Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Commercial Bakery, Kitchen and Food Processing Workers in Puerto Rico Advised of Respirable Flour Dust Exposure and Work-Related Asthma

Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Zimmetry Environmental provides industrial hygiene and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks from asthma triggers and respiratory irritants.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico, March 23rd, 2020 -- The restaurant and food service industries are leading employment segments in Puerto Rico’s economy. According to some estimates, over 69,000 people are employed in jobs in these industries across the islands.

 

Many of these workers, and others involved in food packaging, processing and manufacturing plants, could come into regular contact with respirable flour dust during the course of their day. While the various cereal grain flours have been instrumental in feeding the world’s population since ancient times, those regularly exposed to it in the air they breathe could develop respiratory issues.

 

One such concern is baker’s asthma. The condition is a form of occupational or work-related asthma that can be caused by, or exacerbated by, exposure to respirable flour dust. Allergies, along with eye and respiratory irritation, are other possible reactions to repeated exposure to flour dust. Some workers could even develop dermatitis due to regular skin contact with flour.

 

Aerosolized flour dust, in a confined space, can also be a combustible dust explosion hazard under certain conditions. Over the years, combustible dust explosions caused by flour or grain dusts have tragically injured and killed a number of workers throughout the United States and caused devastating property destruction.

 

“Flour is such a universal ingredient in so many foods that workers are going to be exposed to it in the air at times, but there are ways to identify issues and steps that can be taken to minimize respirable dusts,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “In Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, our industrial hygiene professionals provide worksite assessments, air testing and monitoring for flour dust and other particulate matter, and provide solutions that business owners and managers can implement to mitigate airborne dust hazards. These include engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment to name a few.”

 

Zimmetry Environmental has also recently sponsored an educational video about baker’s asthma and exposure to flour dust that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/FHcAypJJUFA

 

To learn more about Zimmetry’s asthma trigger, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, combustible dust, environmental, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email info@zimmetry.com.

 

About Zimmetry Environmental

Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.