Dust
exposure testing

Every year, thousands of workers are made ill by exposure to dust in the workplace, this results in an increase of lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and cancer

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Most industrial dusts contain particles of a wide range of sizes which will affect how they act after entry to the human respiratory system and how the body responds to them.

HES distinguishes two size fractions for limit-setting purposes: inhalable and respirable. Inhalable dust approximates to the fraction of airborne material that enters the nose and mouth during breathing while respirable dust approximates to the fraction that penetrates to the gas exchange region of the lung.

Occupational dust monitoring services allow you as an employer to take effective measures to control exposure to hazardous substances and protect the health of employees and others. If you think dust could be a problem, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the materials you use naturally dusty?
  • Does the work you do create dust mechanically or by other means?
  • Is dust liable to be disturbed on a regular basis?

Expert dust exposure testing can help you consider whether particular types of dust should be given special consideration. If they have been classed as a respiratory sensitiser or carcinogen it is a requirement to reduce levels as low as reasonably possible regardless of exposure levels.

ActionsActions and advice

The COSHH definition of a substance hazardous to health includes; dust of any kind when present at a concentration in air equal to or greater than 10 mg/m3 8-hour TWA of inhalable dust or 4 mg/m3 8-hour TWA of respirable dust.

This means that any dust will be subject to COSHH if people are exposed above these levels, however, some dusts have been assigned specific WELs and any exposure to these must therefore comply with the appropriate limit. Airborne dust may be generated from a wide range of work processes and scenarios, some of the more common are as follows:

  • Stone, cement and masonry dust (silica dust)
  • Wood dusts
  • Grain and flour dusts 
  • Cotton and wool process dust
  • General nuisance dust in the workplace

HelpHow can we help?

Our consultants offering dust testing are here to help you develop and implement monitoring strategies to identify if maximum exposure limits are being exceeded with respect to general dust or those dusts assigned with specific WELs in the workplace.

Our team will advise on appropriate measures to be taken to reduce the risk of exposure and ensure you comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

For further help call us on 0870 7019170 or email: sales@euroenvironmental.co.uk

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Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Dust Exposure - The Complete Guide
Dust Exposure - The Complete Guide

2023-11-01

Every year, thousands of workers are made ill from exposure to dust in the workplace that could result in an increase of lung diseases including Occupational Asthma, COPD and even Cancer.

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