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Sunshine Helps Kill Germs Indoors

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Research performed at the University of Oregon suggests letting sunlight in through your windows kills bacterial germs living in household dust
  • Compared to the amount found in dark rooms (12 percent), scientists discovered just 6.1 percent of the bacteria in household dust exposed to ultraviolet light remained viable
  • The average American spends about 93 percent of their time indoors, making them susceptible to the potential negative health effects associated with indoor toxins
  • Chemical toxins from flame retardants that leach from electronics and old furniture are known to accumulate in household dust, making it important to wipe down surfaces and vacuum regularly
  • Cleaning supplies and personal care products also contribute to the toxic load associated with indoor spaces

A new study from the University of Oregon suggests rooms exposed to sunlight contain less viable bacteria than those maintained in the dark. While more research is needed to fully understand how ultraviolet (UV) light changes household dust, I’ll take this opportunity to expose some of the toxins found in it.

Chemicals from flame retardants, household cleaners and personal care products accumulate in household dust and can potentially affect your well-being. Aside from implementing clean-air strategies in your home, another step you can take to avoid indoor dust and better your health is to spend more time outdoors.


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