Fine particulate matter is harmful to health, particularly when it contains carcinogens like respirable crystalline silica (RCS), hardwood, chromium and nickel. Workers coming into contact with this dust must be very careful and work in a responsible, safe and – above all – healthy way.
For TNO, it is essential to reduce workplace exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) – and to develop more systems to achieve that. Our goal is “dust-free working”.
Together with Bosch, DeWalt, Dustco, Festool, Hilti, Makita, Metabo, Numatic, Starmix and other equipment manufacturers, we are therefore actively developing effective management systems for fine particulates. These include vacuum extractors, which can reduce exposure to particulate matter by as much as 100 times. The resulting “dust-free” tools and systems are assessed (validated) using a TNO Performance Test.
Every tool or system has its own test. Amongst other things, this measures actual user exposure to harmful substances. Workers correctly using a device which has passed its test do not exceed the current Dutch statutory long-term occupational exposure limits for PM (GSW TGG-8u: Workplace Exposure Limit, eight-hour time-weighted average). Moreover, such use is accepted by the Inspectorate SZW, the Dutch labour inspectorate, as constituting adequate exposure management.