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OSHA/NIOSH hazard alert: worker exposure to silica during hydraulic fracturing.

Authors
OSHA; NIOSH
Source
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-166, 2012 Jun; :1-7
NIOSHTIC No.
20040975
Abstract
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identified exposure to airborne silica as a health hazard to workers conducting some hydraulic fracturing operations during recent field studies. Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is a process used to "stimulate" well production in the oil and gas industry. It is not a new process, but its use has increased significantly in the last 10 years because of new horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracking (or "completions") technologies that improve access to natural gas and oil deposits. It involves pumping large volumes of water and sand into a well at high pressure to fracture shale and other tight formations, allowing oil and gas to flow into the well. NIOSH's recent field studies show that workers may be exposed to dust with high levels of respirable crystalline silica (called "silica" in this Hazard Alert) during hydraulic fracturing. This Hazard Alert discusses the health hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing and focuses on worker exposures to silica in the air. It covers the health effects of breathing silica, recommends ways to protect workers, and describes how OSHA and NIOSH can help. Workers and employers need to be aware of the hazard that silica dust poses. Employers must ensure that workers are properly protected from exposure to silica. This Hazard Alert also provides a brief summary of other health and safety hazards to workers conducting hydraulic fracturing activities.
Keywords
Oil-industry; Gas-industry; Silica-dusts; Respirable-dust; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Health-hazards; Employee-exposure; Personal-protective-equipment; Air-contamination; Hydraulic-equipment; Carcinogens; Natural-gas; Dust-exposure
CAS No.
14808-60-7
Publication Date
20120601
Document Type
Numbered Publication
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
PB2016-100654
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 2012-166; B07092012
NIOSH Division
WSO
Priority Area
Mining: Oil and Gas Extraction
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
CO; AR; ND; PA; TX; DC
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