Is a dusty house unhealthful?

Large amounts of inhaled dust can damage your lungs permanently. When a germ gets into your body, cells called stimulatory macrophage rush to attack the germ. Your body produces chemicals that cause blood vessels to widen and fluid to leak into the area to cause swelling, pain and redness. Then when the germs are conquered, suppressor macrophage stop the reaction. Normal lungs contain ten times as many suppressor macrophage as stimulatory ones. In people who have inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, the ratio is only three to one.

When people are exposed to common house dust, suppressor cells die, in effect removing the brakes on swelling and redness. Living or working in a place that is full of house dust can cause lung damage in healthy people. Those who have chronic lung disease such as asthma or chronic bronchitis should try to keep their exposure to house dust as low as possible.

Checked 4/2/18

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