It is only the second day of NaBloPoMo and I have no clue what to write about.  So how about I tell you about the homework assignment I’m working on?

I have to design a ventilation hood that will reduce dust in a food processing plant that produces cake mixes, brownie mixes, muffin mixes and other dry food mixes.

The most common form of occupational asthma does not come from nasty fumes or vapors or noxious gases; or from asbestos or fiberglass or other carcinogenic particulates.  The most common form of occupational asthma comes from food; mostly from dry baking ingredients such as flour, powdered egg, milk powder, flavor additives and yeast.  “Baker’s asthma” has been around for centuries, basically for as long as people have been baking bread.  The single-most effective way of reducing workplace illnesses, whether in a factory or in an office, is to have a good ventilation system.  Fresh air makes everything better; recirculated air is bad.  Remember that.

The key to a good ventilation hood is being able to suck up the containment very close to the source, so that it never goes near the worker’s face and breathing zone.   Large hoods that suck up containments from across a room are not effective; neither are large clumsy hoods that are attached directly to the machinery.   I am (trying) to design a slot hood, which is able to draw containments out of the air without a large loss due to friction, thus minimizing energy waste.  So that’s the goal.  I have to finish tonight, wish me luck.

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