Spices have always been the most sought-after ingredients to enhance the flavour of food. Spices are derived from taxonomically different plant species and harbour allergenic potency which can induce a wide spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild local to severe systemic reactions.
Occupational exposure to spice allergens occurs mainly in spice milling, the food industry and herb processing plants. During spice milling, blending/sifting, weighing, scooping and packing activities high dust exposures result in potential inhalation by exposed workers.
The bioactive ingredients in spices have the potential of inducing symptoms ranging from mild local to severe systemic allergic reactions. Workers in the spice-related industry are exposed to a variety of different respiratory sensitizers that may cause sensitisation through inhalation or skin contact. Inhalation of spice dust has the potential to cause respiratory allergies such as asthma, contact dermatitis and occasionally anaphylaxis.
Spice 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.
Various production and handling facilities are facilities that may receive, handle, store, process and ship bulk raw agricultural commodities such as spice dust. These handling facilities include elevators, production equipment, dust pelletizing plants, and facilities with dry grinding operations.
The agriculture handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards. These hazards include: fires and explosions from dust accumulation.
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.
Which Industries are at Risk with Spice Dust?