Glass Fiber Look-A-Like
This fiber is a fragment of a feather barbule. If the sample is not viewed between polarizing filters it can be
difficult to distinguish from glass fiber.
Transmitted Light Illumination
Significance in the Environment:
Bird feather barbule fragments are very common in environmental samples. In indoor environments they may come from down clothing or furniture,
but they are often from wild birds in the immediate outdoor environment. They may also be from pet birds in home environments and school
classrooms. Excessive numbers of feather barbules relative to human skin flakes, clothing fiber, or paper fiber may indicate an exposure problem.
It is often not the feathers that are the health risk but rather bird mites or diseases that may be associated with the bird exposure.