Episode Summary

Microbes in household dust help degrade potentially harmful plasticizer chemicals!

Thanks to Ashleigh Bope for her contribution!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Rosa rugosa leaf distortion virus

News discussed

Using bacteria to protect roads from deicer deterioration

Jesse's takeaways

Modern life and technology comes with modern challenges, including exposure to chemicals in building materials and such that humans didn't encounter much before the last few generations. Phthalate esters, found in PVC and other materials, can accumulate in homes and cause some problems, especially in children.

Modern life is also new to microbes, but they are very adaptable and versatile. In this study, microbes in household dust show some ability to break down the phthalates over time. Whether this activity is significant and beneficial to residents remains to be discovered.

Journal Paper

Bope A, Haines SR, Hegarty B, Weschler CJ, Peccia J, Dannemiller KC. Degradation of phthalate esters in floor dust at elevated relative humidity. Environ Sci: Processes Impacts.

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