Could Dust be Harming Your Baby?

September 26, 2011 — By

We often blame lint and dead skin cells for the unsightly dust that accumulates around our homes, but did you know that there could also be harmful chemicals trapped in those bunnies? Two of the biggest culprits are flame retardants from upholstery and carpets, and pesticides that ride in on your shoes.

We reached out to Alicia Voorhies, a recently retired Registered Nurse and the founder of The Soft Landing, to help us identify some simple tasks for Baby Safety Month that can help you mitigate your baby’s exposure to harmful chemicals in household dust. Here are a few of Alicia’s tips:

  • Vacuum regularly. Use a HEPA filter to reduce concentrations of lead, phthalates and brominated fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs) and to help keep dust and dirt from being blown back out through the vacuum exhaust. Don’t forget to vacuum padded furniture, where flame-retardants accumulate in large amounts.
  • Mop after vacuuming to grab dust left behind by the vacuum.
  • Wash toys and stuffed animals regularly.
  • Make sure that little ones practice hand-washing before meals and at bedtime. Simple soap and water will do the job.
  • Take shoes off before coming inside and use floor mats at every door (a shocking number of chemicals come in on the dirt on our shoes).

That’s just a start. You can read more great tips and information on Alicia’s blog post, “Top 10 Ways to Bust Toxic Dust Bunnies.”

Baby Safety Month Day 26 Task: Bust the Dust!


Baby Safety Month –  Week 4 Checklist: Chemical Exposure

Sept.  22 Sept.  23 Sept. 24 Sept.25 Sept. 26 Sept. 27 Sept. 28

Download GoodGuide Toolbar

Be BPA Aware

Mind Your Car Seat

Check the Color of Baby’s Food

Bust the Dust!

Get Cookin’

Register Baby’s Stuff!



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  1. Rachel blaufeld says:

    Ick…I agree! Dust stinks!
    I think the hand washing is so important to instill across the board! As the mom of Tweens, I still promote it! Rachel

    • Jennifer says:

      I have a couple tweens myself! Sometimes I think I say “Did you wash your hands?!” more now, than I did when they were five! Happily, 90% of the time, the response is,”Yeeesss, mom, jeez.” :-)