Should you take off your shoes in the house? Scientists weigh in.

Mark Patrick Taylor is Chief Environmental Scientist, EPA Victoria, and Honorary Professor, Macquarie University. Gabriel Filippelli Chancellor Professor of Earth Sciences and Executive Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, IUPUI.

You probably clean your shoes if you step in something muddy or disgusting (pick up after your dog, please!) but when you get home, you always do. D shoe at the door?

A lot of people don’t. For many people, what do you do? Drag under your shoes. Getting home is the last thing on your mind.

We are environmental chemists who have spent a decade examining the indoor environment and the pollutants people are exposed to in their own homes. Although our examination of the internal environment, by us Dust Safe ProgramFar from perfect, on the question of whether to wear a shoe at home or de-shoe, science leans toward the latter.

What pollutants are in your home, and how did they get there?

People spend 90% of their time indoors, so the question of whether or not to wear shoes at home is not a trivial one.

The policy focus is usually on the external environment for soil, air quality and environmental public health risks. However, regulatory interest in the question of Inside the house Air quality.

Case to build The inside of your home includes not only dust and dirt from people and pets that sheds hair and skin.

It’s about a third. from the outsideeither blown up or Trampled At the bottom of these aggressive shoes.

There are some microorganisms on shoes and floors. Drug-resistant pathogensincluding hospital-associated infectious agents (germs) that are very difficult to treat.

Add to the cancer-causing toxins. Asphalt road remains and endocrine disruptor Lawn Chemicalsand you can see your shoe mess in a new light.

A roll call of indoor nasties

Our work includes the measurement and assessment of a range of harmful substances found within homes including:

A strong focus of our work involves estimating levels. Potentially toxic metals (such as arsenic, cadmium and lead) Inside houses throughout 35 nations..

These pollutants — and most importantly the dangerous neurotoxin lead — are odorless and colorless. So there’s no way to know if the risks of lead exposure are just within you. soil Or yours Water pipesor if they are on you too. Living room floor.

gave science Suggests a very strong connection between the leads inside you. home and that in your yard soil.

The most likely cause of this connection is dirt blown from your yard or onto your shoes and the furry paws of your beloved pets.

This connection speaks to the priority of ensuring that matter from your external environment stays exactly where it is. (We have tips. Here.)

Shoes scattered on the doormat at home
Shoes on or off? Some scientists say it’s best not to track germs indoors.

Getty Images

A recent Wall Street Journal topic Controversial shoes aren’t so bad at home. The author made this point. E. coli – Dangerous bacteria that thrive in the intestines of many mammals, including humans – are so widely distributed that they are ubiquitous. So it should come as no surprise that it can be smeared on the bottom of shoes (96% of shoe bottoms, as the article states).

But let’s be clear. It’s good to be scientific and stick with the term though. E. colithis thing is, more simply put, bacteria associated with poo.

Whether it’s ours or Fido’s, it has the potential to make us very sick if we’re exposed to high levels. And let’s face it – it’s just plain gross.

Why lug it around your house when you have a much easier alternative of taking your shoes off at the door?

On balance, shoeless wins.

So what are the disadvantages of having a house without shoes?

beyond Occasionally a stubby toeThere aren’t many downsides to having a shoe-free home from an environmental health perspective. Leaving your shoes on the indoor mat also leaves potentially harmful pathogens there.

We all know that prevention is better than cure and taking off your shoes at the door is a basic and simple preventative activity for many of us.

Need a shoe to support your feet? Simple – just have some “indoor shoes” that are never worn outside.

There remains the problem of the “sterile home syndrome,” which refers to the rising rate of allergies in children. Some argue that it is related. Overly sterile households.

Of course, some dirt is probably just as beneficial the study has indicated that it helps boost your immune system and reduce the risk of allergies.

But there are better and less disgusting ways than walking around inside with your dirty shoes. Get outside, go for a hike, enjoy the great outdoors.

Don’t bring its dirty parts inside to make and pollute our homes.

This article has been republished. Conversation Under Creative Commons License. read Original article.

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