Usage of Chalk in teaching is widespread around the world due to its low cost. But do we know the harmful effects it brings along with it for the teachers using it?
While teaching when teachers use chalks to write on the blackboards, a large amount of fine chalk dust is produced. Exposure to chalk dust is associated with respiratory diseases. In institutions that still use chalk, teachers endure the greatest direct risk. Inhaling chalk dust over a period of time is harmful and what accompanies it can be fatal. Let us understand how.
During teaching, the chalk dust entering the respiratory system through nasopharyngeal region and mouth could be extensive in teachers due to their proximity to the board and frequent opening of mouth during lectures and occasional gasping and heavier breathing due to exhaustion. Studies show that chalk dust may remain suspended in air for some time before settling on the floor and body parts of the teachers and pupils.
Chalk dust contains toxic materials and could be harmful to allergic persons. It may also cause lacrimation and breathing troubles in the long run.
Substances that come into contact with the skin are absorbed and eventually find their way into the bloodstream. Toxins and other harmful products accumulate in the vital organs over a period of time causing many problems with our bodies. Lecturer's chalk is a native hydrous magnesium silicate sometimes containing a small portion of aluminum silicate or calcium carbonate.
Even though the scientists acknowledge that chalk and chalkboards these days are being supplanted, in many schools, by whiteboards and other more modern, less intrinsically dusty technology. But usage of chalk still enjoys wide acceptance in many countries.
Conclusion: Can Chalk Dust be considered as Life-threatening?
There are two theories in the question of chalk dust safety. One theory states that the main ingredients of chalk dust are considered to be non-toxic, which simply means they do not pose a threat when ingested. In another theory, chalk dust can and does accumulate in the human respiratory system, which means it can create long-term health problems due to over exposure. To conclude, swallowing a piece of white chalkboard chalk will not kill you, but breathing in chalk dust for a number of years can create or trigger respiratory problems.
To avoid such a situation to arise, all teachers can always take prior precautions. Wearing a discreet and almost invisible protection - Clenare Nasal Filter is an alternative. While teaching in the classrooms without any loss of clarity in their speech and expression with a little device that helps filter out the air directly from within our nostrils without having to cover our faces. We all must remember that Precaution is always better than cure.