UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Create a Healthy Home: Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Where did you walk today? Think about all the places your feet have been in the last 24 hours and then imagine the contaminants found in those places. Every time you walk into your home with your shoes on you are tracking in the contaminants you encountered throughout the day. About 30 to 40 percent of the contaminants inside your home were brought in from outdoors. This includes lead dust along with several different asthma triggers. Children are at greatest risk to these contaminants. Findings from a study conducted by the EPA indicated that when a doormat was used and shoes were not worn indoors, lead dust and other chemicals in the home were reduced by about 60 percent.


What can you do to reduce contaminants in your home? Assess your habits and behaviors.

  1. Do you use a doormat to wipe you feet on before entering your home?
  2. Do you wear shoes inside your home?
  3. Do you walk across carpeted areas in your home with your shoes on?
  4. Do you or your children sit on the floor to watch TV?
  5. Do your children play on the floors in your home?

TAKE ACTION! – Remove your shoes.

  • Add a doormat by each outside door
  • Add a grate-like scraper mat outside your entry door
  • Build a shoe cubby or rack and place it by the entry door
  • Keep some shoes for inside use and label them “inside shoes”
  • Encourage guests to remove their shoes, by providing them with washable slippers or shoes in assorted sizes

 For additional information on making your home healthier visit:

Please tell us in the comments or by email what one thing you did to make your home safer for your family.  

Living Healthy Living Green


About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

2 comments on “Create a Healthy Home: Leave Your Shoes at the Door

  1. SairaMei
    July 24, 2014

    Nice….Thank you for sharing. I think it would be helpful for all.
    Custom Home Builders Austin, TX

  2. AislinMiv
    August 10, 2014

    Its really nice posting. I think it would be helpful for all. Thank you for sharing with us.

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