Most hazardous substances are labelled and identified, but there are also carcinogens created as a by-product during a work process, so called process-generated carcinogens (PGCs). As PGCs are usually not labelled and not referred to in Safety Data Sheets, these PGCs need special attention in OSH practice because millions of workers in Europe are daily exposed to PGCs. One of the processes that emits PGCs is abrasion.
Abrasion is the eroding of material by the side-to-side movement of surfaces. Upon abrasion there is actual damage of material, and in many cases lead to the release of abrasive dust. In occupational settings, abrasive dust is formed during for example sawing hard wood / metal or drilling in concrete. The abrasive dust may contain carcinogenic substances and is easily inhaled if elimination and control strategies are not applied.