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Sunlight really may be the best disinfectant, as letting light into a house kills off the bacteria in household dust.
Letting natural light into a room destroys around half of living bacteria in dust, a study has found.
Sunshine - Bugs - Disease - Researchers - Hospitals
Sunshine could eradicate potentially harmful bugs linked to respiratory disease, and researchers say hospitals as well as families should take note.
Scientists at the University of Oregon collected dust from household vacuum cleaners and left it in miniature rooms for 90 days.
Rooms - Darkness - Windows - Sunlight - Light
The rooms were kept in darkness or had windows letting in sunlight and ultraviolet light.
When the dust was analysed, sunlight was found to have destroyed bacteria closely related to Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula.
Research - Household - Dust - Saccharopolyspora - Rectivirgula
More research is needed on whether this is harmful in household dust but Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula can trigger 'farmer's lung' in agricultural workers, causing coughing and shortness of breath from the dust in mouldy hay.
Dr Ashkaan Fahimipour, who led the research from the University of Oregon's Biology and the Built Environment Centre, said: 'We need a lot more research before we can apply this to real life but, based on our findings, I don't see any harm in letting a little more sunlight into our homes.
Lot - Procedures - Infections - Hospitals - Sunlight
'There are a lot of procedures to prevent infections in hospitals already and in future we might also suggest sunlight as a cheap and easy measure to take.'
For their experiment, the US researchers created 11 climate-controlled rooms approximately one thirtieth the size of a household living room,...
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