by chelsea schuyler
I had a request to write a blog on dust. And since it’s Thanksgiving, I decided to find out why we should be thankful for dust.
Dust is defined as any solid particle no larger than 500 micrometers (which is about the size of…a speck of dust) and contains what you’d think it would contain. Human and animal skin, hair, cloth fibers, ..basically tiny, mini versions of whatever kind of environment the dust in in. Sawmill = sawdust, etc. I heard somewhere that cricket legs were 20% of dust, but I’m pretty sure that was a vicious and generic lie. What is true according to the Environmental Health and Safety Online (EHSO) (pronounced, eh, so?) is that the “average human sloughs off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week.” Ten grams is about two nickels, and man if I had a nickel for every, ..slough, of skin…. Anyway,
Don’t take dust for granted, for it it weren’t for dust, we wouldn’t have:
1) DUST MITES!
and for you judging haters out there, these are not the infamous bed bugs. These friendly, only slightly demonic looking creatures eat only the dead skin nickels you leave around. Technically known as Dermatophagoides farinae (literally “skin eaters of the flour”) these mites are harmless, except that sometimes people are allergic to their feces. Let me just state for the record that I am officially allergic to all types of feces so everything that poops can stay off my pillow yeah thanks.
Chinchillas take only dust baths, and should never have a regular bath. Their fur is so thick that water won’t dry and chinchin will be at risk for fungus or pneumonia. Unless you are a woman from Evansville, IN, who had to bathe hers due to its jumping into a bowl of cookie dough. Indiana chinchillas prefer the Dust Bowl every time. Evansville may or may not be 131 miles from my hometown, which is why I don’t own a chinchilla, and never ever make cookies. Speaking of Indiana,
and while we’re on that note
5) THE BLACK LUNG! (Pop)
Not just for Chileans anymore! According to the White House blog (who knew?) 1000 Americans die from this every year. 6000 in China according to a symposium for Occupational Safety and Health in Coal Mines (OSHCM, Pronounced, Oh, Shush Chilean Miners!).
And by far the most obvious reason we can be thankful:
6) PLUSH DUST MITES!
‘Nuff said. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!