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Oil mist: one pollutant, many dangers

NewsInsightMarch 7, 2023
Applications Oil Mists Coral Air Filtration

Leaking oil into the air causes a variety of problems that can range from simple but still risky accidents to irreparable damage to health.

A Coral area manager, during an inspection at a company that had a marked oil mist problem, noticed the extent of it at his own expense, slipped on the floor of the plant and ended up with a bruised arm, with no more serious consequences.

However, not everyone is so lucky: apart from the deposit of oil residue on surfaces that can cause slips and fractures, the misted oil present in a plant is inhaled by personnel who, in the absence of proper protective equipment, can develop even very serious respiratory diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, and even cancer.

Oil mist: what is it?

This is a fairly common pollutant in industrial environments that employ machine tools and is manifested by the presence and dispersion of oil particles in the air. The mist that forms may be most easily detected by smell, as the particles are often too small to be caught by sight or to be detected by inadequate air filtration systems.

The causes of oil mists

The release and dispersion of oily substances into the production environment can occur in many different ways: lubrication and cooling of tools, metalworking, cutting of materials, oil leaks from machines, and many other processes where lubricants, coolants, and other fluids are required. Oil mist is often associated with the equally insidious oil fumes, caused by combustion and overheating of lubricating fluids.

Mists and oil fumes: what health effects?

Oil mist can have a very serious impact on the health of operators and the environment. In particular, oil particles can enter the respiratory tract, causing long-term problems, including lung disorders, skin irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness and coughing. In addition, oil mist can make the work environment slippery, increasing the risk of workplace accidents. These problems can have significant repercussions on workers' health, plant productivity, and costs associated with health damage and absenteeism from work. Along with these possible problems, we can also mention the reduced functionality of machines and a significant shortening of their lifecycle, resulting in increased maintenance or replacement costs and a risk of downtime that can affect production operations.

How to eliminate oily mists?

A good rule is, of course, prevention: the establishment should have an optimal industrial ventilation system (e.g., with an adequate air intake and filtration system) to avoid the concentration of oil mist in the indoor environment.

In addition to this, it is important to complement regular and proper maintenance of machines, equipment, and especially filters, so periodic inspections, cleaning, and possible replacements are recommended.

Why use Coral systems for mist and oil fume abatement?

The use of a Coral filter for the elimination of oil mists and fumes brings several advantages to production.

Here are some of them:

  • Air quality: oil mist filters are designed to remove oil particles from the air, thus improving air quality in the workplace.
  • Health benefits: as a result, removing oil mists from the air helps reduce the risk of respiratory problems caused by prolonged exposure to oil mists and fumes.
  • Increased safety: oil mist filters help reduce the risk of slips and falls and thus fractures and bruises (as happened to our unfortunate employee).
  • Efficiency: oil mist filters help reduce machine wear and the need for maintenance. This results in greater efficiency and improved productivity, as well as considerable savings.
  • Environmental impact and economic savings: Coral's oil mist abatement systems enable the recovery of dispersed oil, which can then be reused, resulting in economic savings and reduced impact on the environment for the disposal of waste oil.
  • Legal compliant establishment: the use of Coral filters allows companies to comply with current regulations on pollutant emissions, thus preventing the risk of penalties.

Coral offers a variety of oil mist filters that can be fully integrated with different types of machines, suitable for use with both mists and fumes from whole oil and from emulsions and mixtures of oil and water. Coral filters suitable for oil mists can be either stand-alone solutions to be applied on-board the machine (such as the Noil filter) or more complex, articulated and modular systems (e.g., the line Oil Stop).

Write to us for a free consultation and an in-depth look at the many benefits that Coral mist and oil fume filtration systems can bring to your business.