Tiny solid airborne particles. Particulates are a type of pollution composed of Soil, Soot, proteins, and salts. They range in size from below 1 micrometer to about 10 micrometers. Particles above 10 micrometers tend to settle out quickly. Suspended particles smaller than 1 micrometer are called aerosols. They can provide a nucleus for condensation.
Sources of particulates include: Combustion residues (soot, smog, smoke, flyash), construction (roads, buildings, vehicles), humans (proteins), fibers (lint), biological specimens (spores, pollen), soil (dust, salt)
- See Pollutant record for a comparison table of aerosols and collection risks.
Synonyms and Related Terms
particulate matter; aerosol particles; Feinstaub (Deut.); particule (Fr.)
- Particulates smaller than about 10 micrometers can settle in the bronchi and lungs
- Dust can cause disfiguration of objects, attract pests, and scratch soft surfaces by friction.
- Some objects can be difficult to clean (feathers, minerals, microcracks, sticky objects, etc.);
- Magnetic tapes (audio, video, data) and grooved recordings (78's, 45's, 33's and cylinders) are very susceptible to damage
Resources and Citations
- Jean Tétreault, Agent of Deterioration: Pollutants, Airborne Pollutants
- Wikipedia: Particulates Accessed July 2023
- P.Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002.