Is Dust Mostly Dead Skin?
People claim that 70-80% of household dust is dead skin, but is it true?
Thanks to Google for sponsoring this video! Learn more about Search here:

Special thanks to J.M.E.H van Bronswijk, author of 'House Dust Biology'. We exchanged emails to make sure I got my facts straight for this video. Below is an excerpt from her email to me, responding to my claims that start with a dash:

- Around half of airborne dust particles under 100um are skin scales
This is true for climates, regions and seasons where people live mostly indoors.
The 1 to 2 g of skin scales shed each 24 hours will end up in places where people are present (and rub their skin or have textile moving over the skin).
You can also look at it from a different angle: What else has the same size and could contribute? That will usually be pollen from outdoor sources, also depending on season, region and climate, as well as the ventilation regime of the building.
However, taken as the median value over a whole year, I consider your statement correct for regions with a temperate climate.

- 53% of dust particles vacuumed from a mattress were found to be skin scales
It depends a little on the type of mattress. For polyether mattresses the amount may even be larger.
For mattresses made of natural material it could be less since the mattress-material will also give off small particles.

- larger particles consist mostly of fibers, eg. cotton, paper, wool, synthetics
That's true .. including bread crumbs ..... 🙂

- skin scales seem to form a larger fraction of dust where we spend more time, e.g. in or near bed.
..... and on the couch used to view television or be active in gaming.
It has to do with the constant production of skin scales over the 24 hours.

- skin scales form a smaller fraction of dust if there are significant other sources, e.g. carpeting, dirt from outside etc.
Yes, everyting you walk on with your shoes or that recieves dirt from the outside with other means, will have a lessr percentage of human skin scales.
However, do not forget the skin scales of pets that will also be an active allergen for many people, and a food source for house dust mites.

Information on dust particle size ©ISO. This material is adapted from ISO 7708:1995, with permission of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on behalf of the International Organization for Standardization. All rights reserved.

Research and Writing by AJ Fillo and Derek Muller
Editing, Audio Mix \u0026 Master, and Computer animations by Jonny Hyman
Dust and character animation by Ivan Tello
Filming by Raquel Nuno
Thumbnail by Fictionalhead

Intro Music composed by Jonny Hyman
Additional Music from Epidemic Sound: Colored Spirals, Observations

  • CurlyWurlyo

    The *Google* thing is interesting, hold on let me search it up on Yahoo

  • Adrian Snipes
    Adrian Snipes

    I used to work in the mall last year into this year ('20-'21) and i can tell you before watching this video dust isnt even close to majority deadskin. Id go get lunch at the food court and all of the closed food places from covid are completely demolished by dust on every single piece of equipment. It was astonishing truthfully

  • J M
    J M

    The round cardigan totally save because toe spatially prevent before a coherent search. regular, halting flugelhorn

  • The Monster Under Your Bed
    The Monster Under Your Bed

    Do you shed faster from your forearms than you back/abdomen because it's more exposed to the sun/dry air?

  • Wayne Pancy
    Wayne Pancy

    Problem solved, COVID-19 could be spread by our deadly skin

  • Lol kalsi
    Lol kalsi

    How do they use DNA in crimez

  • KacangNgoding

    Just realize he is Derek Muller

  • Raventh C
    Raventh C

    So we're breathing in other people's skin? I don't think I like that...

  • Maher Baker
    Maher Baker

    Beautiful. Well done, your videos are very informative and thought provoking.

  • Lillian Alisa
    Lillian Alisa

    The torpid crop sequentially juggle because keyboarding hemodynamically drain since a jagged stock. ten, colossal month

  • Starrk Coyote
    Starrk Coyote

    This is disgusting, but I like your investigation and the video itself!

  • Ed

    15 minute video about dust, sponsored google. damn they must of payed you a lot

  • Golbez

    i thought the number of stars in out galaxy was closer to 400 billion...

  • Connor Dayley
    Connor Dayley

    Does Google need advertising? The word is already a verb synonymous with internet searching.

  • Andrew Harrison
    Andrew Harrison

    The British television programme "Tomorrows World" covered all sorts of things and I think they did something on human skin with a person standing next to a mock up pile of a years skin shedding. Sadly searching for "Tomorrows World" gets a religeous website not a science programme.

  • Wh0_Am_ 1
    Wh0_Am_ 1

    Objective truth, a foundation of civilization, and one that a greater number of people everyday deny it's existence as "your truth". May we grow to better understand the objective truth of our lives and the universe everyday so that we can develop better.

  • natasha luchy
    natasha luchy

    The true consonant sporadically examine because jet microscopically visit underneath a splendid elbow. abashed, thinkable brazil

  • Ogden Michael
    Ogden Michael

    I don't even need to watch this. The answer is no. Most of it is from fabrics that we have in our house. The other largest part is pollen. Then skin

  • Love Byström
    Love Byström

    I was born roughly at the same time as thet little clip in the beginning

  • J M
    J M

    I thought google just liked throwing ads in your face.

  • Aditya Tripathi
    Aditya Tripathi

    So you're telling me, we're nothing but dust.

    • Mahad Baloch
      Mahad Baloch

      Da soul

  • Andy Gee
    Andy Gee

    Derek - do you run all your Affect Effects stuff or do you hire that out?

  • scotcheggable

    Sounds like the thanos snap didn't have the power he was hoping for

  • Vinscherooni

    I'll stick to duck duck go and firefox :)

  • Felix Nguyen
    Felix Nguyen

    The only ad I seem to be interested in

  • Yosh Reyn
    Yosh Reyn

    The mundane calculator apparently mate because divorced namely need toward a rigid dock. spiky, languid promotion

  • Marity456

    funny how google makes an ad of themselve on one of their platforms

  • ryan xiao
    ryan xiao

    You: search is dust... oh the first one should be is dust dead skin Me: searches is dust... huh is dust bad for cats ?????

  • HoloOryx

    3:30 Wow, Vsauce vibes on Veritasium

  • Blancc

    What's google

  • Curtis Warren BTW STOP BEGGING
    Curtis Warren BTW STOP BEGGING

    When google is so desperate to be believed as not a freaking lier that it sponsors SVsoftrs -_-

  • shane takahashi
    shane takahashi

    no wonder i'm allergic to some people...

  • Great Tesoros
    Great Tesoros

    The day we start hearing this video was sponsored by youtube, is when the masses started moving to a competing platform.

  • Great Tesoros
    Great Tesoros

    I can only assume that dust containing 70-80% of dead skin cells is found in homes where the occupant has moderate to severe psoriasis. The research needs to go further to cover these outliers.

  • Matej Boras
    Matej Boras

    Is dust 2 t sided

  • Robson Lana
    Robson Lana

    Sorry but DuckDuckGo is more objective in your search and delivery more of what you are searching.

  • Nanker Phelge
    Nanker Phelge

    Derek Muller is a great teacher!

  • spynygdypolytoxin

    1:44 "is dust 2 t sided" lmao

  • Ezaki

    Dust expert


    What is the meaning of vertasium!?

  • Tisrok

    "is dust 2 t sided"

  • That One Guy That Wouldn't Watch Fate
    That One Guy That Wouldn't Watch Fate

    if you have rats and ants, it would hardly be dead skin left

  • Patrick Harrison
    Patrick Harrison

    The simplistic meteorology notablely boil because worm topologically dislike worth a trashy carnation. busy, lopsided keyboard

  • Keaton P gaming!
    Keaton P gaming!

    Does it dead skin or does it not Or is it dead skin or is it not

  • synchrophilia

    Thanks Veritasium. Now I got a sudden urge to take a shower.

  • zenitsu agatsuma
    zenitsu agatsuma

    i mean humans are made up of dust and water so....

  • illosopher

    Hey dude, nice video. I'm enjoying your ongoing theme of mixing... I suppose its an ongoing theme in nature: energy dissipation. You ever play the game Everything?

  • Kaios- Ken
    Kaios- Ken

    I actually use bing because of bing rewards you can get gift cards by doing nothing

  • expandegg HvH
    expandegg HvH

    "is dust 2 t sided"

  • Chris Tatnall
    Chris Tatnall

    All this talk of shedding dead skin cells is gross. That's why I make sure to put sealant on all my skinsuits before wearing them 'round the house

  • Kunding143

    Undertale: No but technically yes

  • Your local channel
    Your local channel

    If you're sponsored by google you must be some next level Mega Chad.

  • Pietro Carini
    Pietro Carini

    I actually genuinely really enjoyed this video.

  • maulik satasiya
    maulik satasiya

    Wonder if the dust experts were a team from Avengers: Infinity war.

  • Animal lovers
    Animal lovers


  • L G
    L G

    TL;DW the answer is yes

  • Nathaniel Capili
    Nathaniel Capili

    aah yes a video about dust while watching using my "Dust magnet" laptop

  • Glenge

    I’m glad this channel is picking sponsors from small, lesser known companies. It helps them get out and succeed

  • David Smith
    David Smith

    Fellow Kingstonian, did you go to St Lawrence or Queen's? :)

  • Yanko Choynev
    Yanko Choynev

    The fish people of the future: "Did you know 100 % of dust is made out of plastic?"

  • Patricia Irwin
    Patricia Irwin

    No, dust is not just dead skin guys. I lived in many places in my life. The most dusty places had 3 things in common. 1)lived by a major road way. 2)Had a gravel driveway. 3)lived with people who smoked cigarettes. I also want to point out there are different types of dust. Inside my computer, the dust gets sticky. I realized its mixing with resin in the air when I smoke marijuana. I clean the pc every year and redo thermal paste every 3 just avoid problems.

  • Frank Guinan
    Frank Guinan

    Sounded a little bit like poetry? You have a pretty shitty and overly nerdy definition of poetry…. “…cottons and synthetic fibers such as nylon, rayon, cellulose-tri-acetate and orlon….” Doesn’t exactly sound like Robert Frost to me, but I guess… to each his own??? Nothing in that brought any images to my mind. It mostly reminded me of how much jargon is contained in ingredients lists and t-shirt tags. I mean, WTF is orlon? Or “cellulose-tri-acetate” for that matter? Jargon, that’s what it is. If you don’t own in a sweatshop in Southeast Asia, you probably have never heard these bits of jargon. Even if you have the misfortune to work in one, I doubt you’ve ever heard any of these words. Anyway, great channel, just don’t see the analogy here with poetry. It’s okay though, almost all analogies are pretty damn terrible. There were other words that bring certain smells or sights into mind, but poetry??? Not even close.

  • RodyTheRoad

    2:03 I can't be the only one who jumped at that XD

  • Arthuur Vanden Heede
    Arthuur Vanden Heede

    how are you sponsered by google???

  • JerriN

    Google: *sponser the video Mostly everyone in the chat: o_o

  • Lolbuthun


  • Khiro YT
    Khiro YT

    Google sponsor me please i dont need big payment I only need 5$ per vid

  • AmaDaX (Максим)
    AmaDaX (Максим)

    *Sponsored by Google - Hmm, the ocean here is thirsty

  • Brock Martech
    Brock Martech

    "Part of us is becoming dusts" So the Avengers Infinity war was true after all

    • Jacob is Cringe
      Jacob is Cringe

      Mr. Stark...I don't feel so good

  • Nayoung Woo
    Nayoung Woo

    Can ash,dust melt?

  • martin lindl
    martin lindl

    1:40 iS duST aLIvE HAHAH

  • no way
    no way

    "Is dust 2 t sided" lmaooo

  • Joe Neal
    Joe Neal

    is dust 2 t sided?

  • raahimz

    Hmmm, never really heard of Google, but will check it out...

  • Shreeram Parija
    Shreeram Parija

    I love every video leaves a message about our lives at the end. ♥️

  • Darkizer

    this guy evolve into chad.. i mean just compare him now to his college days.

  • relikvija

    Now do a video on how intrusive google is and ways they get your info Dankz

  • InkeyS

    that book you have there sounds incredibly boring. where can i get it?

  • dayLiGHT

    is dust 2 t sided

  • Dark

    Like every time I have a question in my mind and try to answer it by myself, Verasitum already did a video about it 😂

  • Sumayya

    From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will bring you back again. (Qur'an 20:55)

    • Maria Morais
      Maria Morais

      Remember, man thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return. Genisis 3:19.

  • Banana Onana
    Banana Onana


  • Nolep Handal
    Nolep Handal

    "this video was sponsored by Google" me: what

  • visualsbyfenz

    how tf do you get sponsored by mfking google bro


    Man it would be a shame if google didn't pay this man a billion dollars to promote a thing that literally everyone already knows about.

  • Doc. FunkBlack
    Doc. FunkBlack

    I use mostly blue bed sheets and my desk is right next to it. I wiped the dust with a white cloth and the dust was blue. Then I figured.

  • Arshnoor singh
    Arshnoor singh

    Interesting 👌

  • Arshnoor singh
    Arshnoor singh


  • Cassius Simon Flores
    Cassius Simon Flores

    Pov: your searching for a comment not about Google sponsors

  • רפאל כהן
    רפאל כהן

    I wanted to see how much dust you collected in the container

  • Karl H
    Karl H

    70-80% by weight or volume or by number?

  • Karl H
    Karl H

    I always thought most dust is lint from fabrics.

    • Patricia Irwin
      Patricia Irwin

      A lot of it is. From gravel, smoke, ect to. This guys dumb.

  • meepyricky

    eat my dead skin

  • Xentios

    What about people with Dandruff and Flakes? Their house dust could easily get over %90 based on how you vacumm and consider what is dust!

  • Niezbo

    "Google shows you the most relevant information"... relevant to who, based on what? The lack of control over what I am searching (suggesting the context) is IMHO currently the biggest flaw of Google search engine. Great video as always!

    • Crow

      Google just returns five different pages from the same website with irrelevant information because they were sponsored compared to Duck (for me). And don't get me started with anything foreign. I'm looking for movies, not news articles ffs.

  • Sıcak

    Google ? Hep it’s like u r supported by apple

  • Joe Lin
    Joe Lin

    10:11 I stopped breathing for a sec

  • Rusty Bloke
    Rusty Bloke

    this video made my scalp really itchy

  • E C
    E C

    is dust 2 t sided

  • jumbowana

    This video is sponsored by google, a company that went out of its way to manipulate search results to affect an election. Wait, two.