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Evaluation of isocyanate exposure during polyurethane foam application and silica exposure during rock dusting at an underground coal mine.
Int J Occup Environ Health 2010 Oct-Dec; 16(4):541
A union representing employees at an underground coal mine asked the HHE Program to evaluate potential methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI) exposure during the application of polyurethane foam, and silica and asbestos exposures during rock dusting. The HHE Program investigators watched employees apply polyurethane foam and spray rock dust and then tested the surface of the foam applicator gun to see if it was contaminated with MDI. Investigators also took samples of rock dust to analyze for silica and asbestos and monitored the rock duster's breathing zone air for respirable silica and dust. Investigators found that the foam applicator gun was not contaminated with MDI after spraying and found that nitrile gloves worn by a brattice-worker while applying foam protected his skin from MDI. Asbestos was not found in the rock dust, but silica was. A rock duster's exposures to silica were below applicable exposure limits, but statistical analysis showed that rock dusters are likely overexposed to silica some of the time. Investigators recommended that brattice-workers continue to be required to wear nitrile gloves while applying polyurethane foam and that managers ensure that airflow in the mine carries rock dust away from the rock dusters. Program investigators also recommended that the use of respirators at least as protective as a half-mask N95 filtering facepiece be required during rock dusting and that the mine should implement a written respiratory protection program. The final report is available at <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2009-0085-3107.pdf"target="_blank">https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2009-0085-3107.pdf</a>.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respirators; Silica-dusts; Dusts; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment; Coal-mining
101-68-8; 7631-86-9; 14808-60-7; 1332-21-4; 471-34-1
Issue of Publication
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division