Blast Room Dust

Reducing the Risk of Blast Room Dust Exposure

Anyone doing abrasive blasting understands the benefits of having a blast room. From material recovery and containment to sound reduction. What everyone may not realize is the advantage of having an effective duct collection system to capture harmful dusts—inhalation hazards that often contain dangerous and highly regulated substances. The blast room is already a contained environment, so it is a rich opportunity to ensure clean air, healthy workers and a facility that meets regulations.

Exposure Risks for Blast Room Dust

Blast room operators understand dust and the need to control it. One of the biggest concerns in a blast room is knowing what kind of blast media you are using, as well as the underlying substrate and coatings. Silica, coal slag, nickel slag, garnet sand, steel shot and glass beads are all common blast media. The fine particulates produced from using these media are a serious health risk if worker exposure is not controlled. For example, exposure to silica dust can lead to silicosis, chronic bronchitis and, in the worst cases, lung cancer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently strengthened its standard for silica dust, so the need to meet tough regulations is more important than ever.

Lead paint can also cause problems in blast rooms. When encountering lead paint, workers must follow the protocols of OSHA’s lead standard. The risks of ignoring the standard are high: even low-level exposures to lead can lead to kidney problems, high blood pressure and cognitive damage.

Understanding the substrate being blasted is important for protecting workers, as well. If the substrate is a metal, then an operation must work to control metal particulates that can become an inhalation hazard. OSHA maintains many regulatory standards for different metal dusts, for just this purpose. Dangers from metal dusts include respiratory harm, neurological damage and even cancer.

Regulations for Blast Room Dust

Controlling blast room dust isn’t just important for workers’ health—it’s crucial for meeting regulations. OSHA has issued around 500 permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) for different substances. These standards limit how much of a substance a worker can be exposed to in an 8-hour shift. Many of these standards are for metal dusts and other substances found in blast rooms. If an operator is unaware of the kinds of dusts produced in a blast room, third-party services are available to test air quality and provide a complete breakdown of what is in the air. Understanding this breakdown will help an operator craft the perfect dust collection system.

Failure to meet OSHA’s regulations is not an option. Citations can lead to serious fines. In addition, current legal troubles could be made worse with new citations. In fact, citations could encourage new legal claims from workers.

Solutions for Blast Room Dust

Blast rooms are an ideal situation for dust collection, and RoboVent’s engineers understand exactly what is needed for a given space and application. RoboVent also understands the regulatory environment and what it takes to comply with each standard. Whether you need a simple, off-the-shelf dust collector for your blast room, or a full consultation regarding a complex situation, our engineers are ready for the challenge.

RoboVent designs and manufactures dust collectors to the most exacting specifications. Units such as those in our Fusion Series are well suited for blast rooms. They offer powerful, efficient blowers and smart systems, such as eTell™ Intelligent Controls, that only run the collector when needed. Our proprietary filters can be chosen to match the situation—customized to your blast media, substrates, coatings and so on. No matter the kind of operation, RoboVent can ensure that your workers are protected and that your facility is compliant with regulations.

RoboVent guarantees its products with the best warranty in the business.