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Related to dust: dust bowl, angel dust, Dust mites


See cosmic dust.


(pop culture)

Similar to his ability to transform himself into animals or a mist, as described in the 1897 novel, Dracula also could transform into a cloud of dust. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing made reference to the coming and going of the three women in Castle Dracula. While Jonathan Harker looked on, they transformed themselves into a dust form while standing in the moonlight. In his second encounter with the women, Harker saw the moonlight quiver as the dust danced around and then slowly took on a recognizable shape, the three phantomlike images.

Dracula made his first and only appearance in this form during his attacks upon Lucy Westenra. The wolf Beserker had broken some of the glass from the window in her room. Then suddenly, the room seemed to fill with “a whole myriad of little specks” blowing in the window and forming themselves into a “pillar of dust” inside the room. She passed out and upon regaining consciousness noticed that the air again was full of these dusty specks.

While a notable element in the novel Dracula, this vampiric ability has not been of importance to the twentieth-century conception of the vampire.

The vampire transforming into dust is, of course, separate from the vampire turning to a pile of dust when killed. This later concept appeared at the end of Dracula and was used, for example, in the Hammer adaptation of the novel, Horror of Dracula, in which Dracula burns in the light of the sun. In its sequel, the dust (or ash) is reanimated by dripping fresh blood on it. That process would be used in several movies as a means of reviving a deceased vampire. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer tevision series, as vampires are killed, they are said to be “dusted,” a reference to their immediate disentegration into a pile of ash/dust after being staked or beheaded.

Dynamite Fan Club see: Vampire Fandom: United States



an aerosol and disperse system that consists of small solid particles suspended in a gaseous medium. Separate particles and particle aggregates—from ultra-microscopic particles to those visible with the naked eye—have various shapes and compositions. In most cases, dust is formed as a result of the dispersion of solid bodies. It consists of particles that range in size from 10-7 to 10-4 m and that carry an electrical charge or are electrically neutral. Dust concentration, or dust content, is expressed by the number of particles or their total weight per unit volume of gas (air). Dust is unstable; its particles adhere during Brownian motion or during sedimentation.

The air always contains dust particles. The sources of dust include rock erosion, volcanic eruptions, fires, and wind erosion of arable lands. Droplets of seawater are carried into the atmosphere, where they evaporate and form dust. In industry, industrial dust is formed. The air also contains solid particles of cosmic and biological origin, such as plant pollens, spores, and microorganisms. Like other aerosols, dust affects the heat of the atmosphere and intensifies the scattering and absorption of light by the atmosphere.

Industry sometimes purposely resorts to atomization, for example, during the burning of pulverized fuel, during the air separation of powders, and during certain chemical engineering processes. The undesirable formation of dust occurs with the crushing and dry-grinding of hard rock, the mining of minerals, the processing and transportation of friable products and materials, and the burning of ashy organic fuel. Constant sources of increased dust concentration are the metallurgical, chemical, and textile industries, construction, many means of transportation, and some branches of agriculture, for example, fieldcrop farming. Industrial dust causes damage to equipment, lowers the quality of products, and causes the deterioration of working conditions. Dust from combustible or readily oxidized substances, such as coal, wood, flour, sugar, and aluminum, may be an explosive or fire hazard. The greater the dispersion and concentration of dust, the greater the probability of fire or explosion.

The collection of dust and the control of industrial dust formation pose important technical and health problems. Various types of dust collectors are widely used in industry, as well as complex systems of gas purification. The collection of dust is necessary in order to remove valuable products from the dust and is especially important in protecting the environment from air pollution in and around cities and industrial centers.


Various characteristics of dust are significant in relation to health, including its chemical composition and concentration and the size, shape, and structure of its particles. The solubility, electrical charge, and radioactivity of dust are also significant. Dust has both a direct and indirect effect on the human body. Its direct effect may be the cause of atrophic, hypertrophic, suppurative, or ulcerous changes in the mucosa, bronchi, lung tissue, or skin. These changes can lead to such diseases as catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, ulceration of the nasal septum, bronchitis, pneumonia, pneumosclerosis, conjunctivitis, and dermatitis. Prolonged inhalation of dust leads to the development of pneumoconioses.

Some types of dust, for instance, lead, arsenic, and manganese dust, are poisonous. Organic dust of both natural and artificial origin, for example, grains and flower pollens and the dust from ursolic acid and a number of woods, may cause allergic diseases, including bronchial asthma. Dust may disseminate the causative agents of actinomycosis, anthrax, tuberculosis, diptheria, and ascariasis. Radioactive dust is a cause of radiation sickness. The indirect effect of dust on man is the specific result of the change that the intense dust concentration of the air causes in the spectrum and intensity of solar radiation; examples of changes in solar radiation include the absorption and scattering of ultraviolet rays and a decrease in illumination.

Prevention of industrial diseases includes the legislative regulation of healthy dust levels in the air and the administration of medical examinations. The control of dust formation and distribution is carried out by various methods. Organizational and technological measures that are extremely effective include replacing sandblasting of cast material with shotblasting and hydraulic spraying and dry boring and crushing with wet methods. Other measures include spraying with water and hermetically sealing equipment, moistening dust-producing materials, and using pneumatic tube transportation. The most effective means of removing dust from industrial and domestic premises is suction-and-exhaust ventilation and local ventilation with the use of air strainers. When there is a high dust concentration and an absence of ventilation, individual means of protection from the harmful effects of dust are used, such as respirators, pneumatic suits, helmeted suits, protective clothing, and goggles.

Biological methods of prevention against diseases caused by dust include ultraviolet irradiation of the body, alkaline inhalations, and a special diet.


Fett, W. Atmosfernaia pyl’. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Professional’nye bo/ezni, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1973.
Navrotskii, V. N. Gigiena truda, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.



Dry solid matter of silt and clay size (less than ¹⁄₁₆ millimeter).
A loose term applied to solid particles predominantly larger than colloidal size and capable of temporary gas suspension.


Finely divided solid matter with particle sizes small enough to be carried aloft by air movement.
References in classic literature ?
The boy, also in due time, passed from the forecastle to the cabin, spent a tempestuous manhood, and returned from his world-wanderings, to grow old, and die, and mingle his dust with the natal earth.
In Packingtown the fertilizer is pure, instead of being a flavoring, and instead of a ton or so spread out on several acres under the open sky, there are hundreds and thousands of tons of it in one building, heaped here and there in haystack piles, covering the floor several inches deep, and filling the air with a choking dust that becomes a blinding sandstorm when the wind stirs.
The mender of roads went home, with the dust going on before him according to the set of the wind, and was soon at the fountain, squeezing himself in among the lean kine brought there to drink, and appearing even to whisper to them in his whispering to all the village.
Presently there was a sound of praising, and I saw a fat man, much worn with travel, who crawled through the dust towards us giving the sibonga, that is, naming the king by his royal names.
Because thou hast heark'nd to the voice of thy Wife, And eaten of the Tree concerning which I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof, Curs'd is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life; Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth Unbid, and thou shalt eate th' Herb of th' Field, In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread, Till thou return unto the ground, for thou Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth, For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.
According to that there must be two," said Sancho, "for on this opposite side also there rises just such another cloud of dust.
Marry, it has been dusted enough already," replied Robin; "and I now believe the Scripture saying that all men are but dust, for it has sifted me through and through and lined my gullet an inch deep.
Unconsciously we had all moved towards the door, and as we moved I noticed that the dust had been much disturbed.
First to arrive was the Satyr, strangely unreal for all that he cast a shadow and tossed the dust with his hoofs.
A few shrivelled and blackened vestiges of what had once been stuffed animals, desiccated mummies in jars that had once held spirit, a brown dust of departed plants: that was all
Then round the corner of the lane, from between the villas that guarded it at its confluence with the high road, came a little cart drawn by a sweating black pony and driven by a sallow youth in a bowler hat, grey with dust.
When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry.