Oil mist can be hard to detect, mainly because the particles are extremely small. Let us tell You more about the research that has been made on health risks associated with oil mist and oil smoke arising in industrial processes worldwide.
Oil mist and oil smoke – same size as virus and bacteria
To understand the reasons for the health implications we need to start with the particle size. The tiny dust particle you see when the sun shines through a window is a giant in comparison to an oil mist or oil smoke particle. Compared to the diameter of a human hair the oil mist particle is about 20 times smaller. Oil mist is in fact the same size as bacteria and oil smoke ranges in the same size as virus. Sizes we all know are easily inhaled in these Coronavirus times.
Research has shown that the smaller a particle is, the deeper down into the body it travels. The human respiratory system has long been known to filter the air passing through it. The problem is that the body’s built-in filters, like nose hair and flicker hair, have not been designed to cope with particles of this small size. If the air from the machine tools are not properly filtered or if the extraction is too low these really small particles can escape and follow the inhaled air down into the lungs or even further out, into the blood stream.
Oil mist implicates our health
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports about how serious dirty air is to us humans and describes it as one of the largest risks associated with premature death. But not only outdoor air need attention. Most of us spend more time at work than what we do outdoors so of course also the air we breathe at work need to be clean.
According to the American “National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)” around 1.2 million workers in machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations are potentially exposed to oil mist (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/metalworking/default.html), and that is in the United States alone. If we consider the number of workers that are exposed to aerosols generated in machining processes across the whole world, the number is of course a lot higher.
Many are the Research reports that show the link between health implications and occupational exposures from metalworking fluids. Among the most covered and examined respiratory system health problems are:
- Irritation of lungs, throat, and nose like nose bleeding
- Cold-like symptoms like sneezing and coughing
- Respiratory and breathing problems such as shortness of breath
- Occupational Asthma or allergic alveoli.
According to NIOSH, as mentioned above, work-related asthma is considered as one of today’s most prevalent occupational disorders. A disorder that is costly for everyone, not the least for the individuals that have been affected.
Effective ventilation of Machine tools
A very important measure to get clean and healthier air at work is to use a high-performing filter unit that effectively extract and then filters the oil mist from the machine tool. The filter unit can either extract single machines or serve a group of machine tools, whatever is most suitable for your needs.
If you want to know more about clean air in the workshop, contact Absolent or one of our representatives today to get a full assessment of your company’s needs.