Dust particles under 10 microns in size are capable of entering the lungs when breathing. Silica dust falls into this category. In the case of silica dust, the results of this infiltration can cause sickness and even death.
Once silica particles embed themselves into the lungs, there’s really no getting them out. Scar tissue forms over the particles without removing them, causing the potential for decreased respiratory function, chest pain and fatigue.
In some cases, lung cancer and silicosis – an often-deadly lung disease – can develop. Silica exposure can also increase risk of tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.
The only way to avoid these complications is to avoid silica dust exposure completely. For this reason alone, it is absolutely vital to have the correct dust collector operating properly in any environment where metal fabrication takes place.