May 23, 2023

How Dust Affects Health and How to Maintain Safe Levels in Your Facility

Gloved hand removing dust from surface with a feather duster.

Is dust removal part of your daily cleaning routine?

An abundance of dust in a facility not only presents a poor image, but it can also affect both visitor and staff health and wellbeing, affecting allergies and causing respiratory issues.

Making dust removal a part of your daily cleaning regime will ensure a good image for your facility and the protection of visitors and staff.

What is dust?

Dust is made up of dirt, pollen, soot, carpet fluff, clothes fibres, hair, and dust mites. It is a constant nuisance in life, no matter where you go.

There are 3 main types of dust:


White dust is common and the least harmful of the 3. It accumulates throughout the day and should be removed with a daily cleaning routine.


Grey dust is the result of white dust having accumulated after a few days without any cleaning process touching it. It is slightly more serious and should be removed before it worsens any further.


This occurs when a considerable amount of dust has been accumulating over a long period of time. It is classed as ‘unacceptable’ in auditing terms. It can be harmful to health, causing allergies respiratory issues with symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and asthma.

We can’t avoid dust, but we can look to limit the build-up and, in turn, the impact. Dusty environments or where build up has occurred will lead to:

Reduced Air Quality

Dust in the air is a major contributor to reduced indoor air quality, causing allergic reactions and respiratory issues.


Unsightly Accumulation

Dusty shelves, equipment and merchandise are unsightly and unattractive. If you have merchandise that has been on the shelf long enough to collect dust, your customers will be turned off by it.


Dust Mites

Extra dust attracts dust mites which also contribute to reductions in overall comfort and indoor air quality.

Thick pile of dust
How to Manage Dust Levels
Gloved hand wiping dust away from wooden surface

The key to managing dust is to ensure that it is included as a category within your cleaning plan and your auditing process.

Highlight specific areas that are regular ‘dust traps’ and ensure that time is included within cleaning processes to cover these areas.


Common ‘dust traps’ include:

  • Electronics
  • Behind appliances
  • Air vents
  • Ceiling fans
  • Radiators
  • Wall & floor lamps
  • Ledges
  • The tops of skirting boards


Microfibre cloths are very effective at lifting dust from a surface. This is because the woven material of a microfibre cloth forms a net-like structure with around 200,000 fibres per square inch. This creates a large surface area that is statically charged and attracts dust from surfaces.

Dusting with a microfibre cloth on a daily basis, as well as vacuuming carpets and floors, will help to keep dust levels at a minimum. Utilising an air filtration unit with a HEPA filter can also reduce dust particles in the environment, improving indoor air quality.

When dust is maintained regularly, levels will decrease and the overall air quality and cleanliness levels within the facility will increase. Not only does this present a better image for your facility, but it also protects the health and wellbeing of visitors and staff.

And remember! When cleaning – clean from the top of a room down. Dust falls when being cleaned, and you don’t want it to land on the surfaces you have already cleaned below!

To Wrap Up

Making dusting a daily process not only helps to maintain a good image, but also protects staff and visitors’ health and wellbeing.

At low levels, dust at worst is an eyesore for facilities. However, if left to accumulate, it can be hazardous to health. So make sure to be aware of the 3 different types of dust and their impact on health and safety.

Because a clean facility means a safe environment ensures that staff, students and visitors can thrive.

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How Dust Affects Health and How to Maintain Safe Levels in Your Facility