According to the Safer Products Project “The first U.S. study to test household dust for a new and wide variety of chemicals found disturbing evidence of toxic chemicals in ordinary homes across the country. The study documents a range of hazardous chemicals found in household dust in 70 homes in seven states. All the chemicals found are toxic and harmful to the immune and reproductive systems in animal tests. The chemicals are used in mass quantities in electronic products, cosmetics, vinyl flooring and upholstery and other everyday products that many people wrongfully assume are safe. Babies and young children are particularly at risk from exposure to these chemicals.”

This report documents the presence of hazardous chemicals in household dust, the health risks associated with the chemicals and the products they are found in. The report also ranks brand name companies and retailers on their use of hazardous chemicals and reveals the fundamental changes that are needed to bring American chemical regulation up to a level that will protect our basic health and that of future generations.

Key Findings:

  1. All composite samples were contaminated by all six of the chemical classes were investigated: phthalates, pesticides, alkylphenols, brominated flame retardants, organotins and perfluorinated compounds. This is the first U.S. study to document levels of organotins and perfluorinated compounds in household dust.

  2. Toxic chemicals are brought into our homes through ordinary consumer products including vinyl flooring, foam cushions, pest control products, fabrics, and cookware. Most of the chemicals found in this study have also been detected in breast milk as well as blood and/or urine. Hazardous chemicals are regularly used as additives in consumer goods, yet our current system of regulation allows them to continue to be brought into our homes in products.
  3. Hazardous chemicals in house dust adds to our ongoing exposure to synthetic chemical contaminants in water, air and food. Each composite sample contained hormone disrupting chemicals together with chemicals associated with allergies, impaired nervous and immune systems, cancer and reproductive and developmental effects.
  4. Some companies have demonstrated that the transition to safer chemicals and material use is feasible and profitable. The report showcases four companies that searched for and found safer chemicals for their product lines. A transition to safe chemical use should be a priority across all product sectors.

For a complete copy of the report go to: