How concerned should I be about glass dust?
March 30, 2013 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Last week I broke the sunroof to my car and significant amount of glass fell into the car. I've cleaned the big pieces out and vacuumed. I've also replaced the window. However, I'm worried about glass dust.

I know that inhalation of glass dust is a respiratory hazard and can lean to serious illness over time. I also know that this is usually a result of occupational exposure. But I'm wondering if I'm at risk from any fine glass that might still be in my car. I've only driven it a few times since the window was broken. Is this something I should be worried about?
posted by el chupa nibre to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: No. I've been in car accidents with LOTS of glass, and this wasn't an issue.

Silicosis results from years of breathing dust through occupational exposure - usually not from actual glass, but from mining/production methods that involve silica.
posted by Vantech at 6:31 PM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There is no risk to you from any "glass dust" produced by this accident.

If you doubt it, take your car up to speed on a highway and open the windows for a few minutes.

If harmful "glass dust" was present before, it certainly wouldn't be afterward.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:40 PM on March 30, 2013

Best answer: The kind of "glass dust" you're worried about is produced during cutting or grinding of glass, like in a factory or a workshop. Your sunroof is made of special, tempered automotive glass that doesn't even tend to break into small pieces, to say nothing about dust-sized particles.
posted by Nomyte at 6:57 PM on March 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Agreed that tempered/safety glass isn't going to produce the type of dust of concern, and mostly this is a problem of repeated, lengthy exposure. If it bugs you, do a better job of getting the glass particles out with a big vacuum at the car wash place, or use a shop vac with a particulate filter, or just have your car detailed (mention the glass to them as an issue).
posted by dhartung at 1:52 AM on March 31, 2013

Best answer: Tempered glass is intended to break into largeish pieces with non-sharp edges, properly made to conform with safety requirements it will not produce splinters or dust (that requires grinding as Nomyte said).
posted by epo at 6:03 AM on March 31, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the reassurance! I'm a bit of a hypochondriac if that explains my question.
posted by el chupa nibre at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2013

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