Healthy Home

Health of big creatures is damaged by very small things.

12/26/18 1:56 PM / by Dust Goblin

air pollutants

Many small things from tiny living organisms to dust particles can destroy health. What are the various ways this can happen? 

Some definitions:

Micron: The most often unit of measure for small things, the micron is .001 millimeters.

Limit of visibility: The smallest thing you can see with the unaided eye varies by individual. On average it is about .1 millimeters or 100 microns, about the diameter of the average human hair. This means you would need a 100 power microscope to see 1 micron. 

Microscopic: Refers to anything you would need a microscope to see, but so small that the microscope can't see it. The shortest wavelength of visible light is 400 nanometers which is 4 ten-thousandths of a micron.

Anything smaller than .0004 microns could not be seen with even the best visual light microscope because the visible light waves would simply not be reflected deflected by it. X-rays which are shorter than visible light waves have uses to visualize molecules.

Electron microscopes which can make visible anything bigger than the diameter of an electron because it deflect the path of an electron and can be seen with an electron microscope. Electron microscopes can be used to visualize whole atoms (but not their component parts).

Some objects important for health.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the best-known air pollutants, are in aerosol particulate form. They are particles of chemicals or liquid beads suspended in the air produced during various industrial processes.

The particles can be microscopic, as small 2.5 microns or as large as 100 microns and visible with the naked eye. These bits of chemicals are often carcinogenic or highly toxic and can directly damage body cells. The particles are small, but their density in the air can be very high (as high as .1 ounce per cubic foot). 

Many disease-carrying organisms are carried in the air from a range of places, mostly from other people or human and animal wastes. Bacteria are a major class of disease-carrying organisms. Bacteria are neither plants nor animals but form their own biological kingdom.

They represent an entire biological grouping. Bacteria are largely microscopic in size, ranging in size from .2 microns to 10 microns in size. Good microscopes are needed to see most of them. Of the particles carried in the air, 99.8 percent are less than 3 microns in size, 96 percent are less than 1 micron in size.

Protozoans are described as single-cell animals. Many of them are carried in the air. A study of airborne protozoans in Mexico City found that 63 strains of protozoans were carried in the air, sometimes directly and sometimes as cysts that contain the living organisms.

These protozoans are parasites that enter human cells and damaging cells directly. The damage can lead to further infection or cause bodily disruption because of the body's own defensive reactions to them.

The smallest protozoans are between one ten microns long. However, some are as big as 150 microns in size and are visible with the unaided human eye.

How small an object can current filters keep out?

Air filters do not rely on small holes as water filters do. There are no filters that could use holes small enough to block the smallest of airborne particles. Air filters consist of a deep web of fine fibers. Particles are forced to pass through a maze in which a high percentage of particles get caught.

The fibers may be coated with adhesive. They may be electrostatically charged to attract lightweight particles. Very small particles are held by the natural attractions between the molecules (Van der Waals force).

Modern High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are able to trap 99.97 percent of particles that are .3 microns or larger and smaller percentages of smaller particles.

This means that HEPA filters can catch virtually all VOC particles. They will trap a high percentage of airborne protozoans. However, they may miss many of the smaller airborne bacteria.

Dust Goblin, an American company, is a proven leader in the air filter industry with a solid reputation built on producing quality products and providing excellent customer service. Please contact us to learn more.


Topics: Clean Air

Dust Goblin

Written by Dust Goblin