material

  • Lead, Arsenic and DDT

  • Plants materials

  • Soil from outside

Construction Work

Building material

Other sources of indoor dust

Dust mites.jpg

Dust Mites

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Pet Dander



Sources through outdoors human activities

  • Rock crushing

  • Shoveling

  • Sweeping

  • Drilling

  • Demolition

  • Burning

  • Driving

  • Plowing of agricultural fields

Human activities.jpg


Hidden places for dust collection in your home

  • Electronics

  • Blinds

  • Ceiling fans and lighting fixtures

  • Tops of doors, windows, and cabinets

  • Upholstery

  • Baseboards and carpeting

Allergic reaction to dust

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to dust

  • Runny nose

  • Cough

  • Watery eyes

  • Itchy throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Sneezing

How to get rid of dust in your home

  • Frequent filter changes

  • Use mats/leave shoes at doors

  • Regular cleaning of indoor ceiling/standing fans

  • Adopt wet wiping method when cleaning floors

  • Declutter

  • Keep air circulating

  • Pest inspection and control

  • Groom your pets

  • Keep humidity levels low

  • Clean and dust your electronics

  • Use High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum with built in filtration that capture particles of 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency and limit air leakage (National Center for Healthy Housing, 2021)

Cleaning of ceiling fan.jpg

Frequent filter changes 

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Regular cleaning of indoor ceiling/standing fans

Wet wiping method

Use mats/shoes at doors

Shoe mat.jpg
Wet wiping method.jpg

Pest Inspection

Additional External Resources

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency #84020101-0

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