Compressed air can play a specific – and safe – role in the clean-up operation when textile dust becomes a concern.

The Health & Safety Executive warns that textile dust can be hazardous in several different ways, ranging from its chemical interactions when breathed into the body, to its potential to explode.

All of these different possible threats make it important to keep dust under close control in any premises where large quantities of textiles are handled – and compressed air can help to do this.

However, it is important to know the correct way to use an air compressor in the clean-up operation, to avoid making things worse.

Importantly, you should not simply try to blow the dust away, as you might do using a leaf blower in a garden.

This risks lifting settled dust into the air, where it might be more likely to be breathed into the lungs of anyone in the area.

Instead, use compressed air to spray a mist of water on to the dust, dampening it down; it should then be much safer to sweep away the resulting sludge, without lifting dry particles into the air.