Dust in the Construction Area: The risks become even clearer

The growing evidence base

For decades, research has shown that long-term exposure to dust in the construction area has life-threatening consequences. However, this doesn’t mean that we know the whole story. As research becomes more sophisticated, experts are learning more and more about the dangers of working in dusty environments – and the negative health impacts may be even greater than previously thought. Safe work environment for the construction business is essential to the health of the team and the protection of the production. Dust in the construction area: the risks become even clearer.

Inhaling small amounts of dust over a long period can cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), silicosis, asbestosis and asthma. Symptoms often appear many years after exposure, so the links between cause and effect are not always obvious. Recent research has examined data sets spanning longer time periods, so they have been able to get a better understanding of the full impact of exposure to construction dusts.

New findings about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A lot of this new research has focused on COPD. COPD is a chronic disease that obstructs airflow. In 2010, the World Health Organization identified it as the third leading cause of death worldwide (1). Apart from smoking, workplace exposure to dust is the biggest driver of COPD, with one survey calculating that 14% of cases are attributable to occupational exposure (2). Other research has recommended that legislation needs to be reevaluated to make sure that workers are kept safe (3).

You should note that this research is only about COPD – exposure to dust in the building industry is linked to several other medical conditions. The impact is so profound that the UK government recently stated that construction workers have historically, “been at greater risk of developing cancer from their work than any other industry group”(4).

Why is construction so dangerous? What are the risks?

In some work environments, it’s obvious which activities produce dust, so maintaining a safe workplace can be relatively straightforward. It’s a more complicated story in the building industry. Construction often involves a lot of different processes, often at the same time, so hazardous particles can be released into the air from multiple sources. There are so many tasks involved in construction that have the potential to lead to dust exposure, and this multitude of sources make it challenging to maintain a safe working environment. That is why the dust in the construction area means high risks and the dangers becomes more evident.

If you have a dust problem – Dustcontrol have an extraction solution

For example, working with materials such as concrete, stone and masonry can expose workers to crystalline silica dust. Cutting, drilling, grinding, or sanding these materials is likely to release particles into the air, and exposure to silica dust is associated with conditions like silicosis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases.

Woodworking tasks, including cutting, sanding, or sawing wood, can also produce harmful dust. Because wood is a natural material, you might think that wood dust is fairly harmless, but this isn’t the case. Some woods are toxic in themselves, but all wood dusts have the potential to cause asthma and allergic reactions. On top of that, wood often contains bacteria, mold and fungi which can lead to further health complications.

It’s a similar story for metal: cutting and grinding generates dust can cause respiratory irritation and long-term health effects. Abrasive blasting can throw a wide variety of toxic substances into the air too, and of course any type of drilling is likely to create dust.

Then there’s smaller tasks that are easy to overlook but that can still contribute to an unhealthy environment. Chasing concrete and sweeping up debris might seem like innocuous tasks, but they still cause particles to be lifted into the atmosphere.

Dustcontrol provides safe equipment for all specil in alisthe construction  area. Preventing dangerous particles from entering your lungs.


How to tackle dust exposure in the construction area. And how to avoid the risks.

Prolonged exposure to even a small amount of dust can lead to severe health problems and there is a wide range of dust sources in the building industry, so it’s important to take a thorough approach to controlling dust.

A portable solution will almost certainly be necessary in the building trade, and Dustcontrol has an extensive selection of machinery that combine both mobility and power. Flexibility is normally important too, so some of Dustcontrol’s most popular extractors can be used both for vacuum cleaning and for source extraction around power tools and table saws (the DC 2900 [https://dustcontrol.uk/product/dc-2900-l] for example). These can be complemented with powerful air cleaners (the Aircube 1200 [https://dustcontrol.uk/product/dc-aircube-1200] for example) so that you can extract dust both from the source and from the wider environment.

Highest level of protection by HEPA filters

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are a vital component in almost all dust extraction solutions. These are highly effective filters that are certified to capture above a specified amount of dust and particles (in the US, an air filter must capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger to be certified as a HEPA filter). All Dustcontrol’s HEPA filters are supplied with individual test certificates, batch serial numbers, and manufacture date. We do this to ensure that employers can give their workers the highest level of protection and fulfil their legal obligations.

Dust in the construction area? Turn to us! Dustcontrol – A team of problem-solvers

Above all, Dustcontrol is a team of problem-solvers. We’re experts at creating customized solutions that protect workers from injury and illness and ensure that building sites are safe, efficient and lawful. With the complex nature of dust extraction in the construction industry, we recommend that you contact us so we can come up with a solution that meets the unique needs of your operation.


Meet our production team in Norsborg: https://youtu.be/dJfhTntFnx4

And if you need an assessment of the air in your workplace contact your nearest reseller: https://dustcontrol.com/dustcontrol-worldwide/

More Reading:

1. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death).

2. (https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0043-1766117)

3. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935121010331?ref=cra_js_challenge&fr=RR-1)

4. (https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/cancer-and-construction/index.htm)

Dustcontrol, Box 3088, Kumla Gårdsväg 14, 145 03 Norsborg, SWEDEN