NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Controlling silica dust from foundry casting-cleaning operations.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1999 Mar; 14(3):155
Description of Hazard: Exposure to respirable silica dust can lead to the development of silicosis, a debilitating and potentially deadly lung disease. In foundry operations, workers who clean small castings made from sand molds use various handheld chipping and grinding tools. If dust exposures are not adequately controlled, workers breathe in high concentrations of respirable silica. Description of Controls: Studies conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have shown that excessive concentrations of respirable silica are produced when cleaning castings made from sand molds. Use of the local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system described below significantly reduced worker exposures to respirable dust by 59 percent to 77 percent for various cleaning tools. This system may keep worker exposures to respirable silica below permissible limits and eliminate the need for workers to wear respirators. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) System: The LEV system consists of a downdraft ventilation booth outfitted with a turntable for manipulating the castings. This system is designed to enclose and draw air contaminants downward through a grate opening at the working surface of the table for cleaning small castings. The table surface opening for this booth is approximately 5 ft long and 1.5 ft deep; airflow rate for the system was about 5600 ft3/min. This LEV system exceeds the minimum recommended face capture velocity of 200 ft/min. The turntable allows the worker to have easy access for cleaning multiple surfaces and directing the dusts generated from the tools toward the grate opening, away from the breathing zone.
Occupational-exposure; Silica-dusts; Respirable-dust; Airborne-dusts; Dust-exposure; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Ventilation-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Foundry-workers; Quartz-dust
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division