Silicosis among workers involved in abrasive blasting - Cleveland, Ohio, 1995.
MMWR 1997 Aug; 46(32):744-747
The results of a medical screening, conducted by NIOSH in 1995 at the request of the Ohio Department of Health, of Cleveland area workers involved in or around abrasive blasting activities were presented. Respirators were reported to have been supplied to all but one of the 122 currently employed workers; however, 92% reported that use of the respirators was not required. Sixty six percent of these workers had been informed by their employer regarding health hazards associated with sand or silica (7631869) dust. Air supplied hoods with tight fitting face pieces were used by 32% of the workers directly performing blasting; only two of these workers had been fit tested for this respirator. Replaceable cartridge air purifying respirators were used by 79% of the workers and 18% used a dust mask. The most commonly used abrasive was silica sand. Chest radiographs consistent with pneumoconiosis were identified in 7% of the 113 workers who had ever blasted or worked as blasting helpers; all of these were classified as major profusion category one or greater. All of the workers with pneumoconiosis had performed blasting; only one worker was aware of the condition. An editorial response to this report was presented stressing a lack of knowledge concerning potential exposures to silica dust and good workplace practices among workers engaged in high risk occupations such as sand blasting.
NIOSH-Author; Medical-screening; Sand-blasters; Sand-blasting; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-protection; Silica-dusts; Personal-protective-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report