A collaborative approach to protect tunnelling workers.

With over 45 years of experience in the field of tunnelling, our partners, Timeco, are experts when it comes to tunnel boring machine (TBM), piling and foundation works, and other important activities involved in tunnelling. And when it comes to environmental monitoring for harsh tunnelling conditions, their partnership with Trolex has provided solutions to the entire tunnelling industry.

“We are satisfied with the 20+ years of cooperation with Trolex, as our official partner, because of the mutual trust in the innovative organisation and the reliability, user friendly

and durability of its products and solutions.” said Timeco, about the collaboration with Trolex to provide solutions to hazardous conditions in the tunnelling industry.

Trolex’s product range, provided to the tunnelling market in Europe by Timeco, includes a full range of dust monitoring technology, including AIR XD Dust Monitor and AIR XS Silica Monitor, as well as gas detection equipment, such as TX9165 Sentro 8 and TX6351-2 Sentro 1, detecting for a full range of hazardous gases.

New Trolex Silica Detection Technology Inspires New APPG Perspective on Respiratory Health

You may have seen The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Respiratory Health report ‘Silica – the next asbestos’ released in March 2020?

In it, it states:

“Construction workers are still 100 times more likely to die from a preventable occupational disease than from an accident. We also know that approximately 12,000 deaths in the industry each year are linked to exposure to dust and chemicals.”

“Figures from IOSH show that roughly half a million people are exposed to RCS at work in the UK. They estimate that in Europe as a whole, 81% of these are employed in construction or in manufacturing products used in that industry.”

Real time. Accurate. Affordable. 

Experts at Trolex brought our new technology to the APPG’s attention and explained our nine-year silica detection R&D project that resulted in development of the new real-time silica monitor – work that we’d kept closely under wraps until mid 2021.

Silica detection: A changing landscape.

The original report refers to Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) of dust. It says:

“Dust monitoring is vital. Technology advances mean that new methods of real-time exposure level monitoring are now possible. Knowing what the actual exposure levels are is important as exposure will depend on the actual task (e.g. cutting concrete is higher risk than breaking concrete, and the actual exposures depend on the concrete mixture).

The new Code of Practice for Tunnelling […] that requires the use of new technology which is just becoming available and gives an instantaneous measurement.”

The instantaneous measurement the report refers to is the measurement of a variety of dust and particulates (something we already do with our AIR XD Dust Monitor and XD One Portable Dust Monitor, XD1+ Personal Dust Monitor products) – not specifically silica. Silica always being too difficult to uniquely identify. 

Until now.

Game-changing RCS Detection Technology

Our new silica-specific monitoring technology is a game changer.

By working with the authors of the APPG to share the features, benefits and thinking behind the new real-time silica monitoring technology they’ve been able to update the report with new advice on how to best protect workers from the dangers of respirable crystalline silica (RCS). 

Image of AIR XS Silica Monitor
AIR XS Silica Monitor

Image of AIR XD Dust Monitor
AIR XD Dust Monitor

Image of XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor
XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor

Image of XD1+ Personal Dust Monitor
XD1+ Personal Dust Monitor

Book your demonstration today.

Get in touch today to request a demonstration with one of our experts, or find a local distributor to arrange a demonstration with them.

 

Staggering lung disease statistics prompt urgent £5 million investment

New studies from charity ‘Asthma and Lung UK’ (ALUK) found that lung disease deaths in the UK are the highest in Western Europe.

The staggering statistics have prompted an expanded approach towards research and development of lung diseases from ALUK.

 

Serious Statistics

ALUK’s studies show that cases of lung disease related deaths in the UK have been on the rise for the past 20 years.

It is reported that 500,000 people in the UK died from deaths relating to lung diseases over a seven-year period.

In 2018 alone, 84,721 respiratory deaths were recorded in the UK.

The charity has described the state of lung health in the UK as ‘shameful’, stating the need for improved research and development solutions to the problem.

More than just numbers

After its relaunch in February, ALUK established a new five-year strategy upon the results of the study.

Lung diseases are currently the third most common cause of death in the UK and it’s currently costing the NHS £9 billion every year.

Despite this, lung-related health care is receiving less than 2% of public funding.

Dispelling the misconceptions

It is evident that the seriousness of lung problems in relation to other diseases is not taken as seriously, despite what we are seeing from the data.

A predominant factor in the poor state of the nation’s lung health is that people believe lung conditions aren’t life-threatening. This is a major misconception.

Through spreading awareness of how ‘shameful’ lung health is in the UK, this misconception can be dispelled.

ALUK aim to reduce lung disease deaths by 20% by 2027. When making everyone aware of these gruesome statistics, this can become a possibility.

The end goal is to provide support for everyone effected by all forms of lung disease.

Research and innovation as a solution

ALUK’s solution to achieving this goal is through research and innovation.

Their aim is to expand their research and innovation programme so that £5 million is being invested into relevant research each year.

With the aim to develop at least three new self-management tools” for 2 million people suffering with lung diseases, ALUK want to make training programmes and essential advice easily accessible to those who need it.

“By 2027, we will give 80% of people with lung conditions the opportunity to access our network of Breathe Easy support groups” states the ALUK Strategy to 2027.

With this, the strain on public healthcare is minimised and individuals are able to monitor their personal health through digitalised platforms and shared networks.

Looking to the future…

The statistics right now make for harrowing reading and harsh truths.

However, for ALUK, research and innovation is the solution for the future. By identifying the problem and acknowledging its severity and scale, goals can be achieved.

Through effective research and innovation lung disease deaths can become a thing of the past, not just in the UK, but worldwide.

Collaborative expertise towards a common goal for occupational health

Trolex are excited to be partnered with Active Environmental Solutions (AES), working together to protect workers from the dangerous and often irreversible consequences of occupational lung diseases caused by dust inhalation.

With AES’s specialist knowledge of occupational health and safety in Australian industries and Trolex’s leading safety technology, the opportunity of delivering solutions to prevent the dangers of dust inhalation for Australian workers, is not just a possibility, but now a reality.

Offering the market innovative solutions

AES want to spread awareness of the dangers of occupational lung diseases caused by dust inhalation. And in the case of dust monitoring, spreading awareness that new real-time dust monitoring technology to help prevent lethal occupational respiratory diseases now exists.

The opportunity to partner with Trolex was welcomed by AES, as it means that they can merge their expertise in occupational health using Trolex’s leading safety technology.

This creates the best solutions to their respective industries.

This simple message appealed to AES, and to Aleks Todorovic MSc, (OHP), Managing Director of AES’s team of Australian Occupational Safety experts at AES, as it aligned perfectly with the workers they seek to protect:

Many businesses intuitively know the benefit of a broad threat detection – they just don’t know they know it, or perhaps how they go about implementing such devices – it’s our job to awaken that knowledge and show them there are new and effective dust detection technologies such as the Trolex AIR XD Dust Monitor, the XD ONE Personal Dust Monitor and most recently, the AIR XS Silica Monitor.  

Important facts for important industries

There are no arm twisting, or heavy sales techniques involved. Just a clear and simple presentation of responding to the facts.

Which is why Trolex and AES are working hard to provide further education to Australia’s mining, tunnelling, quarrying and construction industries, where workers are exposed to dangerous forms of respirable dusts.

This common goal of providing and expert knowledge and specialist equipment to these industries is the drive needed to inevitably reduce instances of occupational lung diseases to save lives.

Now, this collaboration will help to do exactly that.

A needed change of approach

The approach taken by businesses within these industries must now change. With new legislation on exposure to harmful dust in Australia, new dust monitoring methods are needing to be implemented.

Aleks said “As an occupational hygiene-minded business we know only too well the devastating effects inhaling respirable dusts can have on people’s long-term health.

That’s why we’re invested in the success and distribution of new and effective real-time dust monitoring technologies such as the Trolex AIR XD Dust Monitor, the XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor and the AIR XS Silica Monitor. These are lifesaving technologies that need to be included in their safety thinking” stated Aleks further.

By using Trolex’s advanced dust monitoring technologies, small changes can have a huge impact.

Looking towards the future

As the war on silica dust grows ever stronger by the day, more needs to be done.

With the reduction in exposure limits coming into effect across Australia, particularly hard on respirable crystalline silica (RCS), real-time monitoring for silica dust is a necessity, retaining live data and providing an instant alarm the legislated threshold is breached.

Whilst the ability to retrospectively assess levels of silica dust in facilities is available to industries where deadly silica dust is prevalent, the ability to monitor for silica dust in real time is not.

Trolex’s all new real-time silica monitor, the AIR XS, allows for accurate and reliable results demonstrating compliance with legislation. Aleks commented on this world-first technology:

We are really excited to be a part of this project to be able to detect silica in real time. This will be the world’s first monitor to have this capability and we’re proud to be distributing it throughout Australia. The project was produced with the support of the Centre for Work Health and Safety in NSW proving just how important and potentially life-saving the new technology will be.”

And with the talk of real-time, wearable silica monitoring devices a possibility in the future, of course it makes perfect sense for all industries to be increasingly focused on detection possibilities.

Together, Trolex and AES are providing real solutions for real problems in Australia.

If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about integrating real-time dust monitoring technology into your working environment, then you can use the contact form below to get in touch with one of our experts today.

Dust monitoring technology and collaboration at its best

Dust monitoring technology and collaboration at its best

Reactec have been specialists in workplace health and safety environments for more than 15 years. Originally focusing on the damaging effects of exposure to vibration, they soon discovered that the most effective way of mitigating workplace risk lies in gathering as much data as possible.  

As CEO Jacqui McLaughlin explains, The traditional approach to health and safety that says ‘I can think about a problem, do a risk assessment and as a consequence of that assessment I can make it safe for people’, we prefer to go one step further and engineer out problems.

If we can measure what’s actually happening in the way of risk, then we can make workplaces a safer place to be.” 

Starting with wearable hand/arm vibration monitoring technology to measure vibration exposure, Jacqui and her team quickly realised that the data management, hosting and reporting they provided their clients, was a powerful health and safety tool that could also be usefully applied to other workplace risks.  

Turning data into meaning

Rather than try to create new technology to measure a variety of risks, Reactec started to look for partners. Experts in their respective risk fields, whose work could be complemented by their data management technology.  

“We see Trolex as a leading expert in how to measure dust and what we’re doing is providing a platform that makes the dust data they collect easy to access and meaningful.  

We’re turning their data into meaning.” 

People, processes and places

We take the data associated with a process so that your records don’t just look like a bunch of numbers, but they tell you about who was doing what and where. And as you build up more data, you can get more intelligence in terms of process and people and where you need to put in your biggest efforts to get safer environments. 

With new dashboard integration and development soon to be rolled out to a live Trolex XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor client, things are moving fast. 

The Trolex XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor: Simple to use and easy to integrate

Complementary technology that gives the simple to use and easy to integrate Trolex XD ONE, and Reactec a fast-track route into the world of actionable dust monitoring intelligence. 

 “And there’s an overlay angle,” says Jacqui.

“With our tech we get information on vibration. We have other tech that gives us information on noise. And if you start overlaying all of that data with dust data and also situational location information, you can create a health risk passport for an individual or a site. It’s the very start of an exciting journey that will provide more and more useful data as clients understand what they can do with the data over time.” 

A marriage made in data

Reactec and Trolex; a marriage made in data and a powerful collaboration that looks set to flourish in the future. Plans are already afoot to take things to the next level with new bluetooth, IoT data recording and cloud-based analytics. 

Get in touch today for more information on how you can get the most insightful analysis on your worker health and safety. 

Helping Thermatic Homes meet the challenges of dust monitoring in domestic environments

Based in Salford, M&E contractor Thermatic Homes has more than 70 electricians out in the field rewiring properties for social housing providers including The Wates Group, Unitas, Brunswick Regeneration and Bolton at Home. As an ex-electrician himself, Thermatic MD Karl Wallace is aware of the dust challenges their work creates. 

“There are a lot of issues created by dust,” he says. “Chasing through to the brickwork and masonry is extremely intrusive and there’s a huge amount of dust created. We’re conscious that it’s potentially a dangerous environment if not controlled properly.” 

Which is why Thermatic electricians always use dust extraction on their CHASE machines. Why they always wear dust masks, always screen doors and why they always hoover, clean, and spray the air with water. 

Unlike a traditional building site, it’s not possible to saturate the air in people’s homes with water.   

“It’s never ideal, says Karl, “and being an exelectrician myself, who’s rewired many a house, you always want to do more. Year on year as more information comes out about the harmful effects of dust, we’re increasingly aware of the dangers and want to do everything we can to prevent them.” 

A new, better way of protecting staff and customers

Which is why, when Karl was introduced to the XD One by Trolex MD Steve Holland, he was so keen to get it out on site to trial for dust detection. “What a wonderful idea!” says Karl. “It looks perfect.” 

After all, what better way to instantly identify the dust threat than with accurate, real-time dust monitoring and readings? Even better that they’re available on wearable devices his team can just clip on as they work.  

A real-time reading of the room designed not just to protect Thermatic workers but also to gain a clear understanding on dust levels that might impact on customers, too. 

A clear message to the industry

As important as the XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor is in protecting workers and tenants, using it also sends a very clear message to the industry, not just from Thermatic, but also from the main contractors Thermatic work for. 

Very much a “we go above and beyond” message, any main contractor can be rightly proud to do their bit in helping to prevent the 12,000 deaths a year from workplace respiratory disease by using Thermatic and Trolex XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor.  

It’s a pioneering approach in the construction industry that really prioritises health and safety and makes clear the commitment to worker and customer safety. 

 

Thermatic and main contractor feedback

With the XD ONE now onsite as part of a pilot phase to monitor rewiring and upgrade projects, we’ll be reporting back very soon. 

Says Karl, “I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of data the XD ONE gives us, the degree of harm it detects and what we can do about it.” 

In the meantime if you want any more information on how the XD ONE can keep your workers and customers safe from the dangers of avoidable dust and particulate inhalation get in touch today. 

 

How does the ‘Psychological Contract’ relate to dust monitoring?

Have you heard of the ‘psychological contract’? It’s the unwritten understanding of the interaction between you, your workplace environment and your colleagues.  

We all have a psychological contract with our employers, whether we know it or not.

As well as considering the physical aspects of your work environment, your psychological contract includes things like the quality of relationships you have with the people you work with, whether you feel properly listened to and understood and know what’s expected of you in your role. 

An important part of that contract is ‘psychological safety’. How safe or unsafe your psychological contract leaves you feeling at work.  

‘Psychological Safety’

A term coined in 1999 by organisational behavioural scientist, Amy Edmondson, ‘psychological safety’ includes things like trust in your colleagues, your perception of physical threat in your working environment and how you feel about the training and support you get to do your job.  

Unsurprisingly, the safer people feel at work, both physically and emotionally, the more productive they are.  

By the same token, if people feel unsafe, then not only are they less productive, but the time the trouble and expense of having to replace people unhappy in their jobs is huge.  

Employee benefits provider Perkbox estimates that ‘disengaged employees are costing the UK economy £340 billion every year in lost training and recruitment costs, sick days, productivity, creativity and innovation.’ 

So how can you make sure that people in your organisation feel psychologically safe?  

Physical Safety First

The first important step in creating a psychologically safe workplace is to make it as physically safe as possible.  

Speaking with Trolex, Occupational Psychologist Catherine Dobson told us, “If an environment is not physically safe, if it’s too hot, too cold, or if it feels too dangerous people feel stressed. We must ask ourselves how do we get the right environment for people with the right kind of training, the right kind of cooperation to make it healthier? 

Which is what contributes to making our range of dust monitors, such an important development. These include the AIR XD Dust Monitor, the XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor – our wearable dust monitoring technology, and our AIR XS Silica Monitor for real-time silica dust monitoring. 

Not simply because it protects workers from the physical dangers of inhaling lethal respirable dusts, but because armed with the knowledge that they are working safely, people feel psychologically safer too.  

Catherine explains how: “In relation to silica and dust monitoring. Because the AIR XS Silica Monitor is new, there’s scope for demonstrating that it works. And people can see that.  

Also, because all these dust monitors work in real time, it gives people the trust that an intervention will take place should they be in danger. They can trust in the environment being safe.” 

A very good thing for workers on both a physical and emotional level.  

And great news, too, for the mining, tunnelling, quarrying, manufacturing and construction companies invested in fulfilling their side of the psychological contract with advanced dust monitoring. 

Businesses can then reap the rewards of improved production and better worker retention, so everybody wins. 

 

Real-time dust monitoring technology for the real world

It’s the twenty-first century, and we are in “the age of data”. Everything is data-driven from what we do and use. Even the devices we carry around with us all day, like our mobile phones, and most recently, even smart watches are mainly data tracking devices.

And whilst many are sceptical of how the data is used, realistically everyone is positively affected by modern data collection. Even if we don’t realise it, data today is allowing us to make educated changes to our lifestyle, finances, social lives and health. 

It seems odd that a widely available resource such as data is taken for granted everyday, and isn’t used effectively to do the really important things more regularly – especially when it comes to saving lives and preventing life threatening illnesses.  

Sadly, the global annual number of people dying from occupational respiratory illnesses is estimated at over 500,000. The critical question remains: are we using the data at our disposal to positively impact workplace health and safety? Probably not…  

Firstly, we need to understand that data is critical, and a lack of its use is a problem. Real-time dust monitoring has long since been an expensive, complicated “black art” unavailable to the masses. Whilst monitoring isn’t a solution in itself, it’s pivotal to making the right decisions to ultimately save lives and understand where the risk really lies. 

Gravimetric or “dust deposit” gauges have long been an industry standard, and a legislative medium for measuring harmful dust exposure; but they only give ‘one side of the story’ and even then a partial story at best. When it comes to saving lives, time is of the essence. Even more so early detection and real-time alarming typically results in prompt action. 

This gravimetric data is not to be dismissed and is important, but let’s face it with global numbers of over 500,000 people still dying every year, it’s not enough. So how do we critically challenge the status quo?

Recognising the problem

Now imagine taking this combined average data over a time frame, and combining it with accurate, real-time, personal dust monitoring. Imagine the changes you could make to process, controls, procedures and culture by seeing when and how the exposure is caused, where it was unacceptably high and, maybe, even warning people in real-time who unknowingly enter into the dangerous zone of this invisible killer. 

If a smoke alarm goes off, you leave the building regardless of whether you see the fire. Why shouldn’t we apply the same theory, conscious response and swift action to slow and painful killers such as respirable dust? 

Exposure is commonly expected in mining or engineered stone industries, however many more are unsuspectingly exposed in construction, demolition, quarrying, manufacturing, and more generally those in support functions in nearby offices and facilities within these industries and even people regularly using non-dust controlled roads. 

The sad thing is, if the danger isn’t obvious (and dangerous levels of dust often aren’t as the most dangerous particles are usually the invisible ones), it’s too easy to ignore until the damage is done. 

This is where we can all truly make a difference…

With real-time data, it’s easy to make decisions on measures that need to be taken to understand personal exposure levels and even have real time exposure warnings. Trolex is giving the power back to the people, companies and regulators to make informed decisions about protecting themselves and each other in the interest of saving lives. 

If this drives changes in monitoring requirements, engineering controls such as dust suppression or RPE regulations can only benefit people and the families of those people who are currently exposed, all whilst minimising the risk of future exposure, and building precedence for the application of effective dust control measures in the hierarchy of control. 

Here’s another thing: as a business or a responsible person, real-time monitoring and control is not only affordable and simple, but also accessible to everyone.

So, the question is, can you afford to not understand the problem?

Our aim is to give people the information, to save lives and increase awareness, and if you want to know more about our real-time fixed, portable or personal dust monitors (AIR XD Dust Monitor, XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor or XD1+ Personal Dust Monitor) then get in touch today.

Leading safety technology to future-proof the tunnelling industry

Gas detection technology to modernise the tunnelling industry

Did you make it to the BTS 2020+1 Conference and Exhibition in London at the end of September? 800+ tunnelling professionals in attendance and 55+ global tunnelling brands exhibiting over two days of serious tunnel talk.

If you did, then you’ll probably be aware that while discussions amongst tunnelling design, construction, and operation and maintenance professionals were initially concerned that the number of UK tunnelling projects seem to be in decline, what actually emerged from the event was a feeling of optimism.

With more London Underground projects in the pipeline, other UK underground train projects planned and talk turning to creative ways that tunnelling can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change – what began as a rather gloomy outlook soon turned far more positive as the conversations turned to fresh opportunities.

The Toronto example

Take the scale and success of Toronto’s PATH for example. This gargantuan tunnelling project includes:

  • 30 kilometres of restaurants, shopping, services and entertainment
  • Six subway stations, three major department stores, nine hotels, and Toronto’s busiest transit hub – Union Station
  • Accommodating more than 200,000 business-day commuters as well as tourists and residents
  • 3.7 million square feet of retail space 
  • 1,200 restaurants, shops and services $1.7 billion in sales annually
  • 4,600 jobs are located in the PATH
  • $271+ million in federal, provincial, and municipal tax revenue annually

Constructed over the last 100 years to allow the city to function successfully in the face of bitterly cold winters with huge volumes of snowfall, PATH shows that there’s clearly potential for innovative problem solving to create similar underground living, working and socialising environments. 

Instead of protecting people from the effects of extreme cold, new designs might protect us from extreme heat as the climate emergency gathers pace.

Endless tunnelling possibilities

The possibilities are endless. But with all that opportunity, of course, comes risk. Which is why team Trolex has been working so hard to continually evolve the advanced safety capabilities of our Sentro 8, gas detection technology.

The Trolex Sentro 8

Internationally approved and certified, the Sentro 8 is designed to function in the world’s most dangerous working environments, allowing you to scan for up to eight different gases simultaneously. 

In short: All the detection you need for complex mining and industrial applications in a single device. 

Group 1 IS (intrinsically safe) compliant – low power consumption, zero sparking and certified for the most dangerous of industrial environments, the Sentro 8 protects your workers from a broad range of environmental threats and also alerts you to ambient changes. 

  • Multi-gas detection – Scan for up to eight different gases simultaneously.
  • Multi-purpose – Quickly configure up to four ports for a range of ambient temperature, ventilation, air velocity or other environmental monitoring.
  • Real-time – Quick-fit, pre-calibrated input sensing ‘eModules’ to detect a range of toxic and flammable gases in real-time.
  • Scalable – Network your SensorStations to a master computer and expand the system as your site grows.

When safety demands that you monitor for multiple gasses or other environmental conditions – all at the same time – use the Trolex Sentro 8.

Future-proofing the tunnelling industry

Whatever the challenge. Wherever in the tunnelling world that challenge exists. Whenever in the future that challenge presents itself – we’re ready to take it on – to protect your workers from dangerous gases and particulates and to make tunnelling as safe as it can possibly be. 

Contact us today using the contact form below and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about real-time toxic and flammable gas detection and how to keep your people safe on your next tunnelling project.

An introduction to particulates

As strange as this question may sound…have you ever taken a moment to sit down and think about dust? Really think about it? Think about what it actually is, where it comes from, why it exists, and the impact it might have on our lives? 

Probably not. And why would anyone? It’s just ‘there’ after all, hanging around, doing its thing. A staple accompaniment to life, only momentarily revealed in a shaft of sunlight or a sneeze, or lying on an expensive piece of machinery waiting to be…dusted. 

And while we’re all aware that exposure to dust or particulates can impact health, isn’t it the case that because dust is so small, so ephemeral, and so everywhere, questions of what it actually is, and what it really does, tend to get swept under the carpet?

So here’s a chance to take a closer look at what we’re dealing with when we refer to ‘dust’ and reflect on the significant health implications of exposure to something largely unseen that threatens the lives of many thousands of workers, in many hundreds of different industries around the world.

What is ‘dust’?

Dust, or for the purposes of this explanation, particulate matter, is, defined by Greenfacts as, ‘the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in air.’ 

A complex range of components including organic and inorganic particles, such as pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets, particulates can vary greatly in size (from coarse, to fine, to ultrafine), in composition, and in origin. 

Many types of particulate are considered hazardous. 

What causes particulates and how big are they?

Putting dust in the home (​composed of about 20–50% dead skin) to one side, about a third of the particulates that make up air pollution are created by vehicles, exhaust fumes, and particles from tyres and brakes. 

These coarse particles are made up of broken-up larger particles, with a size ranging from 2.5 to 10 µm (a micron is a millionth of a meter). They are also released by agricultural processes, mining, and burning fossil fuels, as well as naturally through pollen, mould spores, and plants and insects.

While industry and the burning of fossil fuels can produce particles from the release of non-combustible materials, other fine sub-micron particles are produced by the condensation of vapourised materials and atmospheric reactions of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides initially released as gases. 

These fine particulates between 0.1 µm to 2.5 µm, make up most of the airborne particulate mass and represent the main danger to people living or working in a polluted environment.

Ultra fine particles which are smaller than 0.1 µm make up only a few percent of total particulate mass, though they represent over 90% of the number of particles. They’re largely formed from gases that will often end up coagulating to form a larger particulate.

The impacts on health.

Worldwide, the main cause of air pollution is coal burning, with dirty air killing more people than smoking, car crashes and HIV/Aids. It also shortens billions of people’s lives by up to six years according to a new report

The climate crisis too, largely a product of burning fossil fuels, is now making a significant contribution to air pollution through wildfires.

But that doesn’t mean the dangers of inhaling dangerous particulates are limited to smoggy city life or pollution blown cross country from burning forests.

At Trolex, our mission is focused on protecting the millions of people exposed to dangerous workplace dust, mist, fumes, vapour or gas – particulate threats that cover the full spectrum of particulate size.

As we wrote in our The importance of reading the room ebook:

‘Potentially lethal dust is everywhere – from construction dust, to the fibreglass/Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) used in loft insulation, and 3D printing that fuses layers and layers of extremely fine dust to create the final shape. 

There’s coffee dust, soldering fumes (20% of people soldering or working around solder develop asthma), carbon fibre and plaster related lime, sulphate hemihydrates, silica, and mica dust that leads to asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

There’s cement dust, plus the ubiquitous Amorphous Silica used in car tires, agri chemicals and animal feed, in toothpaste and cosmetics, paint, insulation materials, adhesives, coatings, and printer ink.

There’s biomass dust, dust created by waste disposal and recycling, sawmill wood dust, dust in nail bars, chiropodists, and podiatry clinics, tool sharpening dust and MDF dust particles coated in formaldehyde.’

Protecting people from the dangers of dust and particulate inhalation.

 There’s a huge amount that can be done to protect people from the dangers of inhaling dangerous particulates.

On a national level, governments can actually back up the rhetoric with action, instead of just paying lip service to environmental protection. China’s “war against pollution” that started in 2013 has already, supposedly, reduced levels of fossil fuel pollution by 29%. 

But clearly much more needs to be done by politicians and business leaders to transition industry to greener, less damaging energy and manufacturing production. To promote production methods which will reduce the creation of hazardous dust.

We all have a part to play.

Which is why we’re working so hard to both raise awareness of the problem and to put our Trolex AIR XD Dust Monitor, XD ONE Portable Dust Monitor, XD1+ Personal Dust Monitor andAIR XS Silica Monitor in the hands of people on the frontline who we can help protect.

With 12,000 UK, and half a million workers around the world dying every year from preventable diseases directly related to dust and particulate inhalation, our mission is as simple as it’s singularly focused, as it’s important.

It’s this: To educate the world’s construction, mining, tunnelling, heavy and manufacturing industries on the dust and particulate dangers their workers face. Then to make clear the smart, simple, cost effective ways our XD One and other duct monitoring technology can help them protect them. And ultimately…

For every worker exposed to dangerous particulates to have wearable personal dust monitoring equipment by 2031.

Get in touch today to speak to one of our experts about how real-time dust monitoring can help improve your safety processes and keep your workers safe from harmful respirable dusts.