Exposure to the dust created during the cutting and sanding of fibreglass is recognised as a potential danger to health. The use of power tools such as saws, grinders and sanders can create very high dust levels, especially if the work is in an enclosed or poorly-ventilated area, and the associated health risks are a priority for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in its dealings with the construction industry.
Workers can be unaware of the dangers that dust poses: there may even be complacency. Unlike the obvious risks of working in construction industry – such as falls – the dangers of dust exposure may not be immediately apparent, and some of the worst effects only become evident after long-term exposure.
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The long-term effects of the inhalation of fibreglass dust particles include breathing difficulties, asthma and decreased lung function.