The Bureau of Mines and many member companies of the Industrial Sand Association have been working in several areas to reduce personal exposure to respirable dust. Areas investigated include ventilation, modification of hardware, moisture addition to the product, and improved housekeeping practices. Ventilation systems have been devised and shown to contain 100 pct of a tracer gas released within the hood. An industrial clean air island has been developed and shown to reduce dust levels 90 pct at the operator's position. Modification on hardware on a bag-filling machine has been demonstrated to reduce dust 83 pct at the machine operator's lapel. This particular development has been termed a significant advancement in the state of the art of bag filling by industry representatives. Addition of moisture to dried product materials has been tested with results showing dust reductions of 90 pct are possible. Control of the moisture-addition method still needs refinement and costs may be prohibitive. Dust sampling results clearly show the benefits of housekeeping practices such as building cleaning and vacuum sweeping. Rotation of work schedules is also effective for reducing personal exposure.
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