How is dust useful to us?
We have a general conception that dust is in no way helpful to us, but rather harmful to human beings. But it is one side of a coin. Dust has many beneficial effects on our day-to-day lives along with the entire environment. Let us know what is dust and how it is formed before going to the main topic.
What is dust?
We have a general conception that dust is in no way helpful to us, but rather harmful to human beings. But it is one side of a coin. Dust has many beneficial effects on our day-to-day lives along with the entire environment.
Every solid matter is composed of very fine particles. When these fine particles are scattered in the atmosphere, they become dust particles. Different human and natural activities contribute to the dust particles in the atmosphere.
When solid breaks dust is formed. For example, during the construction of houses, roads, and the running of crusher units, solid matter like bricks, metal, and boulders is broken into small pieces and fine particles of dust formed.
Smoke generated by the burning of fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, coal, and wood also produces dust. Soil and sand lifted by the wind, volcanic eruptions, and cosmic dust also contribute towards the enrichment of dust. Dust also comes from dead plants and animal matter, sea salt, and household daily activities.
House dust contains dust mites are microscopic elements, consist of human skin cells but they don’t live on living people. Being very heavy they are not suspended long in the air but rather found on the floor and other surfaces. It could take some time in between twenty minutes to two hours for dust mites to settle down out of the air. Dust in homes is composed of about 20-50 percent of dead skin cells.
Dust appears pink/magenta during day time but changes its color during the night, depending on height and density. Dust is also distinguishable in the RGB (red, green, and blue) from the earth’s surface like deserts as well as oceans, given sufficient thickness or density.
It is also interesting to note that mid-ranged colors of the color spectrum like yellow, orange, and pink attract the most dust mites because they absorb the adequate amount of solar light for dust mites to thrive on. The latest research says human constantly shed their skin, losing up to 500 million cells per day.
Why do we need dust:
- Dusting is important for the health of our skin, as it reduces our sickness and allergies. Most people might have an idea that ozone is good for the ecosystem, as it protects ultra violate radiations of sunlight. It is good until it is up in the atmosphere (stratosphere ), but when it reaches the earth’s surface it becomes a pollutant. Our perennial household activities purify the air by neutralizing the ozone, as it is a fact that a very low concentration of ozone can be harmful to the respiratory tract and the lungs. Dust can do this because one of its major components is human skin cells, which contain ozone-eliminating agents.
- The bigger utility of the dust particles is that they act as catalysts for the formation of clouds. The dust particles and salt particles act as hygroscopic nuclei around which water condenses into water vapor to produce clouds. Raindrops fall to earth when clouds are filled with water droplets. The absence of dust particles in the air may delay the rain. Likewise, mist, fog, etc. are also formed due to the presence of dust particles in the atmosphere.
- As raindrops fall through the atmosphere, they can attract tens to hundreds of tiny aerosol particles to their parts before reaching the ground. The process by which droplets and aerosols attract is coagulation, a natural phenomenon, which can act to clean the air pollutants like soot, and sulfates including organic particles. How much pollutants can be removed, depends on the altitude of the cloud, size of its droplets, diameter, and concentration of aerosols in the droplets.
- Due to the presence of dust particles in the atmosphere sun rays scatters in all directions. No complete darkness happens immediately after sunset due to the presence of dust particles in the air. It also creates an optical phenomenon that causes the sky looks so beautiful at dawn and dusk. You can find the scenic beauty of the same place below at dawn and dusk.
- Dust also contains iron, a limiting nutrient in many areas of the ocean, as and when dust falls into the ocean, it can act as a fertilizer for algae which uses CO2 during photosynthesis.
- Cosmic dust is present in our space, where gas and dust clouds are the primary precursors for planetary systems. The zodiacal light ( also called false dawn when seen before sunrise ) visible in dark night sky, is produced by sunlight reflected from dust particles in orbit around Sun. The tail of comets is nothing but emissions of dust and ionized gas from the body of the comet.
Dust is helpful to us in many ways. A dust-free atmosphere is definitely a distant dream. But at the same time, much more dust particle in the air is not good for health.