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The Air We Breathe: Particulates in air

Most of the images are at 100x magnification.
Look for your element code name to find your sample images. If I didn't include images from your sample, then I didn't find any particles of interest.
Americium/Erbium (CGCC) Home sample: Plant material is usually green but this one is somewhat clear. These tan colored small grains of sand seem to be found in several samples.
Americium/Erbium (CGCC) Car sample: The soot particle can be from cigarette ashes or diesel smoke.
Antimony (CGCC) Home sample: Two images of the same flake. One is lit from below and the other above.
Antimony (CGCC) Car sample:
Californium (CGCC) Home sample: Flakes of skin or dandruff are partially clear. The soot particles are black with somewhat rounded edges.
Californium (CGCC) Car sample:  We see another soot particle. All samples have small clear particles. I suspect they are very small particles of sand, which probably comprises most of the dust around us, especially here in the desert.
Carbon (PC) Home sample:  Dandruff and bits of skin are common in the air. The reddish color in the dander is from using a fluorescent bulb that had a redder spectrum than the built-in fluorescent bulb. Here's another soot particle, but it's larger size indicates it is cigarette ash.
Carbon (PC) Car sample:  Below are pieces of plant material. They could be pieces of unburnt tobacco. The microscope normally has light that comes up from under the sample (back lit). Here I used another light from the top to bring out its color.
Cobalt (CGCC) Home sample:  On the left is an unusual flake. This is where chemical analysis would be useful. On the right is a nice picture of a bundle of fibers (most likely plant fibers).
Cobalt (CGCC) Car sample:  The green color in the left particle implies the presence of chlorophyll meaning plant material.
Copper (PC) Home sample:  This particle was brownish and semi-transparent. I'm not sure what it is. Here again a chemical analysis would be needed to identify it.
Copper (PC) Car sample:  The "unknown" particle is probably dander. The bottom particle has stacks of cells, but not sure what it is.
Gold, Boron, Berkelium (CGCC) Home sample:  Dander (pieces of skin) was found plus a blue dyed cotton fiber (could be from jeans).
Gold, Boron, Berkelium (CGCC) Car sample:  A twisted blue dyed fiber was found. It is hard to tell if natural or synthetic because it is deformed.
Hafnium (PC) Home sample:  Two fibers were found. One had turquoise pigments clinging to it. The right one is hair or fur.
Hafnium (PC) Car sample:  
Helium (CGCC) Home sample:  Bottom and top lighting was used here.
Helium (CGCC) Car sample:
Lawrencium (CGCC) Home sample: Below is dander caught in the cotton fibers used in the filter.
Lawrencium (CGCC) Car sample: Several particles were found in the car sample.
Lithium (PC) Home sample:
Lithium (PC) Car sample: The unknown particle is probably man-made.
Magnesium (CGCC) Home sample: The gold color on the synthetic fiber was from a fluorescent top light and not part of the fiber itself. The left piece could be part of an insect wing.
Magnesium (CGCC) Car sample: Top and bottom lighting of the same plant material particle is shown.
Nobelium (PC) Home sample: These small dust particles (probably small pieces of sand) were found in all samples from students.
Nobelium (PC) Car sample: The dander on the right might be a piece of plant material because of some greenish tint to it. the left is probably a dandruff flake but rolled up.
Osmium (CGCC) Home sample:
Osmium (CGCC) Car sample:
Rhodium (CGCC) Home sample: Cotton fiber is like a twisted ribbon.
Rhodium (CGCC) Car sample:
Sodium (CGCC) Home sample: Two images of the same particle.
Sodium (CGCC) Car sample: At the bottom looks like a red bundle of fibers. It might be something else.
Steel (CGCC) Home sample:
Steel (CGCC) Car sample:
Sulfur (CGCC) Home sample: Here's another goldish grain of sand. It may be something else, but looked like polished mineral. Blue dyed cotton seems to be common. Probably because blue-jeans are common.
Sulfur (CGCC) Car sample: Synthetic fiber is usually smooth.
Technetium (CGCC) Home sample: The left chip looks strange. There seems to be miniature paw prints on it.
Technetium (CGCC) Car sample: Here you can see the cell walls of many dead cells from this dandruff.
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Since Jan. 10, 2009