Fertilizer manufacturing is a complex operation that presents its own occupational health and safety challenges such as health and environmental concerns, product loss, and contamination issues. Dust control remains an important OH&S issue at fertilizer manufacturing and distribution sites.
The dust is generated once the three main ingredients – nitrogen, phosphorous and potash are processed into a granular form and moved by conveyor belts through a process that applies the coatings, mixes the product and packages it for shipping. Dust release can also occur during handling, transportation, unloading of the product, and also during the cleaning of the equipment.
Fertilizer dust may contain a wide variety of metals and components which could be harmful to those exposed. It can lead to nose and throat irritation, various respiratory and immune problems, and affect skin and eyes.