Be Healthy – Leave your Shoes and the Toxins at the Door
How do you feel if someone asks you to take your shoes off when you arrive at their home?

If you think your hostess is weird or excessive – guess again.
Think of all the mileage and “garbage juice” your shoes encounter throughout the day - dirt, chewing gum, pet waste, road oil, heavy metals, and pesticides.

A recent Drexel University study tallied airborne levels of 32 pesticides and “pesticide degradation products” inside homes. In fact indoor concentrations were 5 to 10 times higher than outdoors, even for pesticides that were not sprayed indoors, suggesting that shoes are a dominant transmission route. Pesticides are a particular problem because they are “sticky” and designed to stay on surfaces where they will do their job. So if they get onto your shoes and then you track them onto your carpet, they tend to stay.

Outside ultraviolet light breaks down these compounds but indoors the chemicals can exist for years. In fact DDT was banned in 1972, but when a study was conducted 20 years later it was still found in a quarter of all Midwestern homes. Another study showed that people who walked on a pesticide treated lawn can pick up chemicals a week after the application.

Imagine the impact of these chemicals on infants, toddlers and pets – who all spend a great deal of time on the floor exploring and playing on their home floors. They frequently put their hands in their mouths ingesting dust and dirt.

While all the research and effects are not conclusive, play it safe and make your house a shoe-free zone.