When working at activities that create dust, you have an obligation to protect yourself and others working around you.
High concentrations of dust are also referred to as particulate matter, or PM. Particulate matter is the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in air. The concentration of PM is measured in terms of their size in diameter.
Dust or particulate matter with a size smaller than or equal to 100 micrometres (um) in diameter are often referred to as Inhalable particles. These particles can enter the body through the nose and mouth when breathing. Thoracic and Respirable particles are sub fractions of Inhalable and can penetrate into the lungs. PM 10 refers to particles that are <= 10 um in size and can include construction and industrial dust, cement, fly ash, pollen, and mold.
Particulate matter below 2.5 um in diameter are often referred to as “fine particles” and can be emitted from sources like forest fires, vehicles, oil smoke, welding fumes, and chemical processes. Particulate matter of 2.5 um or less are able to pass through the nose, mouth, and larynx, and penetrate deeper into the lung tissues, causing adverse health effects.
Ultrafine Particles or UFP’s are particulate matter that are less than 0.1um in diameter and can be both manufactured and naturally occurring. Sources of ultrafine particles can include tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust, printer and fax machine toner, and manufactured particles used in pharmaceutical and technology manufacturing. UFP’s are considered to be respirable particles and are deposited in the lungs where they have the ability to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and can have immediate health effects.
Dust and Particulate Solutions
If you’re an employer, you need to develop effective dust control programs and improve awareness among your workers. Minimizing the release of dusts should always be a priority. By eliminating dust, you eliminate the hazard.
Understanding the source, size, quantity, and type of dust or particulate in your workplace is an important step in controlling the hazard and protecting your employees. Levitt-Safety carries Optical Particle Counters (OPC), Condensation Particle Counters (CPC), Photometers, and Personal Sampling Pumps to help you measure your particular hazard.
Let us help you choose the right dust monitoring solution for your environment from leading manufacturers like Gilian, Particles Plus, Nanozen, and Kanomax. Contact us today for more information.