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Posted on Apr 26, 2016 in Small Business

Beginner’s guide to local exhaust ventilation systems

There are plenty of processes and activities in the industrial field that generate dust, fumes and other residues likely to affect the health of employees. Taking into consideration that they are quite dangerous, these need to be controlled properly to prevent people from breathing them in and develop health conditions such as respiratory dysfunctions (asthma or lung scarring) or even cancer. Harmful dusts cause a wide array of serious problems for those who breathe it, reason for which local business have come up with the solution of using local exhaust ventilation systems, also known as LEVs. The main purpose of these devices is dust extraction and fume control, aimed to provide industrial workers with a safe and secure working environment. There are multiple LEV products available on the dedicated market, which is why understanding who these work is quite important in order for buyers to make an informed decision. Read on to discover some basic details about these complex yet efficient systems.

LEV – common sources and processes

Local exhaust ventilation systems are similar, since they all work using the same principle. In the woodworking industry, for instance, raw material processing (cutting, shaping and sanding) results in an unbreathable atmosphere, so the intervention of a LEV is mandatory. The process is actually quite simple: hoods are used to enclose the machine or tool that produces dust, then the LEV airflow into these hoods absorbs the dust, carrying it away through a tube. Once this operation is done, the contaminated air resulting is transported through a special duct towards a filter or fan unit. There, the filter removes the dirt, dust and grind from the air, by the means of the movement generated by the fan inside the system. There are several activities that produce industrial residues, which is why the worker needs protection by the LEV hood to stay safe and productive.  The fume cloud is emitted and gets directed towards the enclosing hood, in order to prevent it from reaching the breathing area of the person performing the operation. The airflow, together with the hood, acts to protect the worker’s health.

The importance of choosing the right LEV system

No matter the space the LEV system needs to clean, getting local exhaust ventilation system testing and choosing the most suitable hood is crucial for the success of the operation. If the hood has the right design, in accordance to the process developed, then it will also be able to eliminate the right amount of dust and fume. Depending on the extent and complexity of the operations performed inside a building, the LEV can perform dust extraction through more than one machine. This type of systems come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from some that are large enough to stand in (used in the automotive industry, for example), to tiny ones that look like a pipe and are used remotely, for intricate activities.