If dusting feels like an exercise in futility, that's because it is

By A. Ready  | February 15, 2011 - 4:15PM

Worldwide dust levels have been increasing, and it seems doubtful that trend will reverse any time in the near future, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Efforts to remove dust may actually be contributing to more dust, defined by Professor Natalie Mahowald as "soil particles suspended in the air." The three primary sources of household dust are cleaning, cooking and movement. While it may be tempting to consider giving up cleaning and cooking, movement is a necessity for human existence, so dust is inevitable.

Keeping your windows closed to prevent soot and grime from traffic may help, as can limiting the amount of dust collectors in your possession, but a couple of simple tools can make dust removal easier. One of the best, according to Dr. Richard Flagan, director of the chemical engineering program at the California Institute of Technology, is a decidedly low-tech damp cloth. Another, the Swiffer, utilizes an electret, a piece of fabric with a static charge that attracts dust. 


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