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Bank holiday warning from University of Surrey scientists to DIY workers

DIY

5:08pm 30th August 2015
(Updated 6:00am 31st August 2015)

Scientists from the University of Surrey are warning DIY enthusiasts and construction workers to be aware.

It is as new research unveils the dangers of breathing in harmful particles which are released during building refurbishment works.

They found peak concentrations of potentially harmful ultra fine particles reach up to 4000 times normal levels when undertaking building activities such as drilling.

Breathing of these particles is linked with serious cardiovascular and respiratory system related diseases, with ultra fine particles penetrating deeper into the lungs.

The researchers also found that the greatest ultra fine particle emissions occurred during wall chasing (cutting grooves into a wall using an electrical tool, for example to lay electrical cables).

Team lead and the corresponding author Dr Prashant Kumar from the University of Surrey said:  

"As far as these small particles are concerned, they are tiny and have a very large surface area so they are capable of going deeper into the lungs and cause more serious diseases. They can pass-locate, basically, into different parts of the body.

"There's around 13 thousand each year from lung disease and cancer which are likely to have been caused by past exposure to particles in dust and chemicals from industrial work. So this isn't research that's come out suddenly, the statistics  has been there."

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