Dust is a killer ...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by topsites, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The other day I got involved in a job where there was a lot of dirt, which in turn created clouds of dust... We're talking the kind of stuff drifts halfway down the block, thick, billowing clouds of dirt particles floating everywhere, the air in the entire backyard was covered in dust, stuff was everywhere you could hardly see.

    Figuring a bit of dirt never hurt anybody, and having been in this business now in my 5th year, I did what I usually do which is to breathe at strategic times and turn your face away etc, etc... I honestly do not believe a pollen / dust mask would've made a difference, it might've helped but it's not enough regardless... We're not talking your standard daily pollen intake which is normal in this business, I'm talking at least 10 times more.

    Once I got done I knew I had done something to myself I might pay for later, I felt ok but something was off, I could just feel it.
    3-4 hours later I had a fever, runny nose and a bad cough... Much like the flu but now on my 3rd day, even cold medicine only helps a little.
    Everything hurts, it's like the worst case of spring fever, literally like a bad case of the flu.

    Come to find out I am lucky because dust can actually kill you, I am putting this here so other people can learn that dust and pollen in great amounts is highly dangerous and before I attempt another high dust content job, I will wear a Gasmask capable of withstanding Chemical Biological warfare (I ain't joking cauz if you felt the way I've been feeling for the last 3 days, heed the advice because those stupid dust and pollen masks don't get a good seal and if they do you can't breathe - get a gasmask I am not joking).

    Oh by the way, a decent gasmask is 100 dollars and one filter is 30-40 dollars so if you don't wear one, at least include the cost in the price in case you get sick, you might need the money. I got my $60 / hour but I should've charged more, considering.

    Ahhh well, live and learn.
  2. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    I'd love to see pics of you working w/ a gas mask on...
  3. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    In my youth I worked in a cement factory, we used breathers, not a gas mask but one with two filters... you still had plugged nose at the end of the day.

    I just did my first full day of Power Raking... very dirty job compared to window cleaning, nothing like what you're talking about though.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh I'm sure it looks funny but I found one that's not as pricey and really, once you get these clouds of dust... I wouldn't wear it for the day to day pollen, that hardly phases me. It's not too bad now, but 3 days of sick as a dog, the 2nd day was the worst, the fever and the cough, ugh the cough.

    Here's one for 50 bucks, cartridges for 15:

    Way I got into the job (get this): chopping up leaves with the Wb. It was a TON of them, and the soil was dry underneath.
    Good thing I only got sick, one of the local guys told me it really can kill you, all it takes is enough of it and maybe a certain type of spore.

    So help me if they call me next year I am ordering the gas mask, I am sure they won't laugh because the husband did it last year and they agreed to the $60 / hour price without too much further ado... Some understandable hesitation, but someone there knew lol
    It's all good thou, no hard feelings on this one.
    Yeah, they could've warned me but that wouldn't have been a good idea either lol

    Might order it anyway, keep it around just in case.
  5. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I feel ya.. Today I did a job, yanking up about 15 bushed with the truck and 2 hours of breathing in a bunch of dust and exhuast fumes made my chest hurt like I had pulled some muscles..
  7. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Like most folks, there are always times when my mowing stirs up some sizeable dust clouds. My biggest problem is that in the warmer months I sweat like a pig! So, for me, wearing anything like a gas mask would be out of the question. What does work very well for me are surgical masks. You can get them at just about any medical supply company and they are very inexpensive. A box of 50 cost about $12.00. That takes care of my breething but I still have trouble with the dust caking up in my eyes. I have tried goggles, the kind that some motorcyclists wear, but my sweat gets them wet and foggy. When I'm done for the day I just clean my eyes thoroughly with Visine.
  8. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    Dust can mess you up. 1 year the dust i was breathing in infected my nasal and facial muscles. i could not even spit cause my facial muscles were all messed up. i had to tape my right eye shut at night because it would not stay shut on it's own. It was kinda like bell palsey, which is what the doctor thought it was at 1st. but it was just caused by the dust. bout a week later i was fine.

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