Combustible dust is defined as a combustible particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape. Although dust can be found in every environment on earth, there are certain dusts that can cause potential harm when there is enough accumulation and an ignition source. Materials that have the potential to form combustible dust include metals, wood, coal, plastic, biosolids, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, and certain textiles. Combustible metals include but not limited to aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. 

The key factor in preventing combustible dust is regularly inspecting areas and implementing a regular cleaning schedule within those work areas. Additionally, the use of a principal engineering control (dust collection system) should always be used when generating dust specifically wood dust.  Each area should be monitored on a regular basis for dust accumulations especially on vertical and horizontal surfaces. 

For more information contact the EHS Office at 765-285-2832 or view the BSU Hazardous Dust Control Guide and the Crystalline Silica Control Guide.