The detection, assessment, and control of particulate matter or dust, is a concern for health and safety professionals. Lung disease, together with asthma, continues to be a most important occupational health and safety problem. This substance can be made up of a variety of materials and carried through the air.

The particle size of the material determines where the particle will be deposited in the body and thereby what effect it will have.  If the particle is small, it will penetrate deeper into the respiratory system to the lungs.  Respirable materials cannot be seen with the human eye.  Health professionals need to choose a dust monitoring method that is appropriate for the particulate size fraction and what guidelines they are trying to address.

Depending on many factors, including a person’s health and levels of exposure, PM10 dust can worsen respiratory and cardiovascular disease that are pre-existing.  PM10 types can also decrease lung function and aggravate asthma.  Children and the elderly and anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular disease can be very sensitive to the PM10 type.  

Dust can be generated from numerous sources including industrial activities including mining blasting and drilling operations, diesel emissions, pollens, fires, and soil and may contain various metals. 

Many companies include dust monitoring procedures to access the impact on surrounding communities and to protect the health of their employees.

Dust monitoring equipment can consist of a constant flow sampling pump, filter cartridges and suitable cyclones.  The filter collects the respirable materials then it is sent off to a laboratory for analysis, measuring in milligrams per cubic meter.