There’s More to Dust than Just Dirt

Dust Mites

PHOTO: Austin Ban, Unsplash

What’s in your home’s dust?

Knowing what’s in your dust will help you select the right air filtration system for your home.

The average home collects 40 pounds of dust every year; and it isn’t just small particles of dirt. How much dust you have in your home depends on several factors including where you live, the season, how many people live in your home, whether you have pets, and even how you clean. Though dust itself is complicated, even to researchers who devote their time to studying it, getting rid of it is not. —Home Air Check

Biogenic

Biogenic contaminants include mold spores, filamentous structures generated from fungal growth, reproductive spores generated by flowering plants and ferns (pollen),  and skin cell fragments generated by human or animals (dander).

Fibrous

Fibrous contaminants include fiberglass and mineral wool (used primarily as insulation and filler in ceiling tiles), natural cellulosic fibers from clothing and paper, synthetic fibers (primarily nylon and rayon) used in items such as clothing, bedding, drapes, and carpeting.

Inorganic

Inorganic contaminants include decayed biological material, corrosion particles, paints and pigments, mineral grains and construction materials particles,  as well as uncommon particles such as copier toner, starch grains, algae and protozoan organisms, and fire/combustion residue.

Testing for Contaminants

Surface dust can include a wide range of airborne aerosols including mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cells, fibers, mineral dust and more.
The average person spends most of their time indoors. Sadly, studies indicate that the air inside residential and commercial buildings is often more polluted than the outdoor air. Some individuals are more susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution, including the elderly and those who are chronically ill. Air cleaners and purifiers can be a big help in creating a healthier environment.

Surface Dust

This test is designed for the rapid collection of a wide range of airborne aerosols including mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cells, fibers, mineral dust, the biogenic and inorganic particles and opaque particles. The Surface Dust test is specifically designed to capture biogenic, fibrous and inorganic particulates.

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Surface Dust + VOCs

This test is designed for the rapid collection of a wide range of airborne aerosols including mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cells, fibers, mineral dust, the biogenic and inorganic particles and opaque particles. The Surface Dust test is specifically designed to capture biogenic, fibrous and inorganic particulates.

It also collects data on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

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Surface Dust + VOCs + Formaldehyde

This test is designed for the rapid collection of a wide range of airborne aerosols including mold spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cells, fibers, mineral dust, the biogenic and inorganic particles and opaque particles. The Surface Dust test is specifically designed to capture biogenic, fibrous and inorganic particulates.

It also collects data on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

It also collects data on formaldehyde, which is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical. It is released into the air from many products inside the home, including hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard; softwood plywood; pre-finished engineered flooring; building materials and insulation; glues and adhesives; bonding agents and solvents; paints and coatings; lacquers and finishes; textiles; disinfectant cleaning products and soaps; preservatives; some synthetic fabrics; some cosmetics and personal products; pet care products; tobacco smoke and fuel-burning appliances.

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