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Exposures to quartz, diesel, dust, and welding fumes during heavy and highway construction.
Woskie SR; Kalil A; Bello D; Virji MA
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2002 Jul/Aug; 63(4):447-457
Personal samples for exposure to dust, diesel exhaust, quartz, and welding fume were collected on heavy and highway construction workers. The respirable, thoracic, and inhalable fractions of dust and quartz exposures were estimated from 260 personal impactor samples. Respirable quartz exposures exceeded the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure limit (REL) in 7-31% of cases for the trades sampled. More than 50% of the samples in the installation of drop ceilings and wall tiles and concrete finish operations exceeded the NIOSH REL for quartz. Thoracic exposures to quartz and dust exceeded respirable exposures by a factor of 4.5 and 2.8, respectively. Inhalable exposures to quartz and dust exceeded respirable exposures by a factor of 25.6 and 9.3, respectively. These findings are important due to the identification of quartz as a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Fourteen percent of the personal samples for EC (n=261), collected as a marker for diesel exhaust, exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) threshold limit value (TLV(R)) for diesel exhaust. Seventeen of the 22 (77%) samples taken during a partially enclosed welding operation reached or exceeded the ACGIH TLV of 5 mg/m3 for welding fume.
Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Employee-exposure; Quartz-dust; Silica-dusts; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Dusts; Welders; Welding; Fumes; Road-construction; Road-surfacing; Sampling; Exposure-limits; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Thorax; Breathing-zone; Respirable-dust; Carcinogens; Threshold-limit-values; Permissible-concentration-limits; Author Keywords: construction; diesel exhaust; quartz; silica; size-selective sampling; welding
Susan R. Woskie, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Construction Occupational Health Project, Department of Work Environment, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
The Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division