Is construction dust toxic?

Construction dust hazards for workers. Fine dust particles are dangerous, especially if they are silica dust particles. Once inhaled, the powder can reduce lung capacity, increase overall stress on the heart, and cause a variety of diseases. Research shows that dust is a major health hazard for people working in the construction industry, as dust contains known carcinogens and silica.

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 it can happen quickly if a lot of dust is inhaled. 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. Construction dust is generally used to describe the different types of dust that can be found on a construction 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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