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3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Heavy Metal Mining Dusts

The mining industry is one of (if not the most) dangerous job professions in the world. The everyday workplace -whether as a miner, operator, manager, e...

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|Oct 23|magazine7 min read

The mining industry is one of (if not the most) dangerous job professions in the world. The everyday workplace -whether as a miner, operator, manager, etc - presents an array of potentially fatal health and safety hazards, like exposure to heavy metal dust.

Exposure to this mining element is a lose-lose situation. The toxicity in heavy metal dust not only causes a slew of health problems (mental confusion, muscle and joint pain, short-term memory loss, neurological impairment, chronic fatigue, kidney failure) but the effects are permanent.

To combat these hazards, we’ve compiled a list of 3 ways miners can protect themselves from heavy metal mining dust. 

1. Protection

The first step in protecting yourself is wearing protective gear. Things like respirators, eyewear, aprons and gloves should be worn at all times during interaction with these toxic elements.  

2. Hygiene

Maintaining a consistent and thorough hygiene is important not just in life, but in preventing exposure to hazardous material as well.

In case of accidental exposure, applying a skin and hand care regimen can help in preventing further contact, according to DebGroup.com.

“A three-step skin care program should be implemented, starting with the application of an effective before-work cream. Some of these help as a preventive measure against irritants, while others are designed to help combat the effects of maceration due to sweating — for example, under gloves. This program should continue with the application of a skin-compatible cleanser and conclude with the application of an after-work moisturizing cream, which should be used to replenish lost oils and lipids in the skin. In addition, all products in the three-step program should be specific to the substances being handled.”

3. Knowledge

To better protect yourself, make sure you know what substances you’re working with. Taking the time to learn and understand the chemicals you're using will only further assist in preventing injuries. Don't forget: reading the material safety data sheet will only ehance your chances of staying safe.

Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power.