Last updated: October 7, 2018

What Does Dust Mean?

Dust, in the context of occupational health and safety, refers to suspended organic or inorganic particles in the atmosphere. Some types of dust, such as those from chemicals, irritants or allergens, can have negative health effects.

Safeopedia Explains Dust

Dust can be harmful to humans when inhaled, although the effects depend on the type of dust in question and the level of exposure. Dust can be deposited in the lungs, causing difficulty breathing, choking, coughing and even death. In the long term, exposure to dust can cause infections, various pulmonary diseases, acute toxic effects and even cancer. Dust can also cause irritation, and temporary or permanent harm to the eyes, skin and ears.

Dust in the workplace may be controlled by exhaust ventilation, water showers and good housekeeping. The impact of dust can be mitigated by the use of personal protective equipment.


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