I was installing insulation in our attic. On the beams, there was this metal looking ball dust. Any clue what it is? Was exposed to by breathing it breifly, then skin contact for a few hours. I have not been able to sleep all night so Im hoping i didnt poision myself enter image description here


A plasma cutter used for cutting HVAC duct will have this kind of debris not dangerous. Other than that possibly conduit or other metal pipe / brackets being cut leaves the filings or if with a torch the balls, but I would expect a plasma cutter with most modern homes and ductwork.


It could be electronics soldering, being that shiny. Which, could have lead, but lead poisoning effects only last a day. Though, I'd probably be much more on the side of harmless metal grinding and cutting debris. It could be from the attic area if there's ductwork, steel studs or beams or if there was renovation of the roof or something where lots of nails were cut.

  • Thanks. I used to work in a neon sign lab and we used mercury. It looked too closr for comfort. It is suspicious how it forms in those metal balls... – Bobby Sep 21 '17 at 12:50
  • Mercury would be runny, if in ball form...as far as I know. Balls usually means high heat and was temporarily molten. You can wet rag it away if you're concerned about dusting or that brooming or vacuuming would put too much into the air. Home Builders are slobs :) – Iggy Sep 21 '17 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.