The Construction Dust Partnership was formed to increase awareness and prevent the effects of construction dust (aka silica dust), along with encouraging construction workers to be safe on the job site. We care about your safety and health and what you to be aware of the dangers of silica dust and how we are doing our best to keep our construction sites clean. Here are some things to be aware of if you ever find yourself around it.
1. Medical Condition: Silicosis
Silicosis is a condition in which exposure to silica dust damages the lungs, affecting your ability to breathe. There’s no cure for it, and it can be fatal – sometimes in just a few weeks or months. It usually shows up many after several years of exposure, but it can happen rapidly if you are inhaling a lot of dust.
The symptoms of silicosis are commonly mistaken for other lung conditions, like pneumonia or tuberculosis, and include coughing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, chest pain, bluish skin, and fatigue. A decrease in lung function is caused by damage to the lining of the lungs which can cause a fatality.
2. Silicosis can cause tuberculosis
You are three times more likely to contract tuberculosis if you have silicosis. Tuberculosis is a serious lung infection that manifests in chest pain, cough, and spreading infection. While there are treatments for tuberculosis, it is still possibly fatal, especially if it isn’t treated quickly. Furthermore, it is also very contagious.
The connection between silicosis and tuberculosis is unknown but the correlation is there. But maintaining awareness of the airborne illness we can prevent the spread of infection.
3. The history of construction dust
Society has been aware of the dangers of construction dust since the 16th century. During the 1500s, Agricola wrote about respiratory problems in miners inhaling the dust. In the 1700s, Bernardino Rammazini took note of the same thing in stone cutters. When industrialization came about the use of power tools increased the infection of silicosis.
Using jackhammers, cement saws, and power washers, you create a lot more construction dust which brings a lot more risk. If the miners were damaging their lungs in the 16th century with basic tools, it is not difficult to connect the risks construction workers have now.
4. You’d be surprised where silica ends up
Silica not only comes from brick and concrete, but it also can come from clay, soil, and paint. A storm can mix up silica. Almost anything that causes dust while working can contain dust, it’s important to protect yourself at all times.
The CDC says that paint and rust removal with power tools, abrasive blasting, mortar grinding, almost any work with concrete or masonry, jackhammering, and dry sweeping all create risk and that workers like concrete and drywall finishers, highway construction workers, and bridge repairmen are often exposed to dangerous levels of dust.
5. Protection is key
Wearing a respirator mask is a critical tool for builders to mitigate the risks of construction dust, but often enough it does not suffice. It is easy to overwhelm the filter in the mask, and many do not wear it incorrectly or do not have it properly fitted. Having a correct seal on the mask is very important.
The biggest worry for construction dust outside of workers is the people who live and work around the site, they are at risk as well. It is vital to take steps to make sure the dust your construction site creates is reduced to a minimum by hiring a professional construction cleaning company like Mega Cleaning Solutions.
6. You can bring it home with you
The risk to outside parties is a great concern, even if you never step foot in a construction site it can still affect daily life. Silica dust can settle in your clothes and in your car only to follow you home. Even if exposure is not excessive it can still cause respiratory issues over many years.
We have made leaps in bounds in modern cleaning technology to do our best to prevent silica dust from ever affecting you and those you care for. Taking proper precautions to protect builders, brick cutters, masons, their families, and those who live and work near active construction zones will keep your community happy and healthy. There is nothing more important than protecting those around us.
Mega Cleaning Solutions is your partner in clean, we’d love to be the team you choose to help you! We perform all final cleaning services and removal of leftover construction materials for commercial and residential properties to prepare them for inspections and occupancy. Along with dust removal, our common services might include anything from window cleaning, metal polishing, pressure washing, and steam cleaning carpet, to removing building materials such as pipes, electrical wiring, wood, and metal. We also provide VCT stripping and waxing.
You can always count on our 3R Guarantee: We will be loyal, responsive cleaning partners – eager to serve you because we value our customer relationships; We will always be reliable, dependable, and operate with integrity and respect; We will always provide exceptional results. #CleanYouCanCountOn