Capturing and Studying Airborne Dust, Smoke, and Spores
Unless you’re inside a laboratory clean room or wearing a dust mask, each breath of air you’re now inhaling probably includes a fair number of dust particles and mold spores and, during spring and fall, a few pollen grains (Figure A). If you’re in good health, your respiratory system will filter out most of these particles.
Photography by Forrest M. Mims III
Fig. A: Pollen blowing from a giant ragweed plant, one of the worst causes of hay fever.
You can find out more about these particles with an inexpensive microscope and a DIY air sampler.