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Bulk Bag Dusting: How To Address It

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  • What is bulk bag dusting?
    • When dust escapes from a bulk bag into the air and surrounding area during general bulk bag handling, unloading or filling
  • Why is it a problem?
    • Unnecessary cleaning
    • Health problems for workers, such as respiratory problems and skin irritation
    • Fire and explosion hazards
    • Contamination of products and equipment
    • Damage to property
  • How to Mitigate Bulk Bag Dusting Bulk Bag Design
  • Some ingredients can sift through the bulk bag fabric and seams during filling, handling and discharging. Proper bulk bag design is crucial for dust containment. Coated fabric, specific stitch patterns, felt sewn into the seams and  polyethylene liners can prevent product sifting.

Integral Dust Collection

Bulk bag unloaders can be designed with integral dust collection systems or ports to tie into a plant-wide dust collection system for discharging dusty materials. Dust containment options for unloaders include dust extraction ports (for connection to the plant-wide system), hygienic bag spout connections, integrated dust collector which uses a self-cleaning air pulse jet assembly with control circuit board, motor and fan and free-standing dust collectors.

  • Dust Seal
    • A dust-tight seal built into the base of the unloader can significantly help mitigate dusting.
  • Bulk Bag Tensioning
    • Proper tensioning of the bulk bag and liner is necessary to discharge the complete contents of each bag and prevent residual material from increasing dusting and spillage during bag removal.
  • Enclosed Access Chamber
    • Enclosing the bag spout access area and keeping it under slight negative pressure can minimize dusting issues and contain spillage. A glove box arrangement should be considered for hazardous material applications.
  • Outlet Spout Docking
  • Clamping the outlet spout to a transition that connects with the downstream process ensures complete product containment.

‘Empty’ Bulk Bag Removal

  • Tying off the bag spout tightly before bag removal is imperative to prevent dusting. A ‘bag collapsing’ feature that utilizes a dust collector to evacuate the bag can rid the environment of suspended dust.


  • Bulk bag dusting can be a serious problem, but there are steps that can be taken to address it.
  • By choosing the right type of bag and using dust control measures can help to prevent bulk bag dusting and protect operators and your facility.
  • To ensure that the bulk bag unloader suits your application, have the supplier test your product in the equipment, specifically focusing on dust control.