What happens if you breathe in concrete dust?

Breathing concrete dust can be very harmful to the health of a worker. Concrete carries high volumes of silica. Silica is one of the most common minerals on earth, and it is used in many applications. When silica becomes airborne, that is when things can go wrong with the health of a human. The effect of crystalline silica is a major worry if it gets in your lungs. Silica can go deep into the lungs. When silica particles are trapped in the lungs, it can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs and inhibit the lungs from taking in oxygen.

General construction sites are also a concern. The dust from other airborne particles from construction debris can have the same effect as silica does with concrete. When particulates get into the lungs, the worker can damage their lungs to an irreparable situation. Concrete and construction workers must protect themselves from particulates going into the lungs. 

What do workers use to protect themselves from airborne particles?

Protective face masks like the N95 masks are among the most common types of protective devices a worker can use. A respirator is a step up from the N95 mask. Using either of these items will help protect the worker from particulates in the workplace.

Masks and respirators provide a different level of protection. Respirators go above and beyond what a mask can do to protect your lungs. Masks are designed to protect workers from large particle droplets as they breathe in and out. Respirators will protect you from microscopic and smaller particles in the air.

The N95 mask is a common type of mask used to trap particles. The N95 mask is designed to trap approximately 95% of particulates. This is a disposable type mask. The N95 is a less expensive way to have protection over a respirator. The N95 is probably one of the most used masks in the workplace. 

A respirator is a step up from the N95. Respirators are designed to use again and again. Respirators have filters that can be changed out when needed. Respirators are also intended to protect workers from contaminating vapors in the workplace. The type of vapor and particulate in the workplace will determine the type of filter to use. Examples of these vapors are chemical vapors, pesticides, and finer particulates.

Remember that a simple cloth mask does not do the trick in keeping particulates out of the lungs. Cloth masks do not cover the face adequately to keep particulates from the lungs. Make sure workers are protected by using a mask or respirator.

What is the process for maintaining a respirator?

Respirators are very easy to maintain. A worker will want to preserve their respirator to last a long time. Respirators are more expensive than masks and can be used for a long time, while masks are a one time use. The respirator will last for some time if it is well cared for.

Workers should clean respirators upon the completion of each workday and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Before use, the worker should inspect the respirator. Inspection may find something wrong with the respirator to prevent it from working correctly. One should ensure that the straps are working correctly and that it fits the face securely. This is called a seal check. A worker will want to ensure that negative pressure will be felt inside the respirator. If there are any leaks, correcting those leaks to make the respirator work properly must be done before the respirator is used. 

Concrete Products PRO will assist with all your mask and respirator needs. 

With the various types of masks and respirators available today, Concrete Products PRO will take the time to make sure you choose the correct mask or respirator. Call or visit Concrete Products PRO, and our staff will assist you with all of your mask and respirator needs.

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