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Dust is commonly a mixture of fragments of:
There are often salts such as sodium chloride (carried in from sea spray or on skin fragments) and sharp gritty silica crystals.
In this chemical mixture are the spores of countless moulds, fungi, and micro-organisms which live on the organic material in the dust (fingerprints, for example, serve as good culture media).
Much of the dirt is hygroscopic (water-attracting), and this tendency can encourage the growth of moulds, as well as increase the corrosiveness of salts, hydrolysis, and the release of acids.
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