Sunlit Rooms Have Half as Much Bacteria as Dark Rooms, and No Bacteria That Cause Respiratory Diseases

Do you get enough sun? Is your home full of light? Are your curtains always closed? Answer these questions to yourself before you keep reading.

A study published in Microbiome found that rooms full of sunlight have half as many bacteria as dark rooms. Believe it or not, there are almost no bacteria that cause respiratory diseases.

We all know that sunshine optimizes health, and now we know why.

A group of researchers from the University of Oregon set up a few dollhouse-sized rooms. Some of the rooms had regular UV blocking glass, others had glass that allows UV rays in, and the rest of them were dark.

The rooms were “inoculated” with bacteria-packed dust collected from real homes in Portland. The “rooms” were placed outside, but their insides were kept at normal room temperature.

After three months, researchers found that 12 percent of the bacteria in dark rooms were still alive and able to reproduce. There was 6.8 percent viable dust bacteria in rooms with UV blocking glass, and rooms that allowed UV light in had 6.1 percent of viable bacteria.

Dust in dark rooms contained bacteria that cause respiratory diseases which wasn’t the case of light rooms.  The bacteria in rooms full of light were actually the bacteria commonly found in outdoor air.

Study co-author and co-director of the Biology and the Built Environment Center Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg sad that daylighting actually affects air quality.

We spend most of our time indoors along with dust particles and bacteria. Some of these pathogens may make us really sick, said lead author of the study Ashkaan Fahimipour.

Researchers are now focused on determining the light that’s necessary to destroy microbes. Hopefully, this will help architects design strong homes.

Fahimipour disapproves the use of household cleaners that are said to destroy 99.99% of the bacteria, explaining that this is absolutely impossible and undesirable.

He said that sanitizing isn’t the best option, because some bacteria are good for our health. Yogurt has good bacteria, remember? Fahimipour encouraged everyone to enrich indoor areas with beneficial bacteria.

Take this into consideration next time you close your curtains. Bring enough light in your home, and please, try to convince everyone that sunlight is good for you.

We live in a world packed with dangerous bacteria, and it’s time to take the matter in our hands. Trust nature, and use its resources to fight these unfriendly bacteria.

Sources:
www.npr.org

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