Since concrete is safe, abundant, and sturdy, it’s an integral part of California buildings and residences. Preparing concrete often involves grinding down the surface, which results in very fine, light dust particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary beach sand. These dust particles can easily end up in the unprotected lungs of anyone nearby. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to concrete dust at work. Cumulative exposure puts them at risk of lung disease, including silicosis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even kidney disease.
Although the threat of concrete dust from finished floors is very slight, once you apply a coating from West Coast Epoxy to your concrete, it is sealed for the long-term, preventing any potential dust from becoming a threat. Of course, preparing the floor usually requires grinding it, and that does create concrete dust. Thankfully, we protect ourselves and others in the area by using high-quality HEPA filters on all of our grinding equipment.
What Are HEPA Filters?
HEPA is an acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters are designed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger. Scientists name such tiny particles MPPS, or Most Penetrating Particle Size. Concrete or cement dust is anywhere from .5-100 in the micron range, and is therefore trapped by HEPA filters. All HEPA filters must satisfy certain standards of effectiveness set by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
Many different versions of this filter are readily available to fit everything from masks to household air filtration systems. West Coast Epoxy uses HEPA filters on all of our equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), vacuum systems, and our concrete grinders. We maintain safety while prepping the concrete and then ensure safety by sealing it.
Depending on your concrete floor, one coating product might better suit your needs that another. However, you can breathe easy knowing that all of our materials, as well as our installation methods, prevent concrete dust from being a health factor. Please give us a call if you have further questions about concrete dust, or schedule a consultation online for further information.