Thursday, October 13, 2011

The science of dust particles

Indoor dust is made up of organic matter like
skin particles, allergens, quartz and chemicals.
Dust is something we simply have to live with, no matter how much we clean or what we clean with.

At any given time, dust particles will be present in any given room – even the most sterile scientific cleanrooms.

But not all dust is created equal.

Researchers at Ohio State University have looked at the composition of unique dust particles in their lab and isolated a whopping 63 different dust particles.

What kind of dust are we breathing?

Organic matter was the most common ingredient of indoor dust, including skin particles, dander, pollen and more.

Indoor dust also includes quartz, one of the most abundant minerals on the planet’s surface after feldspar.

Many dust particles also contained synthetic chemicals coming from air pollution, fertilizers (pesticides) and construction materials like drywall.

Small dust particles have long been a public health concern, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause inflammation, aggravate existing health conditions or lead to serious illness down the road.

The researchers’ findings have been published in the recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

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