Visit any construction site, and you’ll see it. Seemingly innocent, hugging the base of the freshly installed drywall, along the crevices of kitchen cabinets, blanketed over the interlocking ceramic tile.
It may seem harmless, but it can harm you- it can even lead to serious illnesses.
Breathing in dust particles from various materials (including concrete and wood) can cause damage to lungs and airways with ailments ranging from asthma to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to lung cancer.
How do I Control Dust?
It’s important to control construction site dust to limit exposure. Here are a few ways in which you can control dust:
- Reduce the amount of cutting by using the right size building materials
- Use water to suppress dust by using equipment that uses wet processes such as wet saws
- Use tools that have built-in local exhaust ventilation that remove dust as it is being produced
- Use vacuums. DON’T dry sweep
- Use work clothes to limit exposure, changing right after you leave the work area
- Employ temporary barriers to keep dust in work area while ensuring the area is appropriately ventilated
How do I Protect Myself?
- Use appropriate respiratory protection, properly fitted to reduce exposure
- Wash your hands and face prior to eating/drinking
- Do not eat or drink in dusty areas