What are the Hazards of Dust in Body Shops?
During auto body repair, sanding removes paint from surfaces and makes body panels smooth repaired with body filling compounds. Airborne dusts produced during these operations may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and
abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers.
Dust concentrations may also exceed OSHA standards.
Workers in auto body shops are potentially exposed to a variety of chemical and physical hazards. Chemical hazards may include volatile organics from paints, fillers and solvents; diisocyanates, polyisocyanates, and hexavalent chromium from spray painting operations; silica from sandblasting operations; dusts from sanding; and metal fumes from welding and cutting.
Some of the dusts are known to cause cancer and target the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes.
Aluminum Dust is Combustible and is an Explosion Hazard:
When most people think of controlling dust in the workplace, they think of taking steps to avoid inhaling dusts to prevent health problems. However, the accumulation of combustible dusts in the workplace can lead to far greater consequences. As seen in recent years, neglect of housekeeping and improper handling of combustible dusts can lead to property damage, injuries and loss of life.
When repairing an aluminum structured vehicle, it is essential that extreme care be taken to capture all the particulates as aluminum dust is a highly explosive particulate.
During fabricating operations, aluminum fines may be generated by such activities as grinding, polishing, sawing, cutting, sanding or scratch brushing and at least some of them will be fine enough to be potentially explosive. The term “dust” or “powder” is frequently used to describe such particles.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a combustible dust as “a combustible particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape.” In general, combustible particulates having an effective diameter of 420 μm or smaller, as determined by passing through a U.S. No. 40 Standard Sieve, are generally considered to be combustible dusts. However, agglomerates of combustible materials that have lengths that are large compared to their diameter (and will not usually pass through a 420 μm sieve) can still pose a deflagration hazard. Therefore, any particle that has a surface area to volume ratio greater than that of a 420 μm diameter sphere should also be considered a combustible dust. The vast majority of natural and synthetic organic materials, as well as some metals, can form combustible dust. The NFPA’s Industrial Fire Hazards Handbook states, “any industrial process that reduces a combustible material and some normally non-combustible materials to a finely divided state presents a potential for a serious fire or explosion.”
Suggested Industrial Vacuums for Recovery of Toxic & Combustible Dust
PrestiVac HEPAPlus* Vacuums are specifically designed to safely vacuum toxic dusts. Equipped with a Certified Absolute HEPAPlus*filter with an efficiency of 99.995% on 0.2 micron so there is no risk of exposure or contamination for the operator or the environment. These vacuums are tested for absolute filtration. Testing Method: IEST RP-CC034.3. H14. MIL-STD 282 / A.S.T.M. - D2986-91. MPPS method EN 1822.
PrestiVac Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are designed to safely vacuum explosive, flammable, combustible conductive* dusts. Our Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are completely grounded and static dissipating because they are built entirely with non-sparking metals and do not have any painted components so there is no risk of fire or explosion from a spark or static build up. All the electrical components, including the motor and starter are totally enclosed so there is no source of ignition. Our explosion proof vacuum cleaners comply with NFPA 484 guidelines and are an effective tool for good housekeeping practise as per OSHA.
- Dust Ignition Protected Division 2 Vacuums
- Dustless Sanding Vacuums
- Explosion Proof Division 1 Vacuums
- HEPA Vacuums
- Immersion Separator
- Immersion Separator Dustless Sanding Vacuums
Which Industries are at Risk with Body Shops?