HETA Report No. HHE-79-104-107, Tammsco, Incorporated, Tamms, Illinois.
NIOSH 1979:35 pages
A study was conducted of current and ex-workers at a silica (7631869) mining facility (SIC-1446), Tammsco, Incorporated, located in Tamms, Illinois in order to determine whether workers were being exposed to hazardous levels of silica dust and what the prevalence of silicosis was among current and former employees. The silica dust in question was approximately 100% alpha-quartz (14808607). Mean particle size from air samples in the facility was 5.2 micrometers. Of 34 samples taken, 28 exceeded the NIOSH recommended standard of 0.05mg/m3. One individual sample was several hundred times this level. Of the 30 current workers, 25 participated in the study along with 11 of 31 eligible former workers. No evidence of silicosis on radiographic exam was found in workers with less than one year of exposure. Three of 15 current workers with one or more years of exposure and 4 of 11 exworkers had radiographic changes indicative of silicosis. NIOSH concluded that a hazardous situation existed at this site and that continued exposure at these levels would result in shortened life times for the exposed workers. Recommendations called for the immediate implementation of workplace improvements including the following: installation of a high efficiency vacuum system to vacuum work clothes prior to removal; intensification of general housekeeping to prevent dust accumulation; elimination of dry sweeping or blowing with compressed air; and institution of engineering controls to protect the bagger. Other recommendations include periodic environmental monitoring, personal respiratory protection, comprehensive medical examinations for exposed workers, and job transfers for workers with evidence of silicosis.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-104-107; Hazard-Confirmed; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Airborne-dusts; Mining-industry; Region-5; Mineral-processing; Dust-inhalation; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Mineral-dusts;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Environmental Investigations Branch, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. HHE-79-104-107, 35 pages, 15 references