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NIOSH update: NIOSH warns of silicosis risks in construction, suggests measures to reduce exposure.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-120, 1996 Jun; :1-2
This NIOSH Update provided recommendations for reducing workplace exposure to silica (14808607) and to help prevent silicosis. Some individuals associated with the construction industry appear to have a lack of awareness about the various sources of silica exposure, the nature of silicosis, and the causes of the disease. Information is urgently needed by construction workers, managers, and equipment manufacturers. The following measures were suggested to help reduce hazardous exposure: recognizing the generation of silica dust and planning to eliminate or control it at the source; substituting less hazardous blasting materials for silica sand; using engineering controls and containment methods; routinely maintaining dust control systems in good working order; practicing good personal hygiene; wearing disposable or washable protective clothing; showering and changing into clean clothes before leaving the worksite; conducting air monitoring; using adequate respiratory protectors; providing periodic medical exams; posting warning signs to mark boundaries of work areas contaminated with respirable crystalline silica; providing workers with proper training and reporting all cases of silicosis to the State Department of Health and to OSHA.
Silica-dusts; Dust-exposure; Industrial-hygiene; Personal-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Mineral-dusts; Airborne-dusts; Construction-industry
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-120
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division