Pigment Dust Collection

Because Pigment Dust Carries Dangerous Metals You Need to Control

Many pigments contain metallic compounds that give them brilliant colors. Unfortunately, some of those metals are quite toxic. In industrial facilities that work with paints, inks and dyes, pigment dust can become a serious problem for workers' health.

Metals present in many pigments include cadmium, zinc oxide, and hexavalent chromium. Cadmium is a soft metal that is useful in producing bright yellow, orange and red colors. Zinc oxide, sometimes also called “Snow White” or “Chinese White,” is a white powder used in a wide array of industrial processes. Hexavalent chromium is a compound that is used in some pigments and can also serve as an anti-corrosive agent in coatings and paints. Many of these elements and compounds carry significant risks when they travel through a facility in the form of dust.


Exposure Risks for Pigment Dust

The dangers of pigment dust are those of many toxic metals. For example, cadmium dust affects the kidneys and respiratory system even in low concentrations. Long-term exposure can affect the neurological, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems and is associated with cancers of the lung and prostate.

Exposure to chromium compounds is dangerous, as well. Chromium metal can cause dermatitis and pulmonary disease, but is not carcinogenic, unlike the compound hexavalent chromium. This compound, also known as Cr(VI), is a known cause of cancer. It can also damage the skin, eyes, kidneys, liver and the respiratory system. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 558,000 workers are potentially exposed to hexavalent chromium.


Regulations for Pigment Dust

OSHA regulates workers’ exposure to most of the toxic substances found in pigment dust. OSHA’s “permissible exposure limits” (PEL) measure a worker’s exposure during an entire eight-hour work shift and calculate the average exposure over that period. Below are some examples of the PEL’s for toxic substances found in pigments.

  • Cadmium: 5 µg/m3
  • Zinc oxide: 15 mg/m3
  • Chromium: 5 µg/m3
  • Iron oxide: 15 mg/m3
  • Cobalt: 0.1 mg/m3

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends different guidelines on these exposure limits, in some of these cases. This is not surprising, since ACGIH guidelines are generally more strict than OSHA’s. Many leading manufacturers, however, strive to meet ACGIH guidelines in order to protect their workers and lead their industries in worker safety.

Knowing what dangerous substances are in your specific pigment dust is crucial for complying with OSHA regulations. Services providing comprehensive chemical testing of your specific dust are available and an important investment in worker safety and regulatory compliance.

Solutions for Pigment Dust Collection

Although this dust is more dangerous than many other dusts, the act of pigment dust collection is similar to other methods. Whether a business needs a source capture solution, an ambient capture one, or a combination of the two, RoboVent offers a wide variety of dust extraction systems and engineering services to meet any challenge.


Traditional Configuration

The traditional configuration maximizes performance with ductwork sized for optimal airflow for your specific applications.


VentMapping® Engineering

VentMapping is a systematic engineering and design service. Our comprehensive approach helps us find the safest, most effective and most efficient way to meet your goals.

RoboVent Maintenance Program, Clean Air and Industrial Air Filtration Solutions

ClientCare Maintenance Program

ClientCare lets you leverage RoboVent's expertise so you can reduce the burden on your maintenance staff and stay focused on your core business.


Fusion™ Series

A dust collector on the cutting edge of air filtration. The Fusion Series delivers exceptional performance and cost savings in a powerful, simple package.


Endurex RMO Cartridge Filters, Dust & Fume Air Filters

Endurex RMO Cartridge Filters

RoboVent's premium filter engineered to provide the best filtration protection for your plant and employees. A widened pleat and proprietary filter media help deliver top performance.