What is dust?

Dust consists of visible and invisible, floating and fallen particles of solid material. Whether a dust particle lands on the floor or not depends on its type. The smaller the particle, the less it tends to fall. The particle’s weight does not play a role in this. If the particles are very small (such as with metal dusts), the dust stays in the air continuously and does not fall. In assessing dust particles’ toxicity, both the size and the chemical composition play a decisive role.

More information on limit values

Limit values

The OEL (occupational exposure limit) is defined as the maximum concentration of a contaminant in workplace air.

Contact with dust can be a source of illness if:

  • the concentration is very high
  • the dust contains poisonous substances
  • the particles are small enough to enter the nose or lungs
  • the particles’ shape (such as fibres) promotes penetration


The specific properties of the material are decisive for the type of dust extraction, filtration and transport used. The various dust types differ in grain size, apparent density, moisture content, temperature and other features (such as abrasiveness and hygroscopicity). These factors have crucial influence on the extraction system’s design.

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