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Dust Extraction – The Importance & How to Control It

Why Is Dust Extraction Important?

In short dust extraction systems are an essential part of COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) consequently; failing to comply with legal regulations and the proper assessments can have costly impacts on your business.

Finding a solution can also improve the following.

Staff Safety

Dust can cause some serious health problems when inhaled. Because of this, illnesses such as asthma, respiratory issues, and even various cancers can occur. To clarify, these can be due to wood dust.

As well as inhalation risks, metal-based dust in the air can cause potential risks of explosions and/or fires.

Finishing Processes

Many finishing processes are impacted by the atmosphere and if there is airborne dust & debris the outcome of your work may be affected. Keeping the air cleaner will ultimately help reduce problems with painting/spraying or coating your work.

Costs

With legal implications and guidelines, failing to comply can result in fines.

With excessive dust, jobs may require to be redone or started again, meaning further costs on materials and labour.

Knowing the Dust Extraction Classes

Choosing a dust extractor with the right classification of filter systems is key.

L Class: ≤ 1.0% Dusts with maximum allowable concentrations (MAC) > 1 mg/m³

L Class dust extractors are suitable for extracting from work on softwood, this class is typically what is found in domestic vacuum cleaners. They are designed to trap dust that will not cause harm long term.

M Class:< 0.1% Dusts with maximum allowable concentrations (MAC) ≥ 0.1 mg/m³

M class extractors are vital for use with hardwoods, brick, or concrete. They will not necessarily have a higher rate of suction but a more efficient filtration system. M Class is the minimum allowed extraction rating as per the HSE’s guidelines.

What Are ATEX Directives?

Dynabrade Raptor-Vac

The European Union has published two directives about dealing with an ‘explosive atmosphere’, known as ATEX Directives. The directives define different environments as zones, according to the size of the space, its characteristics, and the likelihood of an explosion.

Metal dust extraction equipment is marked with a category number, plus the letter ‘D’ for dust. There are three different zone definitions that you’ll need to be aware of when looking for the right category of ATEX certified metal dust extraction equipment:

  • Zone 20 describes a very high risk of explosion from a cloud of dust, where the risk is continuous or long-term; you will need Category 1 equipment
  • Zone 21 describes an area where dust is likely to create an explosive mixture occasionally; you will require Category 2 equipment
  • Zone 22 describes an area where an explosive mixture is unlikely, or would only exist for a short time; for this zone, you will require Category 3 equipment

Understanding Atmosphere Ratings

Different metal dust extraction machines are designed for different substances, with three specific Groups relating to dust extraction. It’s important to check that the machine you want to buy is rated for the type of dust you are working with:

  • Group E: Combustible metal dust
  • Group F: Combustible dust from carbon-based materials such as coal and charcoal
  • Group G: Wood, plastic and other combustible dust not covered in category E or F

Many machines cover more than one Group; some are suitable for general usage. Check the product description carefully, and consult the manufacturer’s manual for guidance on each Group.

Investing In The Correct Equipment

To sum up, there are several types of dust extraction systems. It’s important to take into consideration the type of work that requires dust extraction, space and portability to best suit your needs.

AirBench Downdraught bench

We offer ranges from AirBench including the Downdraught benches. These will draw dust, mist, and fumes downward into the bench’s internal extraction unit and filters. The benches allow the user to work directly on the surface, in addition to this the installation is as simple as plugging in, switching on and starting the job!

DYNABRADE RAPTOR PORTABLE VACUUM SYSTEM MODEL 61473

Alternatively, the AirBench VertEx models create modular walls of extraction. These allow dust or fumes to be drawn across and in through the perforated front panels into internal filters.

As specialist suppliers of Dynabrade, we also provide the entire “Raptor Vac” range.

There are several types of these units and their portability allows them to be easily moved where required. As well as cart vacuums; which can be towed on wheels, manufacturers also offer “backpack” style vacuums that can be worn on the body for convenience.

As a result these can be beneficial for smaller spaces while still adhering to the new and exacting standards of EU Working Dust Regulations.