The Importance of Heavy Metal Dust Decontamination in Industrial Facilities

December 23rd, 2018 | in Industrial Vacuum

Dust in the Workplace - Compliance with Safety and Regulators

If you work in an industrial setting, you may have had to deal with a great deal of dust. You might think that dust is harmless, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Under the right conditions, dust can become toxic and combustible. Combustible means that accumulated dust can cause a serious explosion. 


According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 281 combustible dust accidents between 1980 and 2005. Those incidents caused 119 deaths and 718 injuries. They also damaged industrial facilities. These explosions occurred because the dust was not properly cleaned up.


Toxic metals, including "heavy metals" are individual metals and metal compounds that along with many other forms of dust can negatively affect people's health. Exposing workers to dust on a job site can contribute to a number of health risks, and it is imperative that companies employ approved safety measures to minimize dust levels within their facilities.

Some possible and common heavy metal dust contaminants to be aware of in commercial, industrial and marine facilities are:

•  Arsenic

•  Asbestos

•  Beryllium

•  Cadmium

•  Chromium

•  Lead

•  Silica

These heavy metals are often in the form of fine dust, and can advertently be inhaled. It is therefore extremely important that the proper steps are taken by professional, highly-trained Enviro-Vac technicians who through use of powerful, specialized industrial HEPA vacuums and large industrial vaccum loaders and powerful negative pressure dust collectors often using high-reach equipment remove these contaminants.

Chronic heavy metal contamination is the gradual buildup of heavy metals in your body that can possibly cause health problems down the road. Some possible symptoms of chronic heavy metal poisoning include

-        Headaches

-        Fatigue

-        Muscle and joint pain

-        Constipation

-        Weakness

Acute heavy metal poisoning is the result of exposure to a large amount of a heavy metal at one time. This can lead to possible symptoms such as:

-        Confusion

-        Nausea and vomiting

-        Numbness

-        Coma

The seriousness of these symptoms and prevalence of heavy metal dust highlights the importance that the proper protocol is followed. Highly trained professionals should be called out to decontaminate any industrial facility of heavy metal dust, so the job is done safely and correctly.  

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