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Determinants of respirable silica exposure in stone countertop fabrication: a preliminary study.

Authors
Phillips-ML; Johnson-DL; Johnson-AC
Source
J Occup Environ Hyg 2013 Jul; 10(7):368-373
NIOSHTIC No.
20042955
Abstract
A preliminary study of personal exposure to respirable quartz was conducted in four shops that used a variety of wet and dry methods to fabricate countertops from granite and quartz-containing synthetic stone-likematerials. Full-shift time-weighted average (TWA) exposures exceeded the ACGIH threshold limit value of 0.025 mg/m3 for all workers who used dry fabrication methods, even for very limited time, during any part of the work shift (n = 15 person-days). The geometric mean of exposures for workers who used dry methods extensively was about 1 mg/m3 (n = 12 person-days). Workers who operated only automated or remotely controlled stone cutting or shaping equipment had calculated TWA exposures of approximately 0.02 mg/m3 (n = 3 person-days). Task-specific geometric mean exposures for various wet and dry manual operations were ranked based on estimated concentrations extracted from multi-task partial-shift sample results using a linear algebra procedure. Limited use of dry methods was observed in shops that had previously reported using only wet methods. These results suggest that even shops that report using only wet methods might, in fact, resort to brief use of dry methods for specific operations. Therefore, there may be reason for concern over potential overexposure to respirable quartz in all stone countertop shops.
Keywords
Silica-dusts; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Stone-processing; Quartz-dust; Silicosis; Small-businesses; Dust-control; Dust-exposure; Control-methods; Respirators; Risk-analysis; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Exposure-limits; Permissible-concentration-limits; Sampling; Exposure-assessment; Author Keywords: crystalline silica; determinants of exposure; granite dust; task exposure
Contact
Margaret L. Phillips, University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences Center, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, 801 Northeast 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
CODEN
JOEHA2
CAS No.
7631-86-9; 14808-60-7
Publication Date
20130701
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Margaret-Phillips@ouhsc.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2013
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T01-OH-008614; B20130805
Issue of Publication
7
ISSN
1545-9624
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
OK
Performing Organization
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Oklahoma City
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