Though dust is an inevitable by-product of these industries, extraction and ventilation are among the preferred methods to minimise dust exposure. Jacob, a world leader in pipework systems, offers complete and efficient solutions through extraction that improve the working environment to a point where dust masks are often unnecessary
According to the WHO, even short periods of exposure to dust can lead to asthma, allergic alveolitis and irritation as prepared in the document on Hazard Prevention and Control in the Work Environment: Airborne Dust (1999). “Whenever people inhale airborne dust at work, they are at risk of occupational disease. Both in developed and developing countries, overexposure to dust causes disease, temporary and permanent disabilities and deaths. Dust in the workplace may also contaminate or reduce the quality of products, be the cause of fire and explosion, and damage the environment.” 2
Organic Dust Toxicity Syndrome (ODTS) also known as grain fever, is of special concern to those working in the agricultural and food industry. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ODTS typically occurs where large amounts of organic dust are present in the air. “The syndrome often occurs in small clusters and affects most individuals who are exposed to heavy concentrations of organic dust contaminated with microorganisms.” 3 It’s often associated with employees working in grain silos, grain mills and farmers.
Patients who suffer from ODTS may show symptoms of the following:
Symptoms usually subside after a few days, but re-exposure to contaminated dust should be limited.
In many projects, the dust aspiration processes were far more cost efficient than what the client had initially anticipated and the working environment improved dramatically for workers - Jan Jordaan
Backed with a design and installation team in South Africa, Jacob is able to provide a turnkey project for a client in South Africa, Southern and East Africa. Contact Jan Jordaan at 056 212 2697 for a free consultation.
In our next article, we’ll discuss the importance of extraction and preventing dust explosions.
Resources: 1. http://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/en/oehairbornedust3.pdf 2. http://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/airdust/en/ 3. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/94-102/pdfs/94-102.pdf