What is source capture of dust and fumes?

Source capture describes dust and fume collection practices that are point solutions. They grab particulates at the source, preventing them from exposing workers, damaging equipment and threatening regulatory compliance. The alternative to source capture is ambient capture, a facility-wide solution to continually clean and turn over air from an entire facility. Source capture offers particular benefits, including the following:

  • More efficient capture - Grabbing particulates at the source much less airflow than ambient capture. This results in lower energy use and, over time, major cost savings.
  • Reduced exposure for workers - When harmful particulates are captured at the source, they don’t have a chance to threaten workers. Many particulates in dust and fumes are breathing hazards for workers, and exposure can lead to serious health effects, including death. Allowing those particulates to travel throughout a facility before capturing them is a health hazard.
  • Improved regulatory compliance - Many substances found in dust and fumes are highly regulated by OSHA. For example, hexavalent chromium, a common byproduct of welding stainless steel, carries a very strict OSHA standard (2.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air). Capturing fumes like these at their source ensures that a manufacturer meets these standards.

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