Limiting dust in industrial environments and on construction sites can be challenging but is essential in order to minimise health risks and to comply with work-protection regulations.
High concentrations of dust can be potentially damaging to workers’ health, especially if the dust contains elements such as pollen, quartz, mould, viruses, or even asbestos.
The health-impact of various types of dust depends on grain size as well as the properties and exterior shape of the material. For example, asbestos dust is dangerous not only because of its particle size, but also its fibre structure. Coarse dust is made up of particles that have a diameter of at least 10 μm. Smaller, fine dust particles, or dust class E, have a grain size of between 10 μm and 0.1 μm and can be breathed in through the nose and mouth and enter the throat, larynx and oesophagus. Alveoli or respiratory class A dust, with a diameter of less than 0.1 μm is so fine that it can penetrate deep into the respiratory tract and lung alveoli. This could lead to reduced lung function or respiratory diseases such as asthma, silicosis, fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Safety vacuum cleaners are designed to facilitate reliable absorption and disposal of dust particles. Recent advances in the design of these types of vacuum cleaners include more effective filter cleaning systems, which aim to allow for uninterrupted operation, even for large quantities of dust.
Tips to reduce the environmental and health impact of dust:
- Vacuum dust as soon as it is formed.
- Connect power tools to a vacuum cleaner, if a connection thread is available
- Bind dust with water during demolition work
- Use low-dust procedures, such as wet or damp operating modes
- Use low-dust products, such as mortar pellets
- Regularly check the vacuum cleaner's filter and suction performance
- Wear protective clothing and dust masks
- Avoid dry sweeping and the use of blowers
- Use vacuum cleaners and vacuum sweepers
Kärcher NT vacuum cleaners are equipped with a power outlet for working with power tools and are also known as dust collectors.