When we look at harmful agents, we sometimes forget that those most dangerous, are invisible and undetectable by smell. Many of us become complacent and work in environments where we feel that respiratory protection is redundant because it is only dust right?
Dust makes up many particles including, but are not limited to silica, lead, cadmium, pollen, bulk chemicals, as well as grain and wood dust. Depending on the size of the dust particles, they can enter various regions of the respiratory tract and are responsible for cancer of the throat and lungs, in addition to many other illnesses.
Besides dust, indoor air quality can also be used to test for molds, combustion fumes, asbestos and other fibers, VOC’s, metal fumes, and many other hazardous agents that may be airborne. Routine air quality monitoring, as well as proper housekeeping procedures and adequate ventilation, can help keep work environments safe and is a requirement under OH&S regulation.
Requirement under Alberta OH&S Code, Part 4, Section 20 & 21