Manufacturing and engineering industries have traditionally had a reputation for being inherently ‘dirty’, primarily due to the fact that pollutants are a natural by-product of the processes involved. Drilling, grinding, milling and turning create oil mist through the use of fluids sprayed by machine tools to help lubricate the tool or keep metal components cool. Oil smoke is produced from applications including grinding and cutting in CNC machines running at high speeds using high coolant pressure, whilst dust is produced from machines running without coolant or from processes such as dry welding, laser cutting and blasting - with fumes containing manganese, lead, and other highly toxic elements.
There has long been concerns around the effects of unclean air ‘outside’, but what has never really been considered – until now – is the very real impact of poor indoor air quality. We hear cases of school closures in Eastern countries due to poor exterior air quality (for example in Beijing, schools have been known to shut due to air quality index (AQI) figures reaching 500 AQI (or 0.5milligrams particles per m³)). And yet, the amount of oil mist particles inside a modern machine used within manufacturing plants world-wide can reach staggering levels of 100milligrams per m³- over 20,000% more than is deemed hazardous for outside air.
The potential effect of these particles on the quality of the air inside a manufacturing or engineering facility can be significant – not only on the short and long-term health of individuals in contact with the unclean air, but on employee morale and motivation, and on the productivity and profitability of a business. And, with manufacturing currently contributing £6.7trillion to the global economy, it’s imperative that those working within the industry identify and understand the very real impact that good, clean working environments can have.
Contact Filtermist to find out how we can help ensure the air in your workshop is clean and safe to breathe.