Is construction dust hazardous?

Exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust during construction activities can cause silicosis, a serious and life-threatening respiratory illness, but employers and workers can take practical steps to reduce risks, according to an alert published by the National Institute of Safety and Health Occupational (NIOSH). Construction dust isn't just a nuisance; it can seriously damage your health and some types can even kill. Therefore, regular breathing of these powders for a long time can cause life-changing lung diseases. Research shows that dust is a major health hazard for people working in the construction industry, as dust contains known carcinogens and silica.

According to a study published by WHO, “airborne dusts are of particular concern because they are associated with classic generalized occupational lung diseases, as well as with systemic poisonings such as lead poisoning, especially at higher levels of exposure. There is also a growing interest in other dust-related diseases, such as cancer, asthma, allergic socket and irritation, as well as a whole range of non-respiratory diseases, which can occur at much lower exposure levels. Dust containing crystalline silica is also a big problem for construction site workers. Respirable crystalline silica dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, such as silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney diseases.

It is never good to inhale an excessive amount of dust, even if you think there are no contaminants present in it. Breathing construction dust regularly can cause diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and silicosis. Construction workers are at high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high levels of dust. Silicosis is a condition in which exposure to silica dust damages the lungs and affects the ability to breathe.

There is no cure for it and it can be fatal, sometimes in just a few weeks or months. It usually appears many times after several years of exposure, but can occur quickly if a lot of dust is inhaled. Construction dust is a health and safety problem. Dangers range from mild eye and skin irritation to more serious hazards, such as lung cancer and long-term respiratory damage.

Asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and silicosis due to breathing crystalline silica are some of the potential health problems associated with prolonged exposure. A major danger to which construction workers are exposed is dust. Exposure to construction dust can result in a number of serious health impacts, permanent disability and even death for those affected. These health risks include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and silicosis.

Therefore, it is essential that the risks arising from construction powders are properly assessed and controlled. Construction sites may also use dust collectors on equipment, place debris in a bag or box before disposal, and install dust screens around the edge of the construction site to limit the amount of dust entering or leaving the site. Samantha Wilding, director of health policy and public affairs at B&CE, says, in The Construction Index, that “81% of the 500,000 people who are exposed to silica dust at work are employed in the construction industry. .

Lexi Smith
Lexi Smith

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