I'm trying to identify the sort of dust shown below.enter image description here Several days after wiping a surface in my older apartment it shows up. It looks like synthetic fiber, yet there is no vent or isolation material that I can see, nor is there a carpet, bedding, or clothes in that room. No pet either. Any idea?

As indicated in the comments I did ask a related question regarding the origin of the dust. The answers didn't solve the problem so I'm now asking about the nature of the dust, which isn't quite the same thing. Some folks may recognize it for what it is without wondering where it came from.

Answer: It's fiberglass, see Apartment dust mystery.


2 Answers 2


That is a little bit of you. And others in your house. You shed about 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells per MINUTE the vast majority of dust in a house is the dead skin cells of the occupants. Along with all the dead microscopic critters that inhabit our bodies.

  • Do those look like skin cells to you? Do you have to dust your apartment every 2 or 3 days?
    – JeanB
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:27
  • Yes, skin cells don't come off individually the come off in flakes, strands and clumps. So no 40,000 individual particles are not flying off your body every minute. Each visible spec of dust may be a conglomerate of hundreds of skin cells. And yes my wife is crazy and she dusts every single day. When the sun is shining in the window and you see all that glitter in the air, that's all dead skin, mostly. When my wife sees that in the air she starts to twitch and runs for her Swiffer.
    – Joe Fala
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:33
  • If that were true it would happen all the time, no matter where you live. But I'm only having this problem in this older apartment I moved in and where I live alone. Also, I don't see glitter in the air when the sun is beaming, and that surprises me since I'd expect whatever this is to be airborne of course.
    – JeanB
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:40
  • Doesn't look like skin flakes to me. Looks like natural or synthetic fibers. At any rate, best not to answer obvious duplicate posts.
    – isherwood
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:44

That sure looks like PVC scrapings to me. If I use a larger tooth bit (wrong bit but who cares) to cut a piece of PVC while doing plumbing the "dust" in the picture sure looks like those leftovers.

  • Thanks @DMoore. I can't think of where those plastic shavings would come from though.
    – JeanB
    Apr 5, 2019 at 18:31
  • Well then you need to provide more pictures of the surroundings and stuff. I mean no way to answer this with your picture.
    – DMoore
    Apr 5, 2019 at 20:44

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