A Study on the Microbes Found in House Dust

1919

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For a study known as The Wild Life of Our Homes, volunteers from 1,200 homes across the United States sent dust samples taken from the ledges above doorways (a forgotten place when cleaning) to the researchers.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder analysed the dust found in 1,200 households across the United States and declared that it contains an average of 9,000 different species of microbes.  It is nothing to be worried about.  Microbes  are all around us, they are on our skin, they’re all around our home and most of these are completely harmless. Some microbes may be linked to disease and allergies.  But, generally, most of them are harmless and some may even be beneficial.  Though the study is confined to USA, the findings would be relevant for other parts of the world.

The study reveals that  the types of bacteria and fungi variation depends on

  1.        The location of the home
  2.        The persons living there
  3.        The gender of the persons living
  4.        The pets in the house

Some of the microbes found are Aspergillus, Penicillium, Alternaria, Fusarium, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacteroides and Faecalibacterium.  Dr Noah Fierer, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology  said, “This is really basic natural history we are investigating here.  Most of the fungi we are seeing in the home appears to be coming from outside the home.  They enter the home on our clothing, or through open windows or through doors.”

The researchers now want to find out how human health would be affected by the presence of these microbes.  Dr Fierer added “It is just a fact of life that we are surrounded by these microbes.”

Image copyright: Science Photo Library

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