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Occupational hygiene characterization of a highway construction project: a pilot study.

Authors
Greenspan-CA; Moure-Eraso-R; Wegman-DH; Oliver-LC
Source
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1995 Jan; 10(1):50-58
NIOSHTIC No.
00225384
Abstract
A study of occupational noise, respirable silica (14808607), and asphalt fume exposures among highway construction workers was conducted. This was a pilot study for a larger study addressing hazards associated with a heavy highway construction project. The study group consisted of 25 engineers and laborers involved in building a highway exchange. Full shift noise exposures were measured for engineers operating heavy equipment. Random area noise levels were also measured at various distances from heavy equipment. Personal air sampling for total and respirable dust, respirable silica, and asphalt fumes was conducted. The benzene soluble fraction (BSF) of asphalt fumes was analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Time weighted average (TWA) noise exposures of the heavy equipment operators varied from 67.8 to 103 decibels-A (dBA). The highest exposure was measured on an asphalt paver operator and the lowest on a Caterpillar operator who was in an enclosed insulated cab. The overall average noise exposure was 89.0dBA. Approximately 83% of the exposures were above the OSHA standard of 90dBA recommended for the construction industry. Area noise exposures varied from 89 to 136dBA. Total dust exposures varied from 0.24 to 3.70mg/m3. The highest exposure was measured on a laborer performing excavation and shoveling work. Respirable dust concentrations measured in three samples averaged 0.03, 0.08, and 0.53mg/m3. The silica content of the samples averaged 0.17, 0, and 0.12mg/m3, respectively. Total asphalt fume concentrations measured during asphalt paving operations ranged from 0.20 to 3.46mg/m3. The BSF concentrations ranged from 0.19 to 3.38mg/m3. PAHs were detected in the BSF fraction in three of 11 samples. The authors conclude that this pilot study indicated that more in depth exposure assessments are needed in the highway construction industry, and engineering controls are needed to reduce noise, dust and fume exposures.
Keywords
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Construction-workers; Road-construction; Occupational-exposure; Silica-dusts; Asphalt-fumes; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Equipment-operators;
CODEN
AOEHE9
CAS No.
14808-60-7;
Publication Date
19950101
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
2937066
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Fiscal Year
1995
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-306169
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
1047-322X
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
DC
Performing Organization
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC
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