Industrial Shredders Resources

Don't let your Cardboard Dust cloud the Air!

Posted by IS Editor

Mar 15, 2017 5:06:30 PM

Dust is a real problem in paper plants, but you already knew that… but did you know how big a problem dust has become due to environmental, safety and regulatory over-site for paper plants?

Environmental regulations regarding dust are becoming stricter in the cardboard manufacturing industry for three main reasons:


1. The explosive nature of dust in the air

“Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces (such as aluminum or iron), given the proper conditions, can be explosable in dust form.

The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. For example, 3 workers were killed in a 2010 titanium dust explosion in West Virginia, and 14 workers were killed in a 2008 sugar dust explosion in Georgia. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, injured 718, and extensively damaged numerous industrial facilities.

A wide variety of materials that can be explosible in dust form exist in many industries. Examples of these materials include: food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc). These materials are used in a wide range of industries and processes, such as agriculture, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical production, furniture, textiles, fossil fuel power generation, recycling operations, and metal working and processing which includes additive manufacturing and 3D printing.”

Combustible Dust: An Explosion Hazard – United States Department of Labor. RIN: 1218-AC41.

2. Employee health regarding breathing conditions

“We’ve had people who have developed occupational asthma from breathing the fine dust.” - Bob Williamson, president of the San Francisco chapter of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU).

Other reported problems include bronchitis, allergic reactions, migraines, bacterial infections, conjunctivitis and sore throats.

3. Fire hazards due to an accumulation of dust in rafters and on equipment:

“It is essential that mills have a culture of good housekeeping to prevent hazards from waste materials lying around.

The following actions are recommended:

  • Particular attention should be paid to those areas where broke paper, dust or trim is produced, as this is easily ignited. Dust will accumulate on ledges and beams, and this should be regularly removed with vacuum equipment.” - Paper mills Guidance on fire risk Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee.
The consequence to cardboard sheet manufacturers who do not comply is becoming more severe, to the point that new equipment can be justified to avoid litigation.
  • The corrugated cardboard industry primarily is using shredders to destroy and or to air handle their scrap material today.
  • These shredders use a “Rip and Tear” methodology to break apart the cardboard, this process is noisy and causes more dust than the entire manufacturing process of the cardboard.

Dust can create a myriad of hazards for cardboard facilities. As in most cases the best cure is prevention. If you replace the equipment that is causing the most dust, less time and financial resources will be spent managing the dust accumulation.

  • Industrial Shredders has years of experience shredding paper and card board.
  • Industrial Shredders possess a technology that currently is being underutilized in the cardboard manufacturing industry.
  • The Technology is High Speed Shear Cut – A Unique Cutting System that shears the cardboard rather than tearing the cardboard which creates much less dust.
  • Industrial Shredders can also integrate a dust collection system inside the shredder to further reduce the amount of dust entering the atmosphere.
  • Industrial Shredders manufactures corrugated cardboard shredders up to 40 inches wide; (wider models are planned).


Dust Maintenance is a must, but prevention can get you much farther ahead. The cardboard shredders that we offer are SHEER CUT which prevents the significant production of dust created by Rip and Tear technology. To discuss your corrugated shredding challenges with dust, throughput and noise please call 330-549-9960 or simply leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!



Topics: Corrugated Box Recycling