Industrial Hygiene Testing – Dust Characterization

What do you do when you encounter unknown dust or debris at your home or workplace?
Unknown dust and debris often make their way into homes and workplaces. These particles may be harmless, a nuisance or of greater concern: allergens, irritants and outright threats to health. Traditional industrial hygiene test methods like extraction/digestion followed by chromatography or elemental analysis do not usually give meaningful results when applied to the analysis of particles. The best way to analyze debris particles is to use analytical microscopy.

household dust particles

Can the particles in dust and debris be directly identified?
Yes. The advantage of using microscopy for debris analysis is that it gives morphological, chemical, and molecular information about the particle in its unaltered state. Skin cells, soot, pollen, fungal material, animal hairs, soil minerals, construction debris, fiberglass, clothing fibers, insect parts, rubber and polymer fragments and many other components of dust and debris can be directly identified using microscopy.

Why should you identify the individual particle types?
Identification of the individual particles present in the dust or debris helps ensure that the workplace or home is free of dangerous contaminants. If they are found to be present, knowledge of their exact nature can help lead to the source, and their elimination.


If you or your clients have a need for industrial hygiene and dust characterization analysis, please let us know and we will be happy to assist. You can reach us at 770-662-8509 or by email.

More information: Industrial Hygiene Testing Analysis