During the processing of plastics, or the manufacturing of plastic products, dust and fumes are released. Continued exposure to plastic fumes and dusts can be hazardous to health. The composition of plastics can vary, however any plastic dusts or fumes can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and lungs. There are also links between exposure to PVC and lung cancer. For this reason the HSE recommend that sufficient LEV, fume extraction systems be implemented to control these substances.
WHY IS PLASTIC FUME EXTRACTION IMPORTANT?
Plastic fume extraction ensures that you don’t exceed the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for plastic fume. The WEL for unidentified dust is 5 mg/m3, based on the average dust content in the air over 8 hours. To calculate the operator WEL, conduct tests on the average exposure during the work period. Implement improvements or additional control measures if the WEL exceeds the maximum 5mg/m3. Employees’ WEL should be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable using protective control measures against plastic fumes.