A static spark in an enclosed space and a build up of 1/32 of an inch (the thickness of a dime) of volatile dust covering 5% surface area of a room dispersed into the air can cause a dust explosion. A study launched by the Chemical Safety Board found that between 1980 and 2005 there have been at least 281 combustible dust fires and explosions. These incidents have taken 119 lives and injured 718 more. These accidents also have an economic impact. Leading insurance firms estimate the direct costs of an explosion typically run in excess of one million dollars, with many unprotected explosions leveling plants, or even closing businesses.
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