Dust particles or particulate matter (PM) are in the air all around us – sometimes we can see them, sometimes we can’t, and the smaller and less perceptible they are, the longer they can stay in the air. The longer they stay in the air, the more likely your employees are to breathe it in.
And when they breathe it in there can be serious consequences.
The dust that gets into your lungs is called ‘respirable dust’. It includes all particles with a width between 1 and 2.5 micrometres. These are known as PM1 and PM2.5. PM1 dust is particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of under 2.5 micrometres, and it’s potentially even more damaging than PM2.5, which we know as the typical fine dust and which had previously generated a lot more hype and more research.
Beyond the human impact and the associated health issues, PM1 can lead to higher absenteeism, higher employee turnover, and lower productivity – all of which will affect your company in the long term. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent it from getting out of hand – and into your employees’ lungs.
PM1 isn’t as widely monitored as PM2.5. But if you’re exposed to significant quantities of dust, you may be affected by it. Consequently, the longer you and your employees breathe it in, the worse the effects. Deep breathing pulls air pollutants faster and further into the lungs.
These effects can: