Monthly Archives: November 2016

Dust pollutants

Have a look at these articles about various dust pollutants.

Dust pollution and particle pollution affect health

Pollution caused by dust and particles, poses grave danger to children, older people and people with respiratory illnesses.

What is atmospheric pollution?

Dust in homes and offices consists of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt particles and many other materials.
Dust kicked up by vehicles moving on roads make upto 33% air pollution.
Dust and pollution particles mix in the atmosphere and can travel for days across continents and countries before settling on the ground surface.

NASA and University scientists have made the first estimate of the amount and composition of tiny airborne particles that arrive in the air over North America each year. According to their estimates, 64 million tons of dust, pollution and other particles travel across countries to arrive over North America every year. This is nearly as much as the estimated 69 million tons of aerosols produced domestically from natural processes, transportation and industrial sources.

Risks from dust pollution

People with heart or lung diseases and other chronic diseases are at increased risk from dust and particle pollution. Pollution can aggravate the disease. Studies have shown that when particle levels are high, older adults with undiagnosed disease are likely to be hospitalized because of aggravated diseases. An example is the recent happenings in China. Increased levels of air pollution is affecting thousands of residents. People cannot move about without wearing face masks. Many are checking into hospitals because of breathing problems and a few deaths have been reported too. Dust pollution is posing a health threat to more than 100,000 residents in Wuhan, Hubei Province, a problem that experts say could result in many more cases of lung problems in the area.

Preventing dust pollution?

Governments and environmental agencies can take steps to prevent spread of dust locally. US environmental agency makes it obligatory on persons or agencies to minimise or mitigate production of dust. New residential housing areas are the known source for spread of dust. Construction companies can control dust emissions through simple measures like spraying construction and demolition sites with water.
Dust kicked up by vehicles travelling on road make upto 33% air pollution. Road dust may be suppressed using sweeping vehicles or water sprayers.

Avoid unhealthy exposures

People suffering chronic diseases, older aged people and children should reduce their exposure to polluting atmosphere. Watch out for the air quality index and plan your outdoor activities for days when the dust and particle levels are low. Reduce particle levels indoors by not smoking inside, and by reducing use of other particle sources such as candles, wood-burning stoves, and fire places.

Make it a point to clean indoors regularly. Using vacuum cleaners will make the job of cleaning easy.

Read more at  The Household Academy

Health effects of dust

What is dust?

Dust is a common air pollutant generated by many different sources and activities.

Terms explained

Pollutant – a substance that has been introduced to the environment and has undesired or negative effects.

Particles – tiny solid and liquid substances that can float in the air. Many particles are invisible.

Where does dust come from?

The natural erosion of soil, sand and rock is the most common source of dust.

Pollen, microscopic organisms, plant material and dander (dead skin cells shed by animals) are also part of the dust in the environment.

Man-made dust is common in urban areas. It is created by a range of activities from personal hobbies, such as gardening, to large scale industrial activities, such as electricity generation at power stations.

Dust particles

Dust particles vary in size from visible to invisible. The smaller the particle, the longer it stays in the air and the further it can travel.

Large dust particles fall out of the air relatively close to where they are created. These particles form the dust layers you can see on things like furniture and motor vehicles.

Large dust particles tend to be trapped in the nose and mouth when you breathe them in and can be readily breathed out or swallowed harmlessly.

Smaller or fine dust particles are invisible. Fine dust particles are more likely to penetrate deeply into the lungs while ultrafine particles can be absorbed directly into the blood stream.

How does dust affect your health?

The type and size of a dust particle determines how toxic the dust is. However the possible harm the dust may cause to your health is mostly determined by the amount of dust present in the air and how long you have been exposed to it.

Dust particles small enough to be inhaled may cause:

  • irritation of the eyes
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • hayfever
  • asthma attacks.

For people with respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD) or emphysema even small increases in dust concentration can make their symptoms worse.

Currently there is no hard evidence that dust causes asthma, however breathing in high concentrations of dust over many years is thought to reduce lung function in the long term and contribute to disorders like chronic bronchitis and heart and lung disorders.

Industrial emissions may occasionally result in excessive dust in nearby communities. These may be harmful to health if poorly controlled.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who is exposed to high levels of dust may be affected – the longer you breathe in the dust, then the greater the chance that it will affect your health.

Breathing low levels of household or urban dust does not cause health problems in most individuals.

In contrast, people with existing respiratory and heart conditions, including smokers, are at greater risk of developing long-term health problems.

Babies, young children and elderly people are also more likely to develop health problems from long term exposure to high levels of dust.

Anyone who regularly experiences shortness of breath or hayfever type symptoms from breathing dust should discuss these symptoms with their doctor.

What can be done?

Australia controls dust levels in the air where people live through a range of measures. Australian air quality standards for dust are more rigorous than those in the USA, UK and Europe.

National standards

The National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) for Particulate Matter (PM) is the standard for dust concentration in cities and towns.

The Department of Environment Regulation (DER) monitors and enforces this standard. The DER monitors air quality, including dust, across the Perth metropolitan and major rural areas. The DER investigates all incidents where the standards are exceeded.

Industry licences

The DER licences all industry and activities that emit pollutants into the environment. Either the DER or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can impose conditions on a company that restrict the amount of dust particles that their activities can emit into the air. Companies must monitor their emissions and routinely report the information back to DER.

Other measures

Other dust control measures include vegetation buffers (areas of plants and trees) that are often positioned between residential areas and industrial areas and between residential areas and major roads.

These buffers help to dissipate dust and other pollutants and together with air quality standards are highly effective for reducing dust impacts on communities.

Who can I call?

Your GP

If you have a medical complaint you believe is related to dust, see your GP. Your GP should contact the health department if your medical complaint is related to environmental pollution.

Your local council

Neighbourhood concerns should be raised with your local council. Most councils employ environmental health officers who can investigate local neighbourhood matters.

Thanks to Dept of Health Australia

I hope you enjoyed these articles!

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Single Bucket DustWatch unit

Single Bucket DustWatch unit

Agricultural Dust Concerns

Here are a few more articles I found regarding Agricultural Dust Concerns:

Human Health Concerns from Grain Dusts and Molds During Harvest

Exposure to Grain Dusts and Molds

If you produce corn, soybeans, or other crops in Wisconsin or elsewhere in the Midwest, dust exposure while working is inevitable.  Breathing in grain dust can affect the health and overall comfort for grain producers and others who work in the grain industry. Exposures can occur:

  • In the combine
  • While unloading
  • During drying and processing
  • In bins
  • In an area near any of the above situations
  • While grinding/mixing grain and other feed products

Grain dust is a complex soup that is made up of both organic and inorganic particles.  Some of these can be inhaled easily, and depending on their size, can find their way deep into various parts of the respiratory system causing a range of adverse health effects.  Grain dust is biologically active and is made up of a combination of:

  • Plant material
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Insect parts and excerta
  • Bacteria
  • Endotoxins (toxins contained in the cell walls of some bacteria)
  • Soil

Exposure to Small Concentrations During Normal Work

Most people will have some reaction to dusty conditions during grain harvest.  Often, this will be a nuisance reaction or irritation, but in some cases, more problematic health problems are possible.  Even in the cab of a combine, there is some level of dust (1 to 15 mg per cubic meter), and endotoxins (even with a sealed cab and proper air filtration) can reach limits that cause health issues and symptoms for some.  At low levels that a healthy person might encounter during the harvest season, developing a cough might be common (intermittent with more phlegm when actual work exposure is happening).  Other symptoms can include:

  • chest tightness and/or wheezing
  • slightly sore/irritated throat
  • nasal and eye irritation
  • a feeling of being stuffed up and congested all the time

Both chronic and acute bronchitis can also be common among those who handle lots of grain throughout the day as the main passages in the lungs get inflamed.  Grain dust can also be a significant problem for those with asthma.

Exposure to Higher Concentrations of Grain Dust

Higher concentrations of dust exposure like you might encounter behind a combine, in a bin, or while unloading or processing grain are a concern especially this year with moldy and low test weight grain that might be more dusty and prone to damage.  Moldy, damaged, dusty grain can cause significant issues for people. For many individuals, a heavy dose of dust even for a short time period can result in symptoms that occur a few (2 to 6) hours after exposure and may particularly noticeable after they’ve gone home at night.  These symptoms can include:

  • Cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Malaise-general feeling of discomfort, illness or feeling “ill-at-ease”
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches
  • Fever

Specific Reactions Caused by a “Massive” Exposure to Moldy Grain

Most people who have worked around grain will occasionally find themselves in a situation that is obviously very dusty.  This “massive” exposure to a cloud of dust is something that should be avoided, though that is not always possible or practical. A massive exposure to moldy, dusty grain as well as other agricultural products (hay and silage in particular), even for a short period of time can result in two distinct medical conditions that look VERY similar and have the same cluster of symptoms outlined above (cough, chest tightness, etc.).  These two conditions are “Farmer’s Lung” or Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis(FHP) and “Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome” (ODTS).

“Farmer’s Lung” or Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (FHP) is fairly uncommon and generally affects about 1 in 20 farmers.  Many complaints by farmers to their health provider get mislabeled as FHP. FHP is a delayed allergic reaction that is caused when highly sensitive people breathe in grain dusts and their bodies produce “antibodies” as a reaction to the dust.  Since FHP is an allergic reaction and involves the body’s immune system, repeated exposures and bouts with FHP can get worse with each exposure.  Some individuals may become physically unable to work in dusty areas and can develop permanent lung damage.  FHP is most often brought on or made worse by molds and bacteria that grew under warm/high heat conditions.  These heat-loving organisms are more likely to grow in stored hay or sometimes in the top layers of stored silage as compared to grain that has been standing out in the field, though exposures that lead to FHP can occur from grain.  If you’ve been diagnosed with FHP before, and get sick this year while working around grain, it is a good idea to see your family doctor.

“Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome” or ODTS, as the name suggests, is a toxic reaction as compared to the allergic reaction that causes FHP.  The respiratory system can get inflamed from the dust, molds, bacteria, and endotoxins in grain dust.  With ODTS, people develop a general reaction that looks very similar to FHP even though the actual reaction by the body that causes the symptoms is quite different.  People who develop ODTS will usually recover in a few days and permanent lung damage is not likely to occur with a single exposure, but they may feel fairly sick (fever, fatigue, cough, chest tightness, etc.) for a few days after exposure.  Again, your family doctor should be consulted if you develop this type of reaction.  It is possible that repeated occurrences of ODTS can lead to FHP in some people, so prevention is important.

A difficult problem is that since Farmer’s Lung (FHP) and Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS) have such similar symptoms, it is hard for health professionals to always recognize and know the difference. Additional medical testing will be needed to tell the two apart.  Medical treatment is also different.  References cited at the end of this article might be helpful for your physician if you visit your doctor’s office with serious problems that you think might be connected to harvesting or handling dusty and moldy grain.  Another concern in late 2009 is that the respiratory symptoms that result from heavy grain dust exposure can look much like influenza (seasonal flu or H1N1).  If you’ve been working in dusty conditions and end up with a “flu-like illness,” make sure you let your healthcare provider know you’ve had significant dust exposures.

Controlling Exposure Risks

Grain dust exposure and the associated problems and health symptoms are complex.  Here are some specific things you can do to control your risk:

  • Have the correct and clean air filter in place when operating the combine. Use the appropriate setting on the blower in the cab whether you are using the heater or A/C.  This will minimize dust concentrations in the cab.  When replacing filters, make sure all gaskets are intact and that the air is being well-filtered.
  • Avoid direct exposures to dust whenever possible,regardless of your sensitivity. Stay in the cab when unloading.  Use the wind to your advantage rather that standing directly in a cloud of dust any time grain is being moved.
  • Properly adjust your combine to minimize grain damage. This will help to also minimize the amount of dust being generated.
  • Wear a NIOSH-approved and certified “N-95” dust mask (respirator) that fits you properly. Especially, if you find yourself working in a very dusty situation that cannot be avoided.  CAUTION: Wear a respirator only if you are free of health problems, particularly with your heart and lungs.  Respirators are only effective if you are cleanly shaven.  Local health professionals can be a great source of information and can recommend the type of respirator that can be safely worn.  If you work in a facility where worker safety regulations for respiratory protection apply (such as a grain elevator or feed mill), there are other regulatory requirements before a dust mask can be worn by workers.
  • Avoid dust exposure if you have any chronic respiratory health issues, including asthma, previous experience with FHP, or existing respiratory infections or conditions. Individuals who have these conditions should be alert for symptoms, even when working in a relatively clean environment like the cab of a combine, and should minimize their exposure to dust.
  • If feeling sick, call your health care provider. If you find yourself working in a very dusty situation (like loading or cleaning out a bin or getting a heavy, prolonged exposure near a combine in the field) and end up feeling sick a few hours later, call for medical advice.  Again, your problem may be a condition like ODTS or FHP, but you may also have influenza or another illness.
  • Smoking tends to make any type of symptoms or reaction caused by dust exposure much worse. Realize that smoking increases the risk of developing respiratory diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Read further at UW Extension

Agricultural Practices That Caused Dust Bowl Continue To Impact Nation’s Soil Quality, Researchers Say

Are farming practices similar to those that led to the Dust Bowl –- the decade-long drought and agricultural-production declines that occurred during the 1930s and plagued the Plains states – still negatively impacting our U.S. soil? A recent study, conducted by researchers from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is shedding new light on how farming practices have altered soil health since that devastating period.

“We took a novel approach of merging a watershed erosion model with an organic matter cycling model to build a better understanding of how sediment and nutrients are transported differently depending on topography,” Thanos Papanicolaou,  a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, explained in a news release. “We also addressed a few major challenges such as soil texture, bulk density and the organic carbon in soil.”

For their study, researchers collected soil cores in order to better understand how soil carbon and soil health on farms since 1930 have been affected by different farming practices. After recording soil sample data, they modeled carbon budgets in agricultural areas. Additionally, researchers accounted for variations in properties such as soil type, landscape slope or land management.

A carbon budget is defined as a the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that a specific area can tolerate over a certain period of time. Using these measurements, researchers concluded that human interaction has reduced the productivity of agricultural areas, compared to grasslands or forests.

“We set out not to go over data that had already been collected but to make new findings,” Papanicolaou added in the release. “We wanted to understand what happened to carbon levels over time, and hopefully develop some new directions for soil use out of that.”

Researchers also discovered that soils upslope were continually depleted of rich organic matter long after the end of the Dust Bowl. This stems from agricultural practices and the erosion they cause. Subsequently, the nutrients traveling from high areas generated healthier soils downslope. Most models neglect this environmental factor, Papinicolaou noted.

However, researchers suggest things are turning around. Although levels of organic material in upslope soils hit rock bottom in the late 1980s, organic matter has improved to about half the level it was in the 1930s.

“Our study brought together hydrology, biology, geochemistry, engineering and mathematics in a way not previously done,” Papanicolaou added. “We were able to show that, yes, soils are improving, but the methods of farming from 1935 to 1987 have taken their toll.”

The study will be published soon in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Thanks to Nature World News

Enjoy your day! Chris.

Agricultural Dust Concerns

Agricultural Dust Concerns

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Agricultural dust

Inorganic agricultural dust exposure causes pneumoconiosis among farmworkers

Early studies of agricultural respiratory diseases focused on allergic disorders due to organic dust exposure. However, agricultural workers in dry climate regions are exposed to substantial concentrations of inorganic dusts from agricultural soils. Exposures to inorganic dusts are dependent on the specific crop and task, but are commonly several milligrams of respirable dust per cubic millimeter. In vitro toxicity studies show the dust’s cytotoxicity to be intermediate between controls and crystalline silica. However, in some assays of reactive oxygen species generation, such as H(2)O(2), hydroxyl radical, and nuclear factor kappaB generation, the agricultural dusts are more potent than silica. A recent study of human lung samples among deceased Latino males characterized the deposition of agricultural dusts in the lung and the pulmonary response to these dusts. Careful histologic analyses in this study demonstrated that farmwork was significantly associated with mineral dust small airways disease and pneumoconiosis (macules and/or nodules). These associations persisted in multivariate analysis. Cigarette smoking was independently associated with these outcomes, but the interaction of mineral dust and smoking was not significant. Limited studies of farmworkers exposed to inorganic dusts show respiratory symptoms and restrictive pulmonary function with exposure. Overall, the evidence supports a causal association of mineral dust exposure and pneumoconiosis. Inorganic mineral dusts should no longer be considered merely a nuisance, but rather a cause of mixed-dust pneumoconiosis. The prevalence and natural history of this disorder are unknown. – NCBI Resources

Farm Respiratory Protection

Farming is filled with respiratory hazards: pesticide vapors, dusty fields, dangerous hydrogen sulfide accumulations in manure pits and pump sumps, nitrogen dioxide in conventional silos, and many others. Farmer’s Lung and Organic Dust Toxicity Syndrome (ODTS) are allergic reactions to dust from moldy hay or grain and may result in costly medical treatment, permanent lung damage or death.

In many cases an inexpensive respirator could prevent farmers from acquiring nagging, permanent lung damage caused by long-term exposure to dusts, mists, gases, and vapors. This fact sheet examines categories and types of farm respiratory protection and the proper use of these devices.

Pinpoint the Hazard

The first step to choosing a respirator is determining the type of respiratory hazard. There are three basic categories of respiratory hazards on the farm. The first category, particulate contaminants, includes dusts, mists, and fumes. Dusts are usually the largest particles, but not all dusts can be seen with the naked eye. Mold spores, for example, are microscopic. They are released when moldy hay, silage, or grain is disturbed. Mists are suspended liquid droplets and are usually found near mixing, spraying, and cleaning operations. Fumes are solid particles of evaporated metal. They are microscopic as well and are formed during activities such as welding.

The second category of respiratory hazard is gases and vapors. Gases are chemicals that are gaseous at ambient (room) temperature. Examples include hydrogen sulfide, the deadly manure pit gas; nitrogen dioxide, which can be found in conventional silos; and carbon monoxide from operating internal combustion engines. Vapors are released from liquids, such as pesticides, paints, adhesives, and lacquer thinner.

The third category of respiratory hazard is an oxygen deficient atmosphere. Examples of oxygen deficient atmospheres include manure storage, oxygen limiting (sealed) silos and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage for fruits and vegetables. In such structures, the oxygen content of breathable air, normally about 21%, is reduced to levels as low as 5%. The reduction in oxygen may occur deliberately, such as with CA storage, or oxygen may be displaced by other gases as in manure storage and conventional silos.

Once you’ve pinpointed the hazard (or hazards), and before resorting to a respirator, try to reduce or eliminate the source of the problem. For example, use a different management practice when harvesting and storing crops to reduce dust and mold. Provide improved ventilation in your barn or work outdoors instead of in an enclosed building. Another possibility may be to use a non-toxic, less toxic, or less volatile pesticide. After you have tried to reduce or eliminate the hazard, if you are still at risk, use a respirator.

Nuisance Dust Mask

A nuisance dust mask is not an approved respirator. This type of mask offers some protection against large particles of dust but not against smaller particles that may enter deeply into the lungs and cause respiratory distress or disease. Nuisance dust masks most often are constructed of a very light paper filter and have only a single, thin strap. These masks are normally of the one-size-fits-all variety and the thin strap is not adjustable, making a good fit difficult at best (Figure 1). They are easily stretched and distorted by putting on and taking off the mask. Nuisance dust masks are best worn by persons with no existing respiratory distress or breathing limitations for short-term exposure to light levels of non-toxic dusts, such as sweeping out a garage or shop floor.

Nuisance Dust Mask

Approved Respirators Identified

There is no such thing as an all-purpose respirator. Specific respirators are used for specific contaminants or atmospheres. Choose your respirator carefully. Use a respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Older style NIOSH approved respirators or filters have a number preceded by the prefix “TC”. Newer models of approved respiratory protection have the NIOSH TC approval number followed by a description of the respirator. An example is: “NIOSH TC 23C dual cartridge half mask with disposable filter used for pesticides and ammonia.”

The newer respirators are also rated according to the filter’s efficiency in reducing dust, mists, and fumes and their time use limits against oil based chemicals or pesticides in the atmosphere. Filtering efficiencies can be 95%, 99%, or 99.97%. Respirators rated 99.97% effective are given a rating of 100% as a practical matter. A respirator with a designation of N, R, or P indicates: not resistant to airborne oils, plugs quickly (N); resistant to airborne oils for up to 8 hours (R); or oil proof, possibly resistant to airborne oils for up to 8 hours, change filter every 40 hours of use or 30 days, whichever comes first (P). The filtering efficiency rating and resistance to oils rating can appear independently on the respiratory unit, pre-filters, cartridges, the packaging, and in advertisements. In addition to the TC number, approved respirators always have at least two elastic straps or a head band (Figure 2).

Categories and Types of Respirators

There are two categories of respirators: air purifying and supplied air. Air-purifying respiratorsare equipped with filters through which the user breathes. Important: These respirators do not supply oxygen. Therefore, they should not be worn in areas considered immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH), such as oxygen-deficient areas (oxygen-limiting silos, for example) or highly toxic atmospheres (manure storage pits). Air-purifying respirators are good in areas such as barn lofts with moldy hay, fields during tilling or pesticide application, or construction sites where fiberglass or wood dusts are likely to be found. For most air-purifying respirators, the user must pull air through the filter with their own breathing. This type of respirator is often referred to as a “negative pressure” respirator because the user must draw in oxygen (inhalation) through the respiratory unit. Negative pressure air-purifying respirators often put added stress on you. If you suffer or suspect that you suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma, lung or cardiovascular disease, check with a doctor to make sure you are able to wear one. There are several types of air-purifying respirators.

Disposable Particulate Respirators

Disposable particulate respirators are an approved type of respirator but are also commonly referred to as dust masks, making it easy to confuse them with a nuisance dust mask. Disposable particulate respirators protect you from particulate contaminants such as dusts, mists, and sometimes fumes. The filters are made of a fibrous material that traps particles as you inhale. These respirators are useful during operations such as haying, harvesting, tilling dusty fields, applying fertilizer and lime, grinding feed, and sweeping. Both disposable and reusable masks are available. Disposable masks are more convenient—you simply throw them away when they’re saturated. Reusable masks, on the other hand, may save you money in the long run and create less waste.

Filters and disposable masks should be replaced when breathing becomes too labored, when the mask loses its shape and no longer seals well to your face, or if you taste or smell the substance.Remember: a “nuisance dust mask” is not considered a respirator.

Chemical Cartridge Respirators

Chemical cartridge respirators filter out low concentrations of toxic gases and vapors. An absorbent material such as activated charcoal absorbs contaminants from inhaled air. These masks can also be equipped with particulate filters, so if you’ll be exposed to gases or vapors and dusts or mists, this is the kind of respirator you should wear.

Full-face cartridge respirator
Figure 3. Full-face cartridge type respirator.

There are half-mask models and full-face models; the latter provides eye and face protection as well. The half-masks are also available in disposable or reusable models. Full-face models (Figure 3) provide considerably more protection against contaminants than halfmask models because they seal to the face better. The filtering cartridges for these respirators usually screw onto the front of the mask. The cartridges are changeable, so if you have a reusable mask you can use it for any gas or vapor contaminant, provided you have the right cartridge.

Cartridges should be replaced after eight hours’ use or when “breakthrough” occurs—that is, when you begin to smell or taste the contaminant or when dizziness or irritation occurs. Make sure the cartridge brand matches the respirator brand. Manufacturers use different threads which may prevent mismatched brands (respirators and cartridges) from sealing properly. Chemical cartridge respirators should not be worn in areas considered immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).

Read further at PennState Extension

Thanks for reading!

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Airborne Dust

Here is an interesting publication from the WHO regarding airborne dust  –

“Airborne contaminants occur in the gaseous form (gases and vapours) or as aerosols. In scientific terminology, an aerosol is defined as a system of particles suspended in a gaseous medium, usually air in the context of occupational hygiene, is usually air. Aerosols may exist in the form of airborne dusts, sprays, mists, smokes and fumes. In the occupational setting, all these forms may be important because they relate to a wide range of occupational diseases. Airborne dusts are of particular concern because they are well known to be associated with classical widespread occupational lung diseases such as the pneumoconioses, as well as with systemic intoxications such as lead poisoning, especially at higher levels of exposure. But, in the modern era, there is also increasing interest in other dust-related diseases, such as cancer, asthma, allergic alveolitis, and irritation, as well as a whole range of non-respiratory illnesses, which may occur at much lower exposure levels. This document aims to help reduce the risk of these diseases by aiding better control of dust in the work environment. The first and fundamental step in the control of hazards is their recognition. The systematic approach to recognition is described in Chapter 4. But recognition requires a clear understanding of the nature, origin, mechanisms of generation and release and sources of the particles, as well as knowledge on the conditions of exposure and possible associated ill effects. This is essential to establish priorities for action and to select appropriate control strategies. Furthermore, permanent effective control of specific hazards like dust needs the right approach to management in the workplace. Chapters 1 and 2, therefore, deal with the properties of dust and how it causes disease. Chapter 3 discusses the relationship of management practice and dust control.”

To read the full article, click the link – Hazard Prevention and Control in the Work Environment: Airborne Dust

Four Bucket DustWatch unit. Dust Monitoring Equipment - providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.