Dust and other particles found indoors can come from a variety of sources and may include cigarette smoke, animal dander (flakes of dead skin), insect parts, mold spores, fibers, and/or dust mites and their droppings.
Indoor dust can pose a significant health problem to individuals who are allergic to any one of the particles it contains. Animal dander, mold spores and dust mites are especially common indoor allergens (allergy-causing agents). They can cause simple allergies of the upper respiratory system (“hay fever” symptoms). Dust mites also have been linked to allergic diseases of the airways, such as asthma.
Several measures can help to control dust in indoor environments. Filters remove larger particles from the air. Keeping living areas dry and well ventilated also helps to limit the growth of molds (and dust mites that can feed on molds), which prefer damp places. Eliminating curtains and other materials that hold dust may be necessary, in some cases, to control allergies in susceptible individuals.
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- Moreno, N., Tharp, B., and Dresden, J. (2011) The Science of Air Teacher’s Guide. Baylor College of Medicine: Houston. ISBN: 978-1-888997-74-3
- Photo © Vladimir Salman. Licensed for use.
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Funded by the following grant(s)
My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932
Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education