Theory of Dust Suppression

Definition of dust
Dust consists of airborne, minute solid particles with a diameter of less than 500 micrometres. Larger particles tend to fall to the ground quickly whereas very fine particles can remain suspended in the air for considerable lengths of time.

Two main types of worksite-related dust can cause health problems. These are respirable dust and irritant dust.

Respirable dust poses the greatest risk to humans as it can be retained in the lungs causing permanent damage. Examples of this kind of dust include asbestos dust and free crystalline silica.

Irritant dust is any type of dust that contains less than 1% of quartz content. Whilst the health effects caused by irritant dust are often reversible, this type of dust still causes significant nuisance by restricting visibility. It can also deposit in bodily orifices, causing injury to the mucous membranes or skin.

Apart from health hazards, explosion hazards can also exist when organic dusts (such as flour, grain, or wood dusts) accumulate, and a spark or hot surface ignites it.

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