Unfortunately, dust is generated at various stages of biomass handling, which poses serious health risks to everyone in the area.
Prolonged or repeated exposure to fine biomass dust has an effect on workers’ health as this type of dust is a human carcinogen. Another occupational risk is human exposure to biomass ash residue.
The dust from the most widely used biomass type – wood – sometimes contains toxins that can produce severe allergic reactions. Breathing airborne wood dust may cause allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms, and even lung cancer.
Other types of biomass may contain fungal spore types and also pose a respiratory risk to staff.
In addition, wood dust is highly combustible and dust control is an important factor in reducing the risk of combustible explosions.
Furthermore, biomass dust emissions can travel for miles and possibly affect the nearby communities which can result in litigation, fines and even closure of the facilities.