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Environmental aspects of fibrous glass production and utilization.
Environ Res 1975 Jun; 9(3):295-312
The environmental aspects of fibrous glass production and use are reviewed. Fibrous wool diameters and lengths are discussed. Processes used in forming fibers are described including steam attenuation, flame attenuation, and centrifugal or rotary process. Markets for fibrous glass are discussed. The biological effects of fibrous glass exposure in humans and animals are reviewed. Studies present strong arguments that particle dimensions are a possible key factor in fiber carcinogenesis and other pathogenic responses. Air samples in large diameter and small diameter insulation facilities are classified according to fiber forming method and fabrication operations. Ranges for airborne fiber sample concentrations and dust concentrations are summarized. Airborne fiber diameter distributions and fiber length distributions are examined. The most respirable fibers, those less than 3.5 micrometers in diameter and less than 50 micrometers in length, occur in those operations manufacturing and using small diameter glass fibers. The small diameter operations have respirable fiber concentrations many orders of magnitude higher than those found in wool insulation facilities and plastic bath fixture operations. The author concludes that the present worker population may not have been exposed long enough to small diameter fibers for significant respiratory diseases to be manifested. Exposures to respirable glass fibers need to be kept to an absolute minimum.
NIOSH-Author; Industrial-processes; Industrial-dusts; Airborne-fibers; Air-contamination; Carcinogenicity; Physical-properties; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Dust-analysis; Analytical-methods; Respirable-dust
John M. Dement, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, U. S. Public Health Service, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Issue of Publication
Environmental Research Journal
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division