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A look at an article published by the Daily Mail in relation to dust created during DIY and general construction work

Click here for the Original Article

Whilst it is great to see a national paper promote the fact that anyone who may be exposed to dust should be protecting themselves by wearing a mask, it is disturbing to see the general public's view on the subject.

The DM article is based upon research by Dr Prashant Kumar and is roughly based around the fact that Microscopic dust generated during DIY and general construction duties is dangerous due to its tendency to travel deep into the lungs. Dr Kumar refers to "Ultrafine Particles" being up to 70,000 times smaller than a human hair allowing them to travel deep into the lungs and Alveoli.

Whilst the majority of dust entering the lungs is broken down or expelled by the body, continual and heavy exposure can lead to the particles causing several occupational health issues such as silicosis, occupational asthma or COPD. Should Asbestos fibres be present this could lead to diseases such as Mesothelioma or Asbestosis etc.

The DM reader comments on this issue make for interesting and unsettling reading when taking the above into account. Various views are present from the reasonable to the nonsensical and everything in-between. A common theory in the comments seems to be that this research is “a load of rubbish” and that it is merely scaremongering by the health fraternity. I am a believer in the freedom to express your own opinion but it has been proven time and time again that breathing in dust of any form is dangerous for our health.

My view on the subject is simple…… For the sake of the few seconds it takes to place a mask on your face and for the very slight discomfort it may cause surely it is worth it. Not only will the wearer not cough like a 80-a-day smoker following exposure to dust but they will gain confidence that their lungs are that bit healthier because they took the simple precaution to protect themselves by putting on a mask.

JJ


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