Filtration solutions specialist RDP Filtration Solutions is focused on resolving dust-related issues through the design and implementation of dust extraction systems.

These systems contributes towards the elimination of silicosis in the mining industry.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 9 2018

The company delivers dust extraction through the delivery of:

  • bag houses;
  • wet fan scrubbers;
  • cyclone ducts;
  • multi stage filter units; and
  • filter presses.

Methods including dilution, extraction and suppression are known to effectively reduce dust.

The company consequently guarantees low dust emissions, ensuring its clients are confident that they are complying with environmental and health and safety regulations and in turn reducing and/or eliminating the chance to contract silicosis.

What is silicosis?

Silicosis is a common occupational lung disease that is caused by the inhalation of “crystalline silica dust” (silica is the most abundant mineral on earth).

Silicosis is a dangerous, disabling, non-reversible and sometimes fatal lung disease and doesn’t show until 10 – 15 years after exposure. A chronic cough, fever and difficult breathing begins to occur as the lung tissue starts to scar. The scarring can cause the lungs to be less elastic making breathing more difficult.

Over time, the lung capacity decreases and people infected with silicosis may need oxygen support and other devices to assist with breathing.

Who can be affected?

All workers who work in a dust exposed environment. Areas of the body where silica dust is present are also in danger of potentially getting infected.

Workers involved in constructions, mining or glass production are among some of the individuals with the highest risk of getting infected.

Specific silicosis symptoms:

  • severe coughing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • fatigue;
  • loss of appetite;
  • fever; and
  • chest pains.

Which industries are most likely to be exposed to silica dust?

  • Mining industry
    • quarries
    • crushers
    • rock handling areas including but not limited to:
      • loading points
      • tip areas
      • convoy belts
      • crushers
      • transfer points
    • any industry where sandblasting may occur
    • mines or quarries where drilling through granite or sandstone occurs
    • construction industry where activities such as sandblasting, tunneling, rock drilling, jack-hammering and power tool grinding of surfaces containing silica occur
    • glass manufacturing railways

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