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A study of beryllium exposure measurements, part 2: evaluation of the components of exposure in the beryllium processing industry.
Seiler DH; Rice C; Herrick RF; Hertzberg VS
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1996 Feb; 11(2):98-102
An analysis of beryllium (7440417) exposures in the beryllium processing industry was performed. General air and breathing zone beryllium exposure data contained in NIOSH files for the period 1972 to 1975 were used in the analysis. The data had been collected in five beryllium processing facilities and were to be used in a NIOSH cohort mortality study of beryllium refinery employees. The concentrations were matched to the job titles of the employees and the time they spent performing each task or in the general area. The arithmetic mean (AM) exposure for each task or area was calculated and weighted by multiplying by the time spent performing the task or in the area. Daily weighted average (DWA) beryllium exposures were calculated by summing the time weighted AMs and dividing by the total worktime. There were 643 individual DWA beryllium exposures for workers with 38 job titles. Approximately 67% of the breathing zone DWA exposures exceeded 2 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3), the current standard. Representative data indicated that DWA beryllium exposures ranged from 0.3microg/m3 for a ceramic machine operator to 111.4microg/m3 for a vacuum cast furnace operator. Approximately 73% of the maximum breathing zone DWA exposures exceeded the 2microg/m3 standard. Only 18% of the general air DWA beryllium exposures exceeded the standard. Job tasks for which breathing zone exposures were recorded generally had shorter exposure times than tasks for which general air exposure data were available. Approximately 83% of tasks with breathing zone exposure data available had exposure times of 30 minutes (min) or less versus only 42% of the general tasks. Less than 10% of the tasks with breathing zone exposure data exceeded 60min, whereas 44% of those with general air exposure data exceeded 60min. The authors conclude that maximum short duration exposures may not be the major determinant of DWA exposures in this population of beryllium refinery workers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Training; Alkaline-earth-metals; Occupational-exposure; Industrial-hygiene; Workplace-monitoring; Metal-industry-workers
Environmental Health University of Cincinnati 3223 Eden Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: October 16, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division