Construction materials: New technical solutions to reduce the problem of dust | Osh

Whether demolition, renovation, cleaning or processing of building materials and machinery. In all these activities, artisans underestimate a particular health hazard: breathing fine dust. New technical solutions offer effective protection to keep fine dust problems for employees as low as ever before.

In rare cases, building materials such as cement, mortar, plaster or plaster pose a health problem when installed. However, the situation is different when it comes to construction, cleaning and landscaping activities: the fine dust released when processing these building materials is particularly dangerous for tradesmen because it can enter the lungs when they breathe. New technical solutions can effectively reduce the dust problem.

Avoid dust by using dust-free building materials

The surest way to avoid the development of dust is to use low-dust building materials. Available on the market are, among other things, low-dust dry mortar, low-dust tile adhesive and filler, in which value limits for both. A and E dust must be significantly undercut when mixing. Other examples are mortar pellets or mortar pads. Oils are usually added to these products, which bind the dirt. Due to the addition of oil, however, they have the disadvantage that after the construction or renovation work, the residents of the houses and apartments could be exposed, because the oil evaporates and remains in the room air for a long time.

Minimize dust and vacuuming exercises

So far dust-free products have been used only sparingly. Hand tools and additional equipment used (vacuum hoses, suction units, dust extractors) must always ensure that dust levels remain low. A new solution is aspiration exercises.

These devices have not yet become established on the market as the professional associations would probably like, among other things due to promotional bonuses. The BG Bau, for example, subsidizes its member companies for the purchase of certain models with up to 400-500 euros.

The advantage of the suction drill compared to conventional drills: With the latter, a craftsman drills a hole and his colleague sucks the dust transmitted to a spiral drill with a vacuum hose. Suction drills, on the other hand, have a smooth cylindrical stem with an opening at the tip. The dust is sucked through the openings through a coupling of dust extractor connected construction – this means that the dust is removed as it arrives. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to blow the hole.

Reduce dust pollution in the air with air purifiers

Residual dust still remains, especially when using conventional vacuum hoses or suction bells. Air purifiers are an important technical solution to the “problem of residual dust”. They are an alternative to keep construction sites (largely) dust free, and wearing respiratory masks is no longer necessary in every case.

According to BG Bau, there are basically two possible uses for air purifiers:

  • They are used to remove dust from hazardous sources: Air cleaners equipped with suction lines and/or collection elements (e.g. suction funnels) fulfill the same function as stationary extraction systems. The dust in the vicinity of the release point is directed away from the employee’s work area and separated into the air cleaner.
  • They are used to clean polluted room air: Air purifiers can also be used to clean indoor air. Here, the air flow rate of the air cleaner is used to remove the dirt from the room air and thus ensure clean air in the room and prevent contamination in the neighboring rooms. The transition between the two variants is often fluid. It is important to use an intake/exhaust air hose.

Air purifiers are a new and useful addition to the construction dedusters that are already used on many construction sites. In combination with dust protection walls, which prevent dust from spreading to neighboring areas and rooms, this results in an effective technical solution concept that can be further strengthened by organizational measures and personal protection.

A dust, B dust – what makes dust so dangerous

Most of the dust a craftsman breathes while working only enters the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract. He usually coughs again and therefore is not a problem for the employee’s health. However, if dust penetrates the lungs, even dust from substances that are actually harmless poses a serious health risk. But only the smallest dust particles, which are only 1 micrometer or less in size, can reach the lungs. This finely divided dust is called a dust, which is older and more harmless E dust. In addition to its small size, the fine dust has another potential danger: Unlike e-dust, it remains in the air for a long time after it has been blown up. It only stays on the floor after a full day’s work (sometimes even longer). Until then, the particles are airborne and can be inhaled. A workplace limit value of 10 mg/cubic meter applies to E-dust and now 1.25 mg/cubic meter for A-dust which is more dangerous.

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