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What is dust?

Most people think it’s just dead skin. But what’s really hiding in your dust?

It lurks behind sofas and collects in corners, apparently appearing from nowhere. But what is household dust? And should we bother sweeping it away? That’s what Australian listener Moshe wants to know and what Marnie Chesterton is off to find out for this week’s CrowdScience. She embarks on a mission to discover not only what dust is made of, but whether it poses any health risks. Although most people sweep it away without a thought, dust contains all sorts of secrets about our habits and everyday lives. Marnie finds out how dust can reveal the pets you keep, the chemicals in your surroundings, the location of your house and how fecal bacteria can uncover whether more men or women live in your home.

Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
Producer: Anna Lacey

(Image: Woman Vacuuming Up Dust. Credit: Getty Images)

Available now

27 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Fri 15 Dec 2017 20:32GMT
  • Fri 15 Dec 2017 21:32GMT
  • Sat 16 Dec 2017 00:32GMT
  • Mon 18 Dec 2017 05:32GMT
  • Mon 18 Dec 2017 07:32GMT
  • Mon 18 Dec 2017 15:32GMT
  • Mon 18 Dec 2017 18:32GMT
  • Tue 19 Dec 2017 03:32GMT

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Do you have a question we can turn into a programme? Email us at crowdscience@bbc.co.uk

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