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Indoor Air Quality: Identification of House Dust and Indoor Particles (1633)


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., all three days

All indoor air specialists who identify fungal spores from air, bulk, and tape samples see particles that are not identifiable as fungal spores. This course covers the identification of settled and airborne dusts, as well as many other relevant particles encountered in indoor and outdoor samples. Techniques and “tricks of the trade” are demonstrated that will allow the spore and pollen analyst to identify all those things they cannot now identify’, but may be important sources of contaminants or irritants. The class is appropriate for aerobiologists, industrial hygienists, and indoor and outdoor air quality specialists, among others.

2.5 CM credits

There is no prerequisite for this course.

Day 1
Introductions and welcome

Course objectives

Microscope alignment

Refractive and relative index

Polarized light

Crossed polarized light

Particle morphology

Manmade fibers: acetate, acrylic, rayon, polyester, glass wool, mineral wool

Minerals: calcite, gypsum, quartz sand, ground quartz, ground glass

Miscellaneous: rubber, metals, rust, ink, paint

Day 2:
Particle morphology

Hairs: animal (wool, dog, cat), human (caucasian, negroid, mongoloid)

Contrast techniques: darkfield, oblique illumination

Natural fibers: cotton, mercerized cotton, paper (softwood and hardwood), trichomes, vegetable fibers, linen


Spider web

Laboratory practical and slide quiz

Day 3:
Particle morphology

Things not fibrous (dandruff, starch, gum)

Laboratory practical (collection philosophies and protocols)

Identification of particles


Effects on counts