June 15, 2022

Combustible Dust Hazards, Unseen Explosive Threats

Share This Post

Combustible Dust Hazards, Unseen Explosive Threats

air-impurities-removal-systems-inc-an-unseen-explosive-threat

On the big screen, fantastic blasts make for an exciting cinematic experience. But in real life, explosions are something to be feared and avoided with great vigilance.

Triggers for workplace blasts fall into two categories: fumes and dust. While fumes can often be detected by smell, combustible dust hazards are much more insidious. Combustible dust particles can hide in workshop and factory nooks and crannies and can ignite with only the smallest of sparks.  Combustible dust hazards are imminent when the right conditions are present – the result of which can be a massively destructive and deadly explosion. Disasters in production facilities from China to California and Tennessee to Tanzania underscore the real threat posed by combustible dust hazards in the workplace

Pharmaceutical companies are particularly exposed due to the materials used in the formulation of their products. Ingredients used in the making of oral dosage products are finely divided solid particles containing flammable oxidants in dust form. These powdery bits can linger in the atmosphere, then fall and hide on heat-inducing processing equipment which can cause an explosion. As a result, new particles are sent into the air which can ignite, creating residual particle matter which can then cause additional explosions. These secondary blasts are typically more destructive because they are less localized.

combustible dust in pharmaceutical industry

To understand why the pharmaceutical industry is at particular risk, one must be reminded of the formula for particulate matter combustion using the “Dust Explosion Pentagon” as a guide. The five factors, oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion, and confinement all exist in the formulation and processing of oral products at pharmaceutical facilities. The ignition of concealed ingredient dust particulates is a frightening and very real possibility.

While pharma manufacturers are aware of combustible dust hazards as they relate to the products they process, containment of ingredient-based particulate matter remains a constant battle. At Air Systems Inc., we have the experience, depth of knowledge, and superior products to protect pharmaceutical companies and their employees from the threat of at-work explosions. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our air quality specialists.

Other Related Blog Posts

February 7, 2022

Occupational PAH Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Workplace

.
February 14, 2022

The Unseen Occupational Hazard At Shopping Malls

.
February 21, 2022

For a Healthy Indoor Air Quality Source Capture Ventilation is Key

.
March 7, 2022

Indoor Air Quality Concerns for Laser Marking Fumes

.
March 14, 2022

Indoor Air Quality Considerations & Airport Smoking Lounges

.
March 21, 2022

The Occupational Risk: Toxic Benzene Chemical Exposure

.
March 28, 2022

Understanding How Positive / Negative Pressure Machines Are Used in Healthcare

.
April 11, 2022

Mold Causes Significant Indoor Air Quality Problems in Libraries

.
April 18, 2022

Dental Aerosol Contamination Management and Indoor Air Quality Measures

.
April 25, 2022

Best Practices for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Includes Indoor Air Quality Controls

.