Posted: 28 Feb '18

How Particle Filtration Can Help Remove Silica Dust

Silica is a mineral that is naturally-occurring in many solid materials. Materials containing silica are not hazardous unless they are disturbed and broken into what is known as Respirable Crystalline Silica. This can occur during common tasks such as chasing out mortar, drilling in enclosed spaces, grinding or cutting concrete, or excavating sites with sandstone. The dust becomes airborne by simple tasks such as pouring of liquids and sweeping. Exposure to crystalline silica dust can cause lung disease such as silicosis, bronchitis, lung cancer, emphysema, and kidney damage.

How Much Silica Dust is Too Much?

A very small amount of respirable silica dust is enough to create a health hazard. More than 250 workers die with silicosis annually. Silicosis is an irreversible, disabling, and incurable lung disease. When crystalline silica is inhaled, the lungs react by creating hard nodules and scarring around the particles. The complications come when the accumulated particles are in excess and the nodules become too large.

In fact, silica is now the largest cause of lung cancer in construction workers after asbestos. While those working in a dusty environment such as construction sites are at greater risk of contracting silicosis and other lung diseases, it is an unnecessary tragedy to have anyone affected by silica dust because it is preventable. This is a very serious issue and it’s important for contractors to capture the dust at source before it becomes airborne. Silica dust is more than just a nuisance; it is life threatening and proper measures should be put in place before it is too late.

Particle Filtration

If you are an employer or you work in an industry where dust containing silica is generated, you need to know how to prevent this disease, such as through the installation of particle filtration. Protecting workers by reducing exposures calls for proper planning. One of the most effective measures involves the use of particle filtration systems to capture silica dust at source and prevent it from getting airborne, especially when mixing liquids and powders into mixing vessels. In addition to reducing worker exposure to silica dust, particle filtration also allows for increased visibility, less chance of combustion-related accidents, fewer work stoppages, and lowered environmental risk.

With custom-designed particle filtration systems, we can help improve air quality and ensure other tradesmen in the same area are left unaffected. Protect yourself, your workers and the environment by removing respirable silica dust from your workplace using particle filtration. Contact us to learn more about our custom-designed particle filtration systems.