The particles of crystalline silica found in concrete and masonry dust are no joke. The cloud of dust that is produced when using masonry saws, demolition saws and mortar rakes is actually quite dangerous if it’s inhaled. The particles are so fine and can get lodged in your lungs causing irreversible damage called silicosis that presents as difficult breathing, chest tightness, severe cough and wheezing.
The crystalline silica in masonry dust is in the form of quartz. Most sand is almost 100% quartz and most masonry and concrete products like concrete, mortar, stone or brick contain large amounts of sand.
Silicosis is quite serious and the construction industry in the USA in particular has one of the highest numbers of deaths due to silicosis, leading to very strict guidelines around the dry cutting and grinding of masonry materials.
Silicosis is preventable, however, by using respiratory protective equipment and minimising the amount of dust out in the air. There are generally two ways to minimise the dust - wet or dry methods.
Wet cutting or water suppression does what it says on the tin, you add water to the situation. A continuous flow of water is pumped onto the cutting area while the saw is wall chasing, tuck pointing or trying to remove bricks or grout etc. However, the down side of the wet method is the inevitable slurry that is created when the water and dust mix together.
Another mess to clean up.
Dust extraction is a dry method that utilises powerful vacuums fitted to the tool with an air filter attached to suck up the dust that’s produced.
Giving Dust the Boot!
AllSaw VS Disc Cutter. Watch the video below to find out why the AS175 is the right tool for the job.
The down side of the wet method is the inevitable slurry that is created when the water and dust mix together.
A deeper, neater and safer cut.
We decided to take this one step further when we made the AllSaw. The tool has two forward-facing blades that operate in a unique, orbital cutting motion and, unlike disc cutters, the AllSaw doesn’t actually throw dust into the air and only produces a very minimal amount of fine dust particles.
The reciprocating movement of the blades produces larger dust particles that fall to the ground and the smaller dust particles are vacuumed up by the Heavy Duty Dust Boot, reducing the risk of silicosis and creating a safer working environment.
The beauty of the award-winning, patented, dual-blade cutting technology is that it combines a hammering and cutting motion, which makes for a deeper, neater and safer cut.
The real kicker is that the combination of all these elements mean that you can always see what you’re cutting, which we felt was kind of important! Especially if it’s something that requires real attention to detail such as brick restoration.
No matter the job, nobody likes mess and silicosis does not sound that much fun either.
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