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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-341-2288, Norfolk Southern Railway Company.
Cornwell RJ; Filios MS; Piacitelli C
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 90-341-2288, 1993 Feb; :1-40
In response to a request from the Virginia Department of Health, a study was made of silica (14808607) exposures for workers on the Norfolk Southern Railroad (SIC-4011). A private physician had reported that one of his patients seemed to have severe pneumoconiosis, probably silicosis. This patient had been a railroad maintenance of way employee for the company for about 20 years as a track laborer. Environmental sampling was conducted during track maintenance activities by Timber and Surfacing Gangs at three sites. Of the 50 personal breathing zone and 21 area samples collected for respirable dust and crystalline silica, 27 of the personal and ten of the area samples equalled or exceeded the NIOSH recommended limit for respirable quartz of 0.05mg/m3. A medical survey of 32 track maintenance workers found no evidence of pneumoconiosis or adverse respiratory health effects. The overall prevalence of chronic cough was 31% and for chronic phlegm and shortness of breath, 25% each. The authors conclude that Timber and Surfacing Gang workers were being overexposed to crystalline silica. There was a potential for excessive crystalline silica exposure for track maintenance workers. The authors recommend measures to reduce exposure and for medical surveillance.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-341-2288; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Region-4; Respiratory-system-disorders; Silica-dusts; Dust-exposure; Railroad-industry; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: Railroad; Line-haul Operating; Pneumocohiosis; Silicosis; Railroad-industry; Silica; Ballast; Granite
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division