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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 25 by Mark Frauenfelder

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COUNTRY SCIENTIST

BY FORREST M. MIMS III

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.

image

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.

Passive ...

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