Most industrial environments are subject to dust from production, materials, and the constant settling and relocation of dirt and debris from the air. However, fugitive dust can be an “unseen” hazard for many businesses and can result in serious problems. Let’s take a closer look at fugitive dust and discover why effective dust control systems are so important in working environments today.
What is Fugitive Dust?
The term fugitive means to disappear quickly or be fleeting and comes from a wide range of unexpected sources. For example, it could be additional dust not captured by standard dust catching systems for sawing, welding, or many other activities. Fugitive dust particles tend to be quite small, making it hard to see or detect. As these small particles cumulate in the air, they can present a lot of hazards in the work place.
The Dangers of Fugitive Dust
The size of these dust particles allow them to go virtually unnoticed as they travel through the air and our bodies as they get inhaled through the nose and mouth or get into other sensitive areas such as the eye. This can result in immediate problems like eye, skin, and throat irritations. However, certain kinds of tiny dust particles can affect the respiratory tract over time and result in long term breathing problems and diseases. Effective fugitive dust control systems can purify the air of many seen and unseen pollutants, eliminating the chances of these immediate and long-term health effects.
In addition to the health problems, tiny particles of dust can carry odors. These odors can permeate everything in the working environment and affect products like textiles, paper, and materials which are porous in nature. For many businesses, fugitive dust control is absolutely essential.
Controlling Problem Dust
The small size of fugitive particles allows them to bypass standard systems, which is why standard dust control methods may not be sufficient enough to capture and eliminate fugitive dust. One option would be to install an air filtration system—however these are expensive and can require a considerable amount of upkeep.
Many companies today are turning to misting dust control systems. For example, Fogco’s Revolution Series units are capable of removing dust particles as tiny as .1 microns. To give you an idea just how small this is, one micron is equal to one millionth of a meter. In the misting system each fan focuses on a specific area working vigorously to reduce fugitive dust. In addition, misting systems can also help to maintain humidity levels while effectively cooling the area as well.