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House dust


Fine-grain, dry particles of inorganic and organic matter that are suspended in the air and are carried great distances by air currents. Dust deposits on horizontal surfaces and may be attracted or repelled by electrical charges. Dust can contain Soot, dirt, Silica, pollutants, animal and vegetable fibers, skin and Hair debris, pollen, bacteria, and mold.

Synonyms and Related Terms

particulate; dirt; Staub (Deut.); polvere (It.); poussière (Fr.); poeira (Port.)


  • Particles smaller than 2 microns may penetrate to the lungs.
  • Chronic exposure may cause cancer.

Resources and Citations

  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002