Why is Dust Dangerous?

Dust: It’s everywhere. And it doesn’t seem to matter how much you clean — it’s seemingly back the very next day. Unless you’re severely allergic, you typically stop stressing about it eventually. Approximately one-third of the dust found inside the home is made indoors. Some forms of dust are naturally occurring, like dust made from dead skin cells, dander, decomposed insects, and carpet fibers. The remaining two-thirds of dust is created outdoors from materials like pollen, minuscule soil particles, and silt.

This dust can be tracked inside the home on shoes, clothes, feet, and pet fur. It can also travel indoors via open windows and doors. Considering that Americans typically spend 90% of the day indoors, we expose ourselves to dust all hours of the day and night. And especially considering how many of us are working from home these days, our exposure to dust might be even higher.

The dust levels inside the home can also be influenced by variables such as the surrounding environment, the climate, smoking habits, and cleaning habits. So, no matter how often you clean, there’s no way to completely stop the generation of dust.

Common Sources of Dust

The home can collect various types of dust depending on the location and even the time of day. Some of the most common sources of dust are fine particles of naturally eroded soil, sand, and rocks.

Microscopic natural particles such as pollen, organisms, dander, and plant materials are also considered dust. If you live in an urban area, you can expect more dust coming into your home due to car emissions, infrastructure construction, and gardening.

Dust also varies in size and weight, which impacts how far it can travel. Dust particles that are larger in size typically fall close to where they are created. This is the reason why there’s often a layer of dust on furniture or in your garage. On the other hand, smaller dust particles can get carried by the wind and are more likely to travel deeper into the lungs.

In cases of ultrafine dust particles, there’s a chance they may even be absorbed into the bloodstream.

How Does Dust Negatively Affect Your Health?

The effects of dust on health are largely correlated with the size of the dust particles. Larger dust particles can carry microscopic liquids or solids that can cause health problems when they get into the body’s system. These particles can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose. But the dust we should be most cautious about is the smaller dust particles, particularly those that have an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometers, as these can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream.

Excessive and long-term inhalation of harmful dust can cause serious damage to your health. Dust can primarily attack your respiratory health and can trigger coughing and wheezing, eye irritation, and hay fever. It can also aggravate pre-existing conditions such as allergies, asthma, emphysema, and chronic obstructive airways disease. 

Severe cases that involve prolonged exposure to high concentrations of contaminated or toxic dust can lead to respiratory infections, respiratory irritation like bronchitis, lung cancer, and other major illnesses. 

In general, dust inhalation can pose a health risk to anyone who is regularly exposed to high levels of dust. The more you breathe it in, the higher your chances of getting sick. But some people are more susceptible or at-risk than others. These include people with weaker immune systems like kids, infants, and the elderly, and those with chronic and pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Harmful Dust

While there’s no way to absolutely stop dust from occurring and coming into your home, there are various ways to minimize indoor dust accumulation and inhalation:

  • Thorough and regular cleaning can reduce dust buildup on home surfaces. Regularly vacuum your floors, especially if you have carpets and rugs which may collect dust, dead skin cells, and pet dander. As an added bonus, this will also help soothe other at-home allergies.
  • Practice efficient transportation and storage of particles and pollutants collected when cleaning. If you need to keep them indoors, store dust and waste in a trash bin with a lid to avoid letting the air whisk the dust particles away.
  • Consider insulating your windows to reduce the entrance of dust blowing in from outside. Check for gaps between the doors in your home and their doorframes. This is another area where dust can travel in and out.
  • Use an air purifier to capture dust and other pollutants floating in the air. Consider putting it in a room where you spend a lot of time, like your bedroom or office. You can also place it in the area where you know a lot of dust is being generated.


Sans helps keep you and your family safe from the harmful effects of dust and other dangerous particles that hide in the air. We deliver medical-grade air purification with three stages of air filtration and UV-C light sterilization.

The Sans air purifier is equipped with a pre-filter to capture large dust particles and pollutants, a HEPA 13 filter to capture particles and pathogens as small as 0.1 microns (like pollen, dust mites, dander, and bacteria), and an activated carbon filter to neutralize harmful chemicals and fumes from cleaning products and personal care products. As a cherry on top, the inside of the Sans air purifier, including the filters, is sterilized via UV-C light to prevent bacteria growth.


Ready to breathe easy at home? Shop for a San air purifier today.