Silicosis among pottery workers - New Jersey.
Valiante D; Bost P; Stanbury M; Szenics J
MMWR 1992 Jun; 41(23):405, 411
The results of a joint NIOSH and New Jersey State Department of Health (NJSDH) investigation of silicosis among pottery workers were summarized. The investigation was motivated by two deaths from silicosis in March 1985 that occurred among former employees of a sanitary ware pottery facility in New Jersey. A site visit performed by NJSDH in January 1987 revealed that the employees were potentially exposed to crystalline silica (14808607) (quartz). In June 1988, 47% of personal air samples contained quartz in excess of the OSHA standard of 100 micrograms per cubic meter. Based on these findings, it was recommended that specific controls be implemented and work practices be adopted to reduce the quartz exposures. An onsite medical screening conducted in October 1988 by NJSDH found that five of 120 employees (4%) had radiographic evidence of pneumoconiosis. None had had prior evidence of pneumoconiosis. NJSDH also found that although the company had implemented many of the recommendations, some problems persisted. NJSDH recommended that a comprehensive, vigorous respirator program be implemented to reduce quartz exposures at the facility to below the NIOSH recommended standard. An editorial note discussed the NJSDH surveillance of silicosis, the sanitary ware pottery industry, and the potential health hazards associated with the use of crystalline silica in this industry.
NIOSH-Author; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pottery-industry; Quartz-dust; Occupational-exposure; Industrial-hygiene; Medical-screening; Work-practices; Respiratory-protective-equipment
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services