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We have investigated the effect of air-borne contamination on the head/flexible disk interface by injecting particles of known size distribution into the neighborhood of the rotating disk. Changes in the head/disk fringe pattern are monitored as a function of particle size using a high resolution video camera coupled to an on-line automatic data acquisition system. In addition, the effect of severe environmental conditions on the head/disk interface is studied for selected temperatures and humidities, All measurements of the head/disk spacing were performed using clear mylar disks. Similar trends of the results are observed for oxide coated disks.