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Thread: What is dust (little grey particles) made of?

  1. #1 What is dust (little grey particles) made of? 
    Forum Freshman
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    My first post here. Here's my question.

    Dust is a collective term for particles that are useless.
    There are little grey particles that build up on surfaces, such as windows and tables, over time.
    So what are they and where do they come from?
    Thanks. All help is much appreciated.


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Well, I would challenge your definition. The name dust says nothing about whether the particles are useful or not. Mainly it describes the size of the particles. Dust, very fine dust, is to be found on the surface of the moon and of Mars. There is consists of pulverised and eroded rock.
    In the deserts of the Earth dust is made up of small sand and clay particles.
    The dust in your home is principally made of you, your family and your visitors. It is skin that you have shed.

    I posted this, then went to see how accurate I was. Not very. I got it 1/4 right.
    The breakdown and release of plant and animal materials used in the home. These contaminants include such items as feathers, cotton, wool, jute, hemp, and animal hairs. They come from clothing, carpets, rugs and furniture.
    The disintegrated stuffing material from mattresses, pillows, quilts, and upholstered furniture. Prolonged use seems to cause these resilient fibers to weaken and eventually break down into particles small enough to be inhaled.
    Human skin scales, animal dander, insect parts from cockroaches and dust mites, saliva, molds and mildew, bacteria, viruses, and pollen. As people go through their daily activities, particles that have settled onto the floor and other surfaces are stirred into the air.
    Other contaminants deliberately introduced into the indoor environment. These can include tobacco smoke from pipes, cigars and cigarettes, cosmetic powders, baby powder and some powdered laundry detergents, aerosols such as air fresheners, and cleaning products with strong odors.

    From:http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0191.html


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    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    It's nice they included hemp. I've also noticed that a lot of (domestic) dust comes from exposed sheetrock and/or rock and that stuff you blow on your ceilings.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    dust really can be anything, not sure why its grey,

    and whats it made of? i don't wnat to hazard a guess, its bad for asmathics, as for me, its thing i can draw in, then be forced to clean it! :-D

    i'd say whast above is right enough, to a point.

    i'd leave it as
    Dust:particles of everything!

    interesting, you know the rate of reaction rule, where fine particles can explode, like flour, or quarry dust? would dust act the same? suppose not as it clumps together?
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  6. #5  
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    Is house-dust be anything organic and dead?
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  7. #6  
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    i'd say it would most certianly be both,

    dead matter from the inhabitants, and organisims feeding on it
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorex
    Is house-dust be anything organic and dead?
    I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking. I have already replied to you that dust includes human skin scales, animal dander, insect parts from cockroaches and dust mites, saliva, molds and mildew, bacteria, viruses, and pollen.
    Are you asking can it be absolutely anything organic, as long as it is dead? To which the answer is a definite yes. And it can also be anything inorganic.
    The key thing about dust is not its composition, but its particle size.
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  9. #8  
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    Ok. I don't think you get what I'm saying.

    Little grey particles that are found on surfaces- where did they come from?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Junior Cuete's Avatar
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    I think is very clear what Ophiolite wrote... they come from everywhere: your body, the ceiling, the street, insects, et cetera. It can be organic or not.

    I guess they are gray, because they are all composed from a bunch of colours, that all together seem to be gray.
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  11. #10  
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    Grey particles known as house dust can be from anywhere. Agree?
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  12. #11  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Well, they are unlikely to be from Alpha Centauri. They can be from anywhere, but they are likely to be from within the house, its furnishings and its occupants, and from windborne, or foot carried debris from outside.

    I sense there is some underlying question you are not asking. What is it?
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