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Health and safety issues are now being taken very seriously by a growing number of companies. Many large US manufacturers are planning ahead and adopting European exposure limits as a global standard for their entire company and are exceeding OSHA Standards.
The exposure limits these companies are targeting range from .02 – 1 mg/m3 depending on company policy. Older mist collector technology simply cannot provide these higher requirements.
The National Board of Occupational Safety and Health has therefore drawn up specific limit values for this. The current limit value for the emission of aerosols in industrial premises is 5 mg/m3.
The risks that are most often associated with large concentrations of oil mist or oil smoke are the following:
• Oil mist can contain small metallic particles, bacteria and spores that can give rise to respiratory problems.
• Can cause skin problems, including oil acne and eczema.
• Increased risk of slipping – oil mist eventually settles on the floor.
• Oil mist accumulating on surfaces inside HVAC systems will impair its function, efficiency, filter life and will foul indoor air.
• Generally unclean environment due to the oil attracting other impurities causing them to stick to machines and other equipment.
• Oil Mist harms the electronics in modern metalworking machines.
The most common and effective method of collecting oil mist / oil smoke is at the source, i.e. directly at the metalworking machine. This is possible both in the case of completely enclosed machines and open machines. In an enclosed machine, negative air pressure is created in the space where the machining operations take place. The oil-laden air is sucked out of the enclosure and conveyed through a duct to the filter unit. After the air has been filtered, it is returned to the premises. If open machines are installed, it is common to try to capture oil mist/smoke in some kind of hood or superstructure and from there convey it through a duct to the filter unit.
Oil mist generated by CNC machining and other production processes. Click on the image to open.