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Industrial hygiene walk-through report, Westex Talc Inc., Tumble Down Mountain Mines (Milwhite Talc Co., Inc.), Van Horn, Texas.

Johnson PL
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 036-18, 1976 Sep; :1-2
A visit was made to the Westex Talc Inc., Tumble Down Mountain Mines, located in Van Horn, Texas for the purpose of better understanding possible hazards to the health of workers in the talc mining and milling industry. All mines of Westex Talc Inc. were open pit using bench quarry techniques. Primary access to and from the mines was by a 5 to 6 mile dirt road. There were two connecting mines operating at this 40 acre location. Both alternated their employees as drivers, loaders, blasters and track drill operators. Mining operations were conducted during an 8 to 10 hour day, 6 days a week. The ore was stockpiled at the nearby mill and hauled to the mill at the rate of 250 to 300 tons per day. Health hazards included potentially excessive dust exposures. Personnel records date back to 1971 and they were complete with social security numbers and work histories. The author recommends that the roadways be wetted down or graded to help eliminate dust hazards, that respirator protection be mandatory in all dusty areas, that NIOSH approved dust respirators be used in dusty areas, that specific safety equipment be incorporated into the work practices at the site, and that a communication system be provided and maintained at the mines for emergency use.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; IWS-036-18; Region-6; Safety-practices; Mining-industry; Miners; Dust-exposure; Airborne-dusts; Mineral-dusts
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Field Studies; Industry Wide
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division