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Occupational exposure to silicate fibres and PAHs during sugar-cane harvesting.
Boeniger M; Hawkins M; Marsin P; Newman R
Ann Occup Hyg 1988; 32(2):153-169
Exposures to inorganic fibers, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and total dust were determined for worker performing various field tasks in conjunction with sugar cane harvesting in Florida. Air samples were collected in the fields for determination of biogenic fibers, general dustiness, and quantitation of PAHs formed during the burning of the sugar cane leaf. Bulk leaf samples and bulk leaf ash collected were collected for determination of inorganic fibers and analysis of 16 specific polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Significant inorganic fiber concentrations were determined for only two of 12 samples taken at the burning site and two of seven samples collected at the cutting site. X-ray analysis showed the majority of the fibers to contain silicon (7440213) primarily in conjunction with magnesium and calcium. The majority of the fibers were less than 1 micrometer in diameter and between 2 and 10 micrometers in length. Up to 300,000 fibers/cubic meter were measured in the air during cane cutting. No polyaromatic hydrocarbons were detected in 18 air samples collected from the burning and cane cutting sites. The total dust exposure measured were below established limits for nuisance dust. Fluorene (86737), phenanthrene (85018), and anthracene (120127) were determined in the field ash samples at concentrations of 26, 15, and 13 micrograms per gram respectively.
NIOSH-Author; Silicates; Phenyl-compounds; Agricultural-industry; Air-contamination; Airborne-fibers; Mineral-dusts; Vegetation; Polynuclear-aromatic-hydrocarbons
7440-21-3; 86-73-7; 85-01-8; 120-12-7
Issue of Publication
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division