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Skin Cell Dust Improves your Air Quality?

This could be gross, but interesting nonetheless. Humans shed their entire outer layer of skin every 2-4 weeks. It works out to about 500 million cells every day! These sloughed off skin cells contain skin oils, cholesterol and something called “squalene.” These dead skin cells are the major component of household dust, the stuff on tables, lamps, mantles, etc. Research has come out saying that these squalene from the cells can actually decrease household areas of ozone. Ozone is a pollutant that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat; it worsens asthma symptoms, etc.

Over the past few years, scientists have noticed that squalene will actually perform an oxidation chemistry process inside indoor environments. They actually studied the levels of squalene on airplanes. More than half of the ozone removal measured in the cabin was because of the way that ozone reacted to skin cells in the air, and the cells of skin, hair and the passengers’ clothing. They studied the air quality, noticing this phenomenon.

So, perhaps that dust isn’t so bad. If you don’t have any houseplants (they cut the ozone and improve the air quality) maybe consider leaving that thin layer of dusty squalene…? Ugh. No, never mind. It is still gross.

Have a good weekend!


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