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Assessment of silica exposure and engineering controls during tuckpointing.
Yasui-S; Susi-P; McClean-M; Flynn-M
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2003 Dec; 18(12):977-984
Exposures to crystalline silica in the construction industry are widespread. This report documents exposures to crystalline silica and describes the effectiveness of a commercially available dust collection system designed for tuckpointing tools. Exposure to respirable crystalline silica (quartz) can result in silicosis, a serious and often fatal disease with symptoms including shortness of breath, weight loss, weakness, and the onset of autoimmune diseases. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) regards silica as a suspected human carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have designated crystalline silica as a potential occupational carcinogen. NIOSH estimates that more than one million workers are at risk for silicosis, with the majority of them in construction trades. The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) and ACGIH Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for respirable quartz are 0.05 mg/m3. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for respirable dust containing crystalline silica for the construction industry is measured in millions of particles per cubic foot (mppcf) and is calculated using the following formula: PEL=250 mppcf/% silica+5. However, OSHA compliance officers use the general industry PEL for respirable silica to test for compliance on construction sites, calculating the allowable exposure based on the measured quartz percentage for each sample in accordance with the following equation: 10 mg/m3/(% quartz+2). In this article, we used the NIOSH REL and the ACGIH TLV as the evaluation criteria, as these values reflect more current research on the health effects of silica exposure.
Silica-dusts; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Silicosis; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-function; Respirable-dust; Crystal-structure; Case-studies; Tools; Dust-collection; Dust-collectors; Dust-control; Dust-exposure; Quartz-dust; Carcinogens; Permissible-concentration-limits; Permissible-limits; Masons; Health-hazards; Biological-effects
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
MD; MA; NC
The Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division