The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the foundry industry (SIC-332) was evaluated. Questionnaires were sent to 872 foundry establishments to obtain information on PPE use for heat, silica, metal fume, and noise exposure. Fifty seven percent of the companies responded to the questionnaire. Reported information was validated by site visits to a number of the establishments. The data indicated that the foundry industry uses need many different types of PPE, but some devices currently available or in use may not adequately protect the wearer. PPE occassionally is not used at all. The authors conclude that foundry personnel responsible for the selection, acquisition, wearing, and maintenance of PPE need extensive training and education. Responsibility often is poorly defined, resulting in failure to conform with existing PPE regulations, or misapplication of existing equipment.