Grinding Dust

Grinding dust becomes airborne causing harmful health side effects to operators and nearby employees. Metal grinding dust turns respirable when broken up into particles 5 microns in size. These microscopic sized particles enter and deposit deep within the lungs leading to impaired lung functioning and possible lung disease. Dust produced from other metalworking processes such as polishing, blasting, cutting, and deburring must be controlled to prevent lasting lung conditions. The key to dust control is to capture and isolate the dust before it reaches the breathing zones of the operator or other nearby employees. Grinding dust and other dust particles can spread through a workspace quickly causing damage to nearby workers, machines, and expensive electronic equipment.

Grinding Dust Collection System

Grinding dust collection systems remove dust to prevent respiratory health effects. Understanding the composition of the material enables the employer to implement a proper dust protection program including dust collection engineering controls. Sentry Air dust collection systems are best suited for light dust collection such as maintenance operations for one to two hours per week or low-loading operations. Our dust collection systems work best for capturing dust containing:

  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon Steel
  • Cobalt
  • Cold Rolled Steel
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Nickel
  • Stainless Steel

Source capture dust collectors, including portable, mounted, and downdraft tables, provide the most efficient dust control method. These dust collection systems remove dust particles before entering the operator’s breathing zone. If source capture dust collectors do not suit the application, ambient air protection equipment hangs from the ceiling or mounts on a nearby table to remove dust particles from the airflow. Ambient air dust collection systems used in addition to source capture dust collectors provide added protection to ensure employee health and safety.

Note: Sentry Air System’s grinding dust collectors are meant for maintenance and low-loading applications - they are not for heavy duty and constant use. Also due to the high volatility of certain dust particles, SAS equipment is not meant for aluminum, titanium, rubber dust, or wax-related applications. Please refer to the OSHA standards and guidelines related to combustible dust.

Select Your Collection System:


Heavy Duty Portable Fume Extractor
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Wall Mounted

Wall Mounted Fume Extractor
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Downdraft Table

Industrial Downdraft Bench
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Ambient Air Cleaner

Ambient Air Cleaner
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Dust Hazards in the Workplace

Dust hazards in the workplace depend on the length of exposure, type of material, and the type of protection equipment. Health effects vary depending on the metal’s composition. For the most part, inhalation of grinding dust or other dust particles causes scar tissue and impairs lung functioning leading to chronic lung disease. Once grinding dust has entered the lungs, dust particles can dissolve in the bloodstream resulting in damage or cancer in vital internal organs. Certain types of grinding dust particles, such as cadmium and stainless steel (hexavalent chromium), exhibit carcinogenic properties leading to lung, prostate, liver, kidney or even brain cancer. Manganese can cause neurological effects or manganism with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s Disease.

OSHA restricts the exposure level of grinding dust to help prevent lasting health effects. The legally restricted exposure limit varies by metal type and can be found on OSHA’s Annotated Table 'Z-1', which is excerpted in the table below. Also, the table summarizes the recommended levels specified by other occupational safety organizations NIOSH and ACGIH. These organizations’ standards are not legally enforced but provide insight into the exposure level recommended to eliminate safety risks as much as possible. Certain dust may not be regulated and fall under OSHA’s respirable dust category with an exposure limit of 5 mg/m3.

OSHA Annotated PELs Table Z-1

OSHA Permissible
Exposure Limit
NIOSH Recommended
Exposure Limit
ACGIH Threshold
Limit Value
Beryllium0.2 µg/m3 No Detectable Levels0.2 µg/m3
Cadmium5 µg/m3No Detectable LevelsTotal Dust: 10 µg/m3
Respirable 2 µg/m3
Cobalt0.1 µg/m30.05 µg/m30.02 µg/m3
Copper1 µg/m30.1 µg/m30.1 µg/m3
Hexavalent Chromium5 µg/m30.2 µg/m30.2 µg/m3
Lead0.05 µg/m30.05 µg/m30.05 µg/m3
Manganese5 µg/m31 µg/m30.02 µg/m3 (Respirable)
Nickel1 µg/m30.015 µg/m3Elemental: 0.2 µg/m3
Insoluble: 0.2 µg/m3
Other Respirable Dusts5 µg/m3NoneNone

Additionally, the buildup of grinding dust can result in fire and combustion hazards. Even a small layer of dust can combust causing an explosion. Dust protection programs must be developed and implemented to control dust and prevent employee health and safety hazards.


Size Availability

Portable Floor Sentry - 200 Series | 300 Series | 400 Series | 500 Series | Rugged Air
Mounted Fume Extractors - 200 Series | 300 Series | 400 Series
Downdraft Table - Industrial Series
Ambient Air Cleaner - 2000 Series

  • Grinding Dust Collectpr