Back to Basics: What is Dust? | Where it Comes From and Why it’s Dangerous

what is dust

Have you ever asked yourself, what exactly is dust? 

If so, you’ve come to the right place: in this article, we’re taking things back to basics.

We’ll help you to understand what dust consists of, where it comes from, and why it’s dangerous.

What is Dust Made Of?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines dust as “dry dirt in the form of powder that covers surfaces inside a building, or very small dry pieces of soil, sand, or other substances”.

Simply put, dust is the collection of small particles of dry solid matter. It begins airborne, but then eventually settles on horizontal surfaces.  

Where Does Industrial Dust Come From?

In industrial settings, dust is primarily created through manufacturing or production. 

Processes that generate dust include cutting, grinding, drilling and sawing, to name just a few. It can also be a byproduct of these processes’ materials, chemicals, or ingredients. 

All dust should be appropriately filtered and captured to ensure your workers stay safe and healthy. Industrial dust in particular commonly consists of particles that can be extremely damaging to the respiratory system if inhaled. 

That’s where a dust extraction system provider like Dustcontrol comes in. We supply both fixed and mobile extractors for industrial and construction use, to protect your workers from harm. 

Why is Dust Dangerous?

As touched upon in the previous section, the danger of dust lies in the threat it poses to human health. Some airborne contaminants are even classified as carcinogenic – such as silica dust – meaning that they have the potential to cause cancer.

Often, it’s the smaller dust particles that are the most dangerous. This applies to both their likelihood to cause health issues and their combustibility. 

Previously, this has counterintuitively led to the neglect of some of the most hazardous substances due to their smaller particle sizes. 

Don’t overlook the dangers of dust in your workplace; take action today by getting in touch with us to protect your most valuable asset: your workforce.

As an employer, you might also benefit from reading our recent blog on supporting your employees lung health by recognising the 4 signs of lung problems.

Dustcontrol UK Ltd., 7 Beaufort Court , Roebuck Way Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8HL