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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
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AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
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AIR TEST FOR MOLD: ACCURACY
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings
ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING
ALLERGY & MOLD IAQ PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTS for PEOPLE
ALLERGY TEST ACCURACY
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
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ASBESTOS CLEANUP COMPANIES
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
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BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
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CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
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CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
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CAT DANDER in buildings
CAT DANDER REMOVAL
Cell phone Radiation Hazards
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
Disinfecting Buildings with Bleach
Diethylstilbestrol - DES
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST ANALYSIS for FIBERGLASS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
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EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES
ENVIRO-SCARE - PUBLIC FEAR CYCLES
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
Fireplaces & Woodstove Contaminants
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
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INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
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MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
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MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
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MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
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PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
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Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
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THERMAL TRACKING & THERMAL BRIDGING
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Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation UFFI
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
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VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
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WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
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WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
World Trade Center Collapse Dust Photos
Photo guide to common indoor allergens: this article uses photographs to illustrate and help identify various indoor allergens like mold, cat allergens, dog allergens, mouse or rodent allergens, dust mites, cockroach and other insect fragments, mite fecals, and other help in identification of indoor allergens such as cockroaches, dust mites, fleas, house dust, mold, mildew, pet dander, pollen. Also see Animal Allergens: Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Cleanup & Prevention Information for Asthmatics and regarding Indoor Air Quality.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Cat dander (the black kitten Pippin at above left) is for many people a more serious allergen (and asthma aggravator) than dog dander (the dog katie, above left). Our page top photo shows insect jaws collected during a survey for dust containing cockroach parts and allergens.
At ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings we discuss procedures for screening buildings for high levels of various allergens and irritants. Also see BIOLOGICAL POLLUTANTS for information about recognizing and removing these indoor contaminants. Where toxic, pathogenic, or allergenic mold is a concern in buildings, see MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE and MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE. At ALLERGY TESTS for PEOPLE we discuss the types of allergy and allergy exposure tests used for humans. At ALLERGY TEST ACCURACY we discuss the accuracy and limitations of these tests.
Cat dander is widespread and we even find it present, usually at lower levels, in offices and homes where no cats reside. Animal dander may be brought in by dust and clothing on visitors. Our second photo (above left) shows cat hair in the microscope.
Details about finding and removing animal dander in buildings are provided at CAT DANDER in buildings.
Our photos above show dog dander (along with human skin cells) stained pink with acid fuchsin to aid visibility for the photograph). Our photo at right shows dog hair collected in an indoor dust sample, in this case the hair is further identified as from a golden retriever.
Testing people for exposure to allergens is a different activity from testing buildings for the presence of animal or other allergens. When human tests, such as the ELISA and RAST tests for exposure to allergens, indicate that someone has been exposed to problematic levels of animal allergens, there may still be confusion about just where the exposure is occurring. We discuss testing buildings for presence of allergenic particles such as dog dander, cat dander, insect or roach fragments, etc. at ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings.
Pet control - if you can't say goodbye to your bird, cat, dog, guinea pig, hamster, tropical fish, then limit the areas they occupy and limit the airflow from that area to sleeping or other areas of the building, use allergenic bedding, eliminate wall-to-wall carpeting, improve housecleaning including use of a HEPA-rated vacuum cleaner. For more details see our article Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Information for Asthmatics and Indoor Air Quality
ELISA "enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay" is a rapid immunochemical test procedure that involves an enzyme (a protein that catalyzes a biochemical reaction) that tests for hormones, bacterial antigens, and antibodies. ELISA testing also involves an antibody or antigen (immunologic molecules).
RAST is an older allergen test (exposure detection) in popular use for testing humans, radioallergosorbent test, an IgE test: In this test, a sample of blood is taken, mixed with the suspected allergen, and the level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) is measured. IgE is an antibody produced by the immune system that indicates an allergic reaction.
The ELISA and RAST allergen exposure tests, their accuracy and their usefulness are discussed at ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings.
Fiberglass Insulation Mold comments about a field study in process, & more about health hazards from fiberglass insulation - DJF
Check With Your Doctor About Allergens and About Whether or Not Building Tests for Allergens or Mold are Recommended
Of course since individual sensitivity to allergens varies, we suggest that anyone suffering from allergies and considering steps to further clean their home should also consult with their allergist and their general physician.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the detection & identification of common indoor allergens and related particles
Question: what are the particles that come out of a household vacuum cleaner?
I wish you had more photos of things that come out of a vacuum. My apartment has old carpet and the previous owner had cats. For about 6 months now I've had to dust out my vacuum after every room twice a week. The can has flat heavy grey mounds in it and the filter is loaded with fine white to light grey powder. Is this against the law? Our agent says they do Not change carpet while occupied. I never cared about the burns or the stains that came back after we moved in, but this dust never ever goes away
the main particles collected from a carpet used on floor surfaces will be carpet fibers and non-fungal granular debris - road dirt and dust.
Here we illustrate the more common and perhaps irritating particles found in carpeting, except that mold is dealt with separately as it's such a large topic. See CARPET MOLD.
Question: which particles are mite fecals and which are mold spores
Your picture on the web site of the dust mite waste and penicillin does not allow the viewer to know which is which. After considering it for a while I believe the segmented one must be the penicillin, - Frank - 9/13/12
Thanks for the question, Frank. In the article above we have changed the text to make clear that the larger particles are the dust mite fecals - they are much much larger than typical Penicillium or Aspergillus mold spores.
Questions & answers about how to identify common indoor allergens and related particles by transmitted light microscopy..
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Technical Reviewers & References
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ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING - see detailed links at page top & left