June 30, 2022

Bread Bakers Beware

Share This Post

Bread Bakers Beware


History of Illness

Dostoevsky said, “There is not a thing more positive than bread.” Both nourishing and comforting, bread offers warmth and security to those who ingest it.” Yet, the safety and wellbeing of those who make it is in jeopardy. Illness associated with milling flour and baking bread was reported as far back as the 1700s when respiratory and allergy-related symptoms were first recorded. Modern-day immunological techniques that measure allergens have identified flour and grain as the root cause of allergic irritation, sensitization, and respiratory illness in bakers worldwide. Despite being the universal ingredient for baked goods, raw flour – when in dust form – is a hazardous substance.

The specific health condition suffered by those who labor in the baking or milling industries goes by numerous monikers. “Baker’s Lung”, “Baker’s Asthma”, and “Baker’s Allergy” are used interchangeably to describe significant respiratory problems suffered by those who are routinely exposed to grain and flour dust. Wheezing, productive coughing, chest tightness, eye and nose irritation can present in anyone who comes in contact with these particulates. In cases of regular occupational exposure, symptoms of chronic respiratory disease are not uncommon – asthma and other lung conditions are the most worrisome.

bread bakery health hazards

Avoiding Exposure

Unfortunately, workers in bakeries and milling facilities cannot avoid exposure as eliminating the source of risk, flour itself, is not an option. But there are ways to protect personnel from the health hazards associated with flour dust. Employees must routinely wear protective equipment (such as facemasks) and clean indoor air quality (IAQ) must be maintained with vigilance. The most successful means of guaranteeing a clean air environment is by controlling particulates via source capture, extraction, and ventilation.

To ensure your workplace has indoor air quality that is healthy for all employees, contact an AIR Systems specialist to evaluate and offer control measures for your clean air vulnerabilities.

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

laser cutting into material
March 7, 2022

Indoor Air Quality Concerns for Laser Marking Fumes

person facing airport window with planes taking off
March 14, 2022

Indoor Air Quality Considerations & Airport Smoking Lounges

benzene carcinogen image
March 21, 2022

The Occupational Risk: Toxic Benzene Chemical Exposure

upward shot of 4 doctors in a room
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

dentist cleaning a patient's teeth
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