Health hazards when sandblasting

If the applicable safety regulations and precautions are followed, sandblasting does not pose a risk to health. In many cases this is not the case. What dangers threaten, and how to protect yourself, read in this post.

Danger from blasting agents

Every blasting agent is fundamentally dangerous to health. They primarily affect the skin, but - depending on the grain size - may also affect the respiratory tract.

Particularly dangerous is the use of quartz sand, as it is often practiced in Third World countries until today. There is a risk of silicosis (pneumoconiosis). The use of quartz sand as a blasting agent is therefore prohibited.

silicosis

Fine particles of fumed silica, which can enter the lungs via the respiratory tract if they are insufficiently protected, cause so-called pneumoconiosis. These fine particles can no longer be excreted, and accumulate in the lungs within a very short time.

It comes to breathing difficulties, then progressing to the formation of a so-called fibrosis. The connective tissue in the lung continues to multiply, the oxygen-absorbing surface of the lung is getting smaller. The events can not be stopped. In the end, lung cancer almost always threatens.

Dangers to the skin

Blasting agents, especially if they have an abrasive effect, can greatly irritate the skin. You will get in insufficient protective clothing in tissue folds and are often difficult to remove depending on the particle size. Abrasive blasting agents can cause massive skin irritation and inflammation that are very painful.

Absolutely necessary protective measures

When sandblasting, it is essential to observe sufficient protective measures, regardless of the type of blasting material.

Respiratory protection

It is only allowed to blast in a blasting cubicle - except during dry ice blasting. Flying blasting material not only endangers the environment, but also the health, because it can hardly be completely removed, especially with small grain sizes.

When working with sandblasting equipment, the respiratory tract must be protected by a suitable respiratory mask, which does not let even the smallest particles through. There are protective hoods with integrated respiratory protection designed for sandblasting.

Protection of the eyes

If a complete protective cover is not worn anyway, the eyes must always be protected by suitable safety goggles. These glasses must be absolutely dust-tight and fit snugly. Even the smallest particles can cause severe irritation and inflammation in the eye.

gloves

The thickness of the gloves is determined by the nature of the blasting material and its abrasiveness. As a rule, the thickness of the gloves should not be less than 2 - 3 mm for safety reasons. Ideally, the gloves should also cover the forearms. Rubber is well suited here.

dress

For the professional sector, there are special, completely tight protective suits for the body. They are ideal for sandblasting work. They are available in a variety of uses, either fabric or leather or leather-covered fabric.

Otherwise, coveralls that should be as dustproof as possible are also suitable. They must also be sufficiently thick and have no closures through which dust can penetrate.

Video Board: Sandblasting and its health & safety hazards.