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Nanofiber Filters Served With Sawdust?

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Nanofiber Filters Served With Sawdust?

SHOULD YOU SERVE NANOFIBER WITH SAWDUST? A CHART FOR THE DISCRIMINATING FILTER HOST

 

Most everyone knows you can’t just go mixing any kind of filter with any kind of dust. After all, some of them certainly don’t pair well together. Fortunately, we here at Imperial Systems have put together a guide for the thoughtful buyer of dust collection filters. With this handy reference, you’ll never have to worry about showing up with the wrong filter for the occasion!

 

(NOTE: We DO NOT recommend that this be used as a substitute for consulting with an actual filter expert. Please call us At 800-918-3013 for important information that doesn’t fit in an infographic.)

nanofiber

A BIT OF CLARIFICATION:

  • Filter bags, or sometimes cyclones, are usually used for materials that are large, fibrous, or big enough to damage a cartridge filter. Bags are also often used when the temperature or humidity is too high for a cartridge filter to handle.

 

  • Metalworking or welding produce fumes. These are very fine particles and an 80/20 media is not efficient enough to catch them. Since many metal dusts are explosive, we do recommend a DeltaMAXX™ nanofiber FR, which is fire retardant. In some applications such as shot blasting, spunbond is used because it is very durable. If your metal fume or dust has grease or oil in it, you may need a special media.

 

  • Dust from ANY of these categories can be explosive. If your dust is explosive or flammable, we will almost always recommend a DeltaMAXX™ nanofiber FR filter as part of an IDA system.

 

  • Organic dust, like food products, may present some special challenges. Organic dust comes in different sizes, and may clump together, absorb moisture, or present other particular problems. Please consult with us about the characteristics of your particular dust.

 

  • If your dust is oily, abrasive, wet, sticky, or otherwise likely to make a mess of a normal dust collector filter, there are a variety of special materials to help. PTFE resists having anything stick to it, while hydrophobic or oleophobic filters will repel water or oil.

 

AGAIN… THIS IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING TO A FILTER PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CONSULT WITH ONE OF OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE TEAM MEMBERS BEFORE MAKING ANY QUESTIONABLE FILTER DECISIONS.

800-918-3013

Workplace Hazard Exposure A Crime?

Yes, workplace hazard exposure is a serious offense.  As of this year, the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor (which includes OSHA) are partnering to bring federal charges against companies who expose workers to hazardous materials and carcinogens.

workplace hazard exposure

 

This partnership is intended to let prosecutors use powerful environmental protection laws to prosecute companies for worker safety violations involving exposure to dangerous substances. This will allow prosecutors working on OSHA worker exposure cases to work with the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice to maximize penalties and criminal charges.

 

In many cases, environmental protection laws are stricter and have stronger punishments than OSHA regulations. Environmental protection has wide public support and considerably more funding than occupational health and safety. There is an entire division of the Department of Justice that handles environmental crimes, and these may carry a much heavier fine or more serious criminal charges.

 

OSHA’s ability to level criminal charges is usually limited to situations where an employer willfully and knowingly violated safety standards and caused the death of a worker. These cases can be difficult to prove and even more difficult to prosecute. Under the laws regulating environmental crimes, releasing or failing to control any workplace hazard exposure to dangerous substances can be considered a crime, even if the exposure does not result in death or serious injury.

 

Just like with OSHA fines, the most serious criminal charges will go to employers who repeatedly violate the rules or who fail to correct problems even when they know about them. Bringing in the Department of Justice and their regulation of environmental laws is likely to affect companies who aren’t following the rules for controlling or cleaning up their hazardous materials.

 

Workplace hazard exposure includes materials such as dust and fumes from many types of industrial processes.  Some examples are welding, plasma or laser cutting, manufacturing of plastics and resins, printing inks and pigments, as well as production of chemicals or fertilizers.

 

OSHA usually sets exposure limits for employees. Environmental regulations set limits for how much of a material can be released into the environment, regardless of the exposure to individual employees. Under the Department of Justice, hazardous materials being released inside a facility can be handled under environmental laws.

 

For metalworking facilities, hexavalent chromium, manganese, and other components of cutting and welding fumes are heavily regulated as environmental toxins. Exposing people to these materials, inside or outside, can be an environmental crime. Hexavalent chromium often contaminates drinking water, and it’s a major environmental concern.

 

For any company that either uses or produces hazardous dust or fumes, a dust collection system is very important for limiting exposure. The system will not only keep the materials away from workers, but also collects them safely and allows you to dispose of them properly. A dust and fume collection system that’s maintained and used correctly is a necessary tool for controlling hazardous airborne particles or fumes.

 

 

https://www.justice.gov/enrd/worker-endangerment/about

https://www.justice.gov/enrd/file/800431/download

https://www.justice.gov/enrd/file/800526/download

Weld Smoke: Know The Health Risks

Weld Smoke and Fume Dangers

Weld smoke is a direct cause of Pneumosiderosis, also known as welder’s lung. Inhaling iron dust or fumes, usually from welding, is a serious health issue. While it’s one of the most common lung diseases of welders, it’s not the only one. Welders are also at risk of chronic bronchitis and cancer. Fortunately, a properly designed dust and fume collector, like our CMAXX™, can prevent these problems.

 

A case study from the publication Cases Journal gives an example of how welder’s lung can occur. It follows the case of a 64-year-old man who went to his doctor with a cough. He had worked as a welder in an automobile factory for 15 years, welding steel frames. The work area was small and enclosed, without a proper dust collection system to remove weld smoke and fumes.

weld smoke

The man’s doctor found that his lung X-ray was abnormal. Tests showed that his lungs contained many white blood cells full of iron. White blood cells remove things from your lungs that don’t belong there, but large amounts of inhaled iron are too much for them to handle. This buildup of iron causes coughing, shortness of breath, and eventually chronic lung disease.

 

The man was advised to stop working as a welder. His doctor treated him for his symptoms, and after some time his lung function returned to normal. However, he remains at an increased risk of lung cancer as a result of his long exposure to hexavalent chromium present in the steel.

 

Along with welder’s lung, inhaled welding dust or fumes also causes an increased risk of cancer. Hexavalent chromium, found in the steel the man in the case study worked on, is a known carcinogen, and welding in general has been associated with increased cancer risk.

How Do You Prevent These Risks?

Because the fumes and smoke from welding contain iron and other metals in very, very small particles, these are easily inhaled deep into the lungs. Because these particles are so small, our DeltaMAXX™ nanofiber filters are efficient at removing dust as small as .3 microns, making them an excellent choice for welding and other metal working applications.

 

While pneumosiderosis most often affects welders because they are usually very close to the materials they’re working with, the same problem can affect people who are exposed to fumes from laser or plasma cutting. Dust from these applications also may contain hexavalent chromium and other health hazards. Our CMAXX™ system for cutting tables can remove fumes from the air before employees are exposed to them.

 

The most basic way to prevent welder’s lung is to remove weld smoke and fumes from the air that welders are breathing. A dust and fume collection system like the CMAXX™ can be designed to capture fumes from individual welding stations or from the ambient air. Our systems work with you to keep welders safe and healthy.

Do you have a story or opinion you would like to share?  Leave us a comment below.

 

https://casesjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1757-1626-2-6639

http://oem.bmj.com/content/52/12/800

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(199610)30:4%3C373::AID-AJIM1%3E3.0.CO;2-X/abstract;jsessionid=A9E5681B36ABF6E7C7C0B4F674E67A10.f03t02

http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=1157

Welding Fumes: Your Toenails Hold Clues

WELDING FUMES MEET “CSI”: WHY SCIENTISTS ARE COLLECTING WELDERS’ TOENAILS

A group of researchers interested in exposure to metals in welding fumes come to your workplace to collect samples. You might think they’d be there to test the air quality or to take samples of fumes or dust. These researchers didn’t come to do any of those things. The only equipment they bring with them: paper envelopes and toenail clippers.

That’s right… these researchers are here for your toenails.

That’s how researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (Grashow et al, 2014) studied the long-term exposure to toxic metals in weld fumes in a group of welders in Massachusetts. The welders provided several toenail samples over a period of time, and the clippings were analyzed.

Some forensics television shows have investigators acquire a  hair sample and test it for poison. This works because many things that get into our bloodstream, including metals, are deposited in our hair and fingernails as they grow.  The researchers chose toenails because they grow more slowly and give a record that covers a longer period of exposure.

welding fumes

So what did they find?

Even among workers who wore respirators, researchers were able to detect lead, manganese, cadmium, nickel, and arsenic. Lead is a well-known health hazard, and you probably don’t need to be told that arsenic isn’t a good thing either. Long-term exposure to manganese is associated with central nervous system problems that can mimic Parkinson’s disease. Cadmium is known to cause cancer, and nickel can cause skin problems and lung irritation.

Respirators are a key part of controlling exposure to welding fumes. These welders, though, were still exposed to enough of these metals that it could be found in their toenails. While it wasn’t within the scope of this research study to determine exactly how workers were exposed, one possibility is that respirators may be worn while welding, but not while doing other work around the shop in places where dust from cutting and welding may have accumulated.

A dust collection system that removes welding fumes and dust from the air completely will prevent  toxic metal particles from accumulating in your work areas. Respirators may prevent inhalation during welding, but if the weld fumes aren’t being removed from the air, workers can still be exposed to it. A system that keeps the air clean for your entire facility doesn’t just protect workers while they’re wearing respirators. It protects all of your workers, all of the time.

 

Grashow, R. et al (2014). Toenail metal concentration as a biomarker of occupational welding fume exposure. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 11, 397-405.