Mining Publication: Direct-on-filter Analysis for Respirable Crystalline Silica Using a Portable FTIR Instrument

Original creation date: January 2022

Authors: L Chubb, E Cauda

Information Circular - January 2022

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20064282

Pittsburgh, PA: 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. 2022-108, IC 9533, 2022 Jan; :1-69

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) exposure occurs in many industries, and the potential health effects of RCS have been well-documented. Monitoring is an essential part of any RCS exposure control plan, but the timeliness of results from the lab and the cumulative cost of analysis may limit the extent and the effectiveness of the monitoring process.

Field-based monitoring procedures offer a supplement to sample analysis completed by an offsite laboratory. By eliminating the time spent transporting samples and waiting for laboratory results, results are available the same day or the next day to allow operators to make decisions regarding controls. This enhances the ability to collect data more effectively, enables better control over potential exposures, and protects worker health.

This document details how to implement field-based monitoring for RCS. It is primarily intended for industrial hygienists and other workers with health and safety responsibilities, specifically within the mining industry (although workers in other industries may also find it useful). The document has been written for a user with experience in respirable dust or RCS exposure assessment but who does not necessarily have specialized training in analytical techniques. The following topics are covered:

  • General instructions for how to set up the equipment and the software required for field-based RCS monitoring.
  • Technical details of the monitoring method with explanations of why they are important.
  • Quality assurance procedures to ensure consistent data.
  • Examples and case studies on how to use different types of samplers in conjunction with field-based monitoring.
  • Links to additional resources for field-based monitoring.
  • Checklists to guide users through the process quickly.

This document contains guidance applicable to portable Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) instruments in general, though some instrument-specific guidance is also provided where necessary.

Cover of Direct-on-filter Analysis for Respirable Crystalline Silica Using a Portable FTIR Instrument
Information Circular - January 2022

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20064282

Pittsburgh, PA: 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. 2022-108, IC 9533, 2022 Jan; :1-69


Page last reviewed: 1/10/2022 Page last updated: 1/10/2022