However, a team of researchers decided to look deeper into the matter and took samples of dust from about 1,200 houses all over the United States. They soon discovered that they contained around 2,000 species of bacteria.
The participants to the study were asked to provide a sample of dust on a cotton pad that was previously swiped above the door trim of both the interior and the exterior door. They also had to complete a survey related to how old the house was, whether the residents had their floors carpeted, how often they kept the windows often, if they had used insecticides and how many rooms the house had.
In spite of the fact that fungi and bacteria are associated with disease or poor health, the researchers said that most of the organisms they found in the house dust are harmless and some of them might even have positive effects on us.
In addition to that, the organisms found in our homes tell a lot of interesting things about us. They might reveal what kind of pet we have, whether there are more men or more women living in the house and they can even reveal what geographical region we live in and what kind of weather we have.
“If you want to change the types of fungi you are exposed to in your home, then it is best to move to a different home (preferably far away). If you want to change your bacterial exposures, then you just have to change who you live with,” said lead study author Noah Fierer, who is a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The dust in our home usually contains pollen, insect parts, dead human cells, carpet fibers, soil particles, wall particles and many other things such as bacteria or fungi.
According to Jack Gilbert, who is a microbiologist working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, this is an important study because it is the first of its kind that proves the already known theories about the homes we live in.
The results of the study were published in Proceedings of the Royal Society.
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