Hidden dust in Indian homes is affecting peoples health as the count of microscopic contaminants like dust mites, dust mite faeces, bacteria, mould, small insects, particles and other allergens has been recorded at high levels from some houses in major cities, a new study revealed on Wednesday.
For example, Noida homes have the highest bacterial count while Delhi houses face cockroach allergens the most.
Gurugram homes suffer from spores while Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad reported highest cockroach allergens.
The latest research by consumer technology company Dyson in association with FICCI Research and Analysis Centre (FRAC) studied 11 contaminants of dust present in Indian households.
Nearly 25 gram of dust was collected from each of the four common areas of household — sofa, carpet, mattress and car interiors — places which cannot be cleaned using tradition methods.
“Bengaluru has more amount of cockroach allergens as well as high percentages for particle size between 2-20 micrometres (µm) as compared to Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad. The dust sample was collected from 44 surfaces in 14 households of Bengaluru,” the findings showed.
Dust samples were collected from 165 surfaces in Delhi which showed that it has high percentages for particle size in sizes ranging from 2-5 µm, 5-20 µm as well as more than 20 µm, as compared to Mumbai and Hyderabad.
“Delhi also has more amount of cockroach allergens than Mumbai and Hyderabad. In addition, one can also find bacteria, fungi, dust mites, cat and dog allergens in houses of the city,” the report noted.
On the other hand, Mumbai has a high percentages for particle size of 1-2 µm as compared to Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
According to Dr Lancelot Mark Pinto, consultant pulmonologist, PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC, we are not safe from allergens inside the household.
“Indoor air has pollutants from the outdoors (reflecting the outdoor air), but in addition has allergens which are unique to the indoor environment such as house dust mites, cockroach allergens, pet dander, fungal spores, all of which tend to be present in high densities indoors, owing to the limited ventilation that modern-day homes offer,” Pinto said.
A recent Dyson global dust study involving 10,754 respondents from 10 countries, found that few are aware of what makes up the dust in their homes.
The research revealed that while three in five (59 per cent) of people around the world are cleaning more frequently since the outbreak of Covid-19, many remain uncertain about the potential link between household dust and viruses and their impact on our health.
Another ‘Indian Household Hidden Dust Study 2018’ had revealed that cockroach allergens were commonly found inside traditionally cleaned Indian homes.
The company said it focuses its efforts on developing vacuums that pick-up dust from various surfaces, have cyclones that are incredibly efficient and advanced filters and seals that prevent dirty air from being expelled back onto the surface.
It said that the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro cord free vacuum cleaner is engineered to reach all surfaces and deep clean even the hidden dust across surfaces like mattress, sofa, carpet, cars in addition to hard floors.
“The vacuum’s fully sealed filtration system captures 99.97 per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns expelling cleaner air,” it added.