Recent studies have demonstrated that human exposure to indoor contaminants is an emerging area of health concern, especially due to the fact that people spend up to 90% of their time indoors
Sydney Harbour Bridge during a red dust storm
Dust dancing in the sunlight - WikiMedia
The primary purpose of the Toxtest Core Dust Analysis is to reveal elevated concentrations of heavy metals in dust. We are exposed to dust around the home, school, play area, office or workplace. More than half of the Metals and Minerals we test for are known to be toxic, dangerous, carcinogenic or have unknown effects on humans. This then allows for informed decisions to be made and actions to be taken that will minimise exposure.
Dust Storm in Black Rock Desert Nevada USA
Dust is tricky. It finds its way into our bodies in multiple ways. We can breathe it, we can ingest it, and we can get it on our skin. Heavy metals attached to dust have means to enter our bodies.
Overall, it is clear that carpet can influence our exposures to particles and volatile compounds in the indoor environment by acting as a direct source, as a reservoir of environmental contaminants, and as a surface supporting chemical and biological transformations.
New experimental data on the friction velocity across the carpet fiber surface is needed to model aerodynamic lift and drag forces induced by different types of human-carpet contacts, such as
The use of
Public information about preventing exposure to mineralised or contaminated soil and subsequent dust is an essential component of public health programs to minimise community exposure to these contaminants.
Dust from Industry
Dust from industry in urban environments can get into homes and businesses
Dust from Aviation Flight Simulator
Some Paints and primers used in some parts of the aviation, aerospace and airforce industry have been know to contain large amounts of Cadmium and Hexavalent Chromium (the highly toxic version). There have been efforts to reduce this practice as can be seen by this reference Cadmium and Hexavalent Chromium Alternatives 5-Year Strategy and Roadmap, 2016. Dust generated in workplaces that use these paint products can contain significant amount of Cadmium and Chromium as a result. In 2019 we tested some dust from the floor of a flight simulator. The
"When it comes to plating parts, engineers are faced with a challenge. Cadmium has long been used to provide a sacrificial coating in the aerospace industry. The sacrificial coating corrodes in preference to the substrate, a property which is especially important when the substrate is scratched or damaged. But government mandates and environmental concerns are driving manufacturers to find alternatives for cadmium" Ref: The aerospace secret standard
However our research has confirmed that Cadmium Plating is still happening in these industries with ads online like "Do you have Cadmium Plating needs? We are the one-stop source for all metal finishing and plating needs."
Dust containing Peeling paint
Dust from older homes can contain peeling paint with significant levels harmful Lead (Pb)
A potential danger for children under the age of 5-6 years as they ingest a lot of dust and soil through their extensive hand-to-mouth activity all day long.
Dust from Agriculture
Dust from Demolition and Building
Dust from Construction
Any toxic metal may be called a heavy metal, irrespective of its' atomic mass or density, although generally, heavy metals have densities above 5g/cm3 and as part of Earth's Elements, they cannot be degraded or destroyed.
Fifty three of the ninety naturally occurring Earth's Elements are heavy metals and those of highest concern to human, animal and environmental health include arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury, manganese, nickel, lead, tin, and thallium.
Dust from Mining
Metal contamination has markedly increased near and since coal-fired power stations have been constructed and operated.
Once metals are released to the atmosphere, they return to the surface environment by both wet and dry depositional processes.
"The mining and subsequent combustion of coal generates significant amounts of Metals and metalloids and these are released into the environment and nearby homes and businesses both via the dust produced during the extraction of coal (open-cut coal mines), as well as during the combustion process. Metal emission rates are, therefore, dependent on the total amount of metal present in the coal, the amount and method of coal mined and combusted and the type of pollution control devices employed within power stations.
Coal-fired power stations are ageing in Australia and it is rare for modern devices to control particle (and consequently metal) emissions to be retrofitted. By 2030, around half of the 24 coal-fired power stations in Australia will be over 40 years old, with some stations having operated for nearly 60 years."
While Aluminium and Magnesium are indicative of normal erosion processes of soil, increases in other metals commonly found in higher concentrations in coal ash and coal dust like Arsenic, Lead, Zinc, Cobalt and Selenium, suggest that the catchment soils near the mines and power plants have been contaminated since the establishment of coal mining and burning activities through atmospheric deposition.
Note that while this research did not measure Antimony, other reports have found that coal mining and coal burning by-products also contain Antimony. and other metals like Mercury.
Toxtest and Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL), a NATA certified laboratory (Number:14960) and division of Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, collaborate to provide affordable soil and dust testing for the public. Result presentation is visually rich, informative and prioritises human and animal health. The Core Dust Test analyses 32 heavy metals & minerals.
Office area with cubicles in high rise building
Dust can circulate through some Air Conditioning systems, get electrostatically attracted and attached to electronic devices like computers and lights, get stored in carpet and re-released into the office space and end up on desks and workspaces. Note that some laser printers and photocopiers also release very fine particles of toxic ink powder. Best to keep your distance from them.
Group of pupils walking in school corridor to class room
"Air quality inside schools, particularly in primary schools, is very important to children due to their higher inhalation rates per body mass, long time spent in schools, and higher sensitivity of children to environmental pollutants. Exposure to even low concentrations of air pollutants in schools leads to various health complaints, loss of productivity, effects on the academic performance and the mental stability of children. School classroom particles containing
Jeweller using saw to create jewellery
Metals encountered when working with jewellery. Many are especially harmful if not wearing a mask or using air suction equipment. Antimony; Cadmium; Chromium compounds; Copper compounds; Gold; Lead; Magnesium compounds; Manganese compounds; Mercury; Nickel compounds; Pewter; Platinum; Silver compounds; Stainless Steel; Tellurium; Tin compounds; Titanium; Zinc compounds. See Potentially Harmful Metalsmithing Substances and an important article - Dusts in the Jewelry Workshop
Wind & Traffic generated Road Dust
Dust from road sweeping
Dust from road trafficSearch entire
Stardust of the Pleiades Star Cluster - by Martin Heigan 2019
"When you clean your house you are probably vacuuming up space dust. It is the same dust that was once part of comets and asteroids. You see that dust in the faint glow it helps create before sunrise and after sunset. As much as 40,000 tons of space dust arrives on Earth every year. Where does this dust comes from? Most of it, we know, spirals down from the interplanetary dust cloud, a vast swathe of dust extending in a disk-shape around the sun. Recent studies suggest that less than 10% of the dust comes from asteroids, but that a much larger portion originates from Jupiter-family comets. These comets, which are made up of ice and dust, orbit around the sun close to Jupiter. When space dust falls to Earth, depending on its size and abundance, it can produce a meteor shower (shooting stars)."
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An Australian world first innovation in DUST ANALYSIS
Showing Dust test results that prioritise human health while showing potential local contamination
House-dust metal content and bioaccessibility: a review,
Concentration of heavy metals in street dust: an implication of using different geochemical background data in estimating the level of heavy metal pollution,
Human exposure and risk associated with trace element concentrations in indoor dust from Australian homes,
Heavy metals in indoor settled dusts in Toronto, Canada,
Mechanisms of entry of lead-bearing dusts into house in Port Pirie, South Australia,
Oral bioaccessibility of metal(loid)s in dust materials from mining areas of northern Namibia,
Human exposure to toxic metals via contaminated dust: Bio-accumulation trends and their potential risk estimation,
Potential harmful elements in coal dust and human health risk assessment near the mining areas in Cherat, Pakistan,
Heavy Metals Composition of Indoor Dust in Nursery Schools Building,
Canadian House Dust Study: Population-based concentrations, loads and loading rates of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc inside urban homes,
Towards a holistic approach to the geochemistry of solid inorganicparticles in the urban environment,
Elemental Contamination in Indoor Floor Dust and Its Correlation with PAHs, Fungi, and Gram+/− Bacteria,
Biogeochemistry of Household Dust Samples Collected from Private Homes of a Portuguese Industrial City,
Influence of Matrix Composition on the Bioaccessibility of Copper, Zinc, and Nickel in Urban Residential Dust and Soil,
Managing Soil Contamination in parts of Lutana and Hobart’s eastern shore - Background paper, May 2009,
Influence of environmental zinc on the association between environmental and biological measures of lead in children,
A review of heavy metals in indoor dust and its human health-risk implications,
Lead and zinc concentrations in household dust and toenails of the residents (Estarreja, Portugal): a source-pathway-fate model,
Exposure Assessment of Allergens and Metals in Settled Dust in French Nursery and Elementary Schools,
Improved enrichment factor calculations through principal component analysis: Examples from soils near breccia pipe uranium mines, Arizona, USA,
Zinc in House Dust: Speciation, Bioaccessibility, and Impact of Humidity,
Risk Assessment and Implications of Schoolchildren Exposure to Classroom Heavy Metals Particles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
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Human & Environmental Chemical Testing for the Public. Innovative Result Visualisation with emphasis on Human Health