Do You Know the New Exposure Limit?
Silica Dust Collection for Safety Compliance
NEW OSHA Silica Dust Standard effective date was September 23, 2017.
What is Silica Dust?
Silica dust is most often produced by working on materials that are made of substances such as tiles, rock, concrete, bricks, and other types of stone. When these are ground down or sanded, flakes of silica dust are thrown into the air, and can often be fine enough to be suspended. When this suspension is inhaled, the silica can get lodged in the respiratory system and cause a condition known as silicosis. The new regulation includes a reduced exposure limit from 250 ug/m3 in an eight hour TWA (time weighted average) to 50 ug/m3.
Because of the immediate danger posed by silica dust, it is important to implement a filtration system that will work to pull the dust away and catch it before it can be inhaled.
What Kinds of Filters Can Be Used To Trap Silica Dust?
Most dust filters simply trap the dust within the filter so it can no longer move through the air, but there are different types that serve different purposes depending on how the dust is being created or how you intend to use the dust after it has been collected.
- Bag Filtration: This is probably the most common type of filtration system for dust collection and is comparable to a vacuum bag. The dust is gathered within the bag and can be disposed of or emptied out. In addition, materials caught in the bag can be reused later for further production needs.
- Cartridge Filtration: This is an easily replaceable type of filter that is composed of cylinders that will pull the dust in using static energy or another type of attraction process.
- Pleated Filters: These types of filters look kind of like an accordion because the filter is pleated to allow greater surface area exposure to the air. These are best used for collecting the finest dust that cannot normally be caught in a filter.
What kind of Filter Should I use?
The type of filter you use ultimately depends on the industrial processes that are creating dust. Usually, cartridge or bag filtration is best used for dust that is created in the immediate vicinity. Pleated filters are used for collecting dust that is floating freely throughout a space. No matter what you use, these filters will help create a better work environment for your employees.