Most people think dust is just a nuisance or inconvenience at worst. However, in the right circumstances, dust can become dangerous, causing health issues and even fires. This blog will cover why dust can be so dangerous and how you can protect yourself.
What Is Dust Made Of?
Most household dust is made of dead skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dirt, pollen, and even dust mites, which are microscopic creatures that feed on sloughed-off skin.
Dust can accumulate very quickly. As particles travel through the air, they become slightly negatively or positively charged, then are attracted to surfaces with a slight opposite charge, leading to accumulation. Carpets and rugs are major dust magnets, and all the little crevices in your hardwood floors harbor a lot of dirt.
Household dust is relatively harmless, but dust in industrial settings is different. Depending on what kind of materials you’re working with, your workplace could have metallic dust, mineral dust, chemical dust, and vegetable dust, which all come with health and safety risks.
No matter what it’s made of, dust is hard to clean. No matter how hard you try, it will just keep coming. Every time you open a door or window, you invite more dust to come in, and every time you run a piece of machinery, it causes particles to get lodged in every nook and cranny of the area. Luckily, you can hire a professional janitorial service to take care of it for you!
Why Is Dust So Dangerous?
Depending on what kind of dust accumulates in your business, there are a number of health issues that can occur, including mesothelioma, farmer’s lung, asbestosis, scarred lung tissue, pneumoconiosis, and humidifier fever.
Each type of dust comes with its own risks. Metallic dust contains tiny pieces of metal that can slowly poison people who inhale them. Mineral dust occurs during coal extraction, and inhaling it can lead to all kinds of diseases. Chemical dust can occur when handling pesticides, paint, and solvents, and can harm the lungs. Vegetable dust is caused by processing organic items such as wheat, flour, cotton, wood, grains, and tea, and while it may seem harmless, it is extremely combustible.
In fact, dust is the cause of many tragic workplace fires and combustion incidents. Industrial dust is often extremely flammable, and when it comes into contact with even the smallest spark, it can make your whole facility go up in flames. Dust likes to hide in ductwork, rafters, and ceiling fans, so you may not even realize the amount of dust you’ve accumulated over time in your facility.
Additionally, dust can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and viruses, causing further health issues like allergies and asthma. This is why it’s so important to stay on top of maintenance and ensure your workplace is clean and dust does not have the chance to accumulate.
How Can I Keep My Business Clear of Dust?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines on acceptable levels of dust in the workplace. These guidelines vary based on the type of facility and what materials are handled and processed there, so it is important to research what the guidelines are for your business. If you don’t comply with these guidelines, you risk accruing costly fines in addition to endangering the health and safety of your employees.
So what can you do to mitigate the dangers of dust? The most effective way to prevent dangerous dust accumulation in your facility is to hire a professional janitorial service that can remove dust from all the hard-to-reach areas you may not be able to clean on your own. Professional maintenance companies have the right skills and equipment to be able to safely dust high surfaces and ceilings.
If you regularly utilize professional maintenance services for your business, you can greatly reduce your chances of fires and explosions caused by dust and ensure the health of your employees. Plus, the cleaner your facility is, the better everything will function and the more comfortable your employees and customers will be.
Professional Cleaning from Aspen Maintenance
At Aspen Maintenance, we’re proud to offer high dust and ceiling cleaning along with office cleaning, commercial carpet cleaning, window cleaning, hard floor cleaning and restoration, commercial disinfecting, and day porter services. We prioritize communication with our clients and work with them to create a personalized cleaning plan based on their individual needs. To get started, contact us today!