The shortest answer is this: it depends. The fact that fiberglass-handling operations vary so widely means you will likely have to seek out the advice of an air quality engineer. The main variable in determining which dust collector you need is the particulate size of your fiberglass dust. Some particulates can be very large, and these might call for extra measures within the filtration system. Engineers can even design grinders to install between the collection point and the dust collector in order to reduce the size of particulates. This prevents large particulates from accumulating and clogging the filter media.
The good news with fiberglass dust is that it is not toxic. However, it can cause skin, eye, nose, throat and lung irritation. Small fibers that are inhaled deep into the lungs may aggravate asthma or bronchitis or lead to other chronic lung problems. The dangers of the dust are serious enough that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued permissible exposure limits (PEL) for it. Currently, the limit for respirable dust is 5 mg/m3, and the PEL for total particulates is 15 mg/m3. In order to comply with these regulations, manufacturers need to directly address fiberglass dust.
Here are some good options for collecting fiberglass dust:
- RoboVent Senturion series dust collectors. This unit can be configured for a wide variety of operations. For example, if a process involves a high volume of dust, engineers can provide more filter media to handle the load.
- RoboVent PowerBoom portable dust collectors. This unit can collect a high volume of fiberglass dust from a single grinding or cutting station. Its boom arm has a reach of 17 feet, giving workers extreme flexibility.
Consulting with an air quality engineer will ensure that you get the right system designed for your specific needs. In the long run, this system will save you money, because it will be just the right size, no larger. Most importantly, it will ensure that your workers are protected.