Airborne dusts are of particular concern because they are associated with classical
widespread occupational lung diseases such as the pneumoconioses, as well as with
systemic intoxications such as lead poisoning, especially at higher levels of exposure. There
is also increasing interest in other dust-related diseases, such as cancer, asthma, allergic
alveolitis and irritation, as well as a whole range of non-respiratory illnesses, which may occur
at much lower exposure levels.
Whenever people inhale airborne dust at work, they are at risk of an occupational disease.
Overexposure to dusts causes disease, temporary and permanent disabilities and even
deaths. Dusts in the workplace may also contaminate or reduce the quality of products, be
the cause of fire and explosion, and damage the environment.
Examples of hazardous dusts in the workplace include:
-mineral dusts from the extraction and processing of minerals (these often contain
silica, which is particularly dangerous);
-metallic dusts, such as lead and cadmium and their compounds;
-other chemical dusts, such as bulk chemicals and pesticides;
-vegetable dusts, such as wood, flour, cotton and tea, and pollens;
-moulds and spores.
Asbestos is a mineral fibre, which is particularly dangerous, and is found, for example, in
maintenance and demolition of buildings where it had been used as insulation material.
Ayrton Group can provide its clients withprivate asbestos awareness courses, which will
provide attendees with broad understanding of the dangers associated with asbestos and
measures required to protect their safety. See HERE.