16 May 2011

Never Dust Again | Dead Skin Cells Help Clean Indoor Air

Colored scanning electron micrograph of flakes of dead skin
C001/1723 | Science Photo Library
The dead cells that slough off your skin every day pile up in the dust that collects around your home. But this grimy-sounding stuff actually helps clean the air indoors, according to new research.

Oil associated with dead skin cells removes the pollutant ozone, a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms. In fact the oil, squalene, reduces indoor ozone levels by about 2 to 15 percent. Its molecules contain six double bonds between carbon atoms, and these bonds interact with — and break apart — ozone ... So, the roughly 500 million skin cells you shed every day are being put to good use.

... Previous research within a simulated aircraft cabin indicated reactions with passengers' exposed skin, hair and clothing were responsible for half of the ozone removal that occurred. And another study, this time in a simulated office, found that one person removes 10 to 25 percent of the ozone in a typical 1,059 cubic foot (30 cubic meter) room.
Read more at LiveScience.

Via The Awl

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The dead skin looks like cornflakes. Gross.