Dust particles are often thought of as the large, visible dust bits in the air you can see floating around without a care in a warm sunbeam, or the collected dust resting on the shelves of various knick knacks you've accumulated over the past years. Unless you're allergic to dust, you probably don't think much about the dangers of dust.
First things first. You might need to clean your shelves and brush off your favorite figures, and second, that visible dust is only a small percentage of all dust. Most of dust is very tiny, so tiny that it's not even visible to the human eye. These smaller particles are dangerous to our health since they can sneak inside our systems and cause harm to our lungs.
There's usually no need to worry about the typical dust in a home, but those working in the industrial sector can come into contact with these harmful, micro-sized dust particles on a regular basis. These particles can not only find their way to the lungs, but the material dust is made up of can come with its own unique hazards. There are many processes and pieces of equipment that can generate these risk-related particles. Lucky for us there are ways to reduce the risk of dust harming those near it.
Dust Particle Sizing
Dust particles are broken down into three groups based on size and ability. These groups include respirable dust, inhalable dust and total dust.
Respirable Dust Particles
This is the smallest and most common form of dust, sizing up at less than or equal to 5 microns. This dust is well below visibility which rests around 30 - 40 microns. It also is about 1/12th the width of the average human hair. This is a harmful form of dust that can pass into the lungs, bypassing the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract.
Inhalable Dust Particles
The middle form of dust is classified with an approximate 10 micron wide diameter. This slightly larger dust doesn't pass fully to the lungs. It gets trapped in the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract.
Total Dust Particles
The largest form of dust is classified as any dust particle that is larger than the previous 10 micron sizing. This type also possesses the ability to enter the human system, but unlike the other two forms, it can be visible to the human eye.
Industrial Dust Particle Generation
When it comes to industrial facilities, many of their processes can create dust -- much of which is tiny, respirable dust. What was once ignored is now known to be harmful to those in direct contact with excessive amounts dust particles. Assessing a jobsite and finding the dust generation points goes a long way to developing a dust control plan that drastically reduces the chance of dust-related harm. Processes and pieces of equipment that generate dust particles in industrial jobs include:
- Conveyor Discharge Points
- Unloading/loading processes
- Demolition Activities
- Slag Handling
- Concrete Cutting
- Transportation on Haul Roads
With all these processes creating hazardous dust, steps to prevent dust and actively remove dust from the air must be taken. Dust masks and safety glasses are essential and should be worn when working near dust generating points.
The most effective method of protecting on-site workers and the surrounding community is with dust control systems. These systems spray water that captures fugitive dust hanging in the air and drops it to the ground. DustBoss dust control systems use a techonlogy know as atomized mist to create 50-200 micron sized water droplets ideal for capturing the similarly sized dust particles. These mobile machines have a large range of coverage and allow for protection anywhere on the jobsite. Implementing dust control equipment significantly reduces the risk of dust-related illnesses.
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Contact BossTek today to speak with a dust control specialist and stop hazardous dust particles!
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