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Evaluaton of occupational exposures among radon mitigation workerrs.

Bloom TF
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1997 May; :3-4
Exposure to radon decay products (RDP) has been linked with development of lung cancer among miners of uranium bearing ores. There is currently little RDP data for another occupationally exposed work group-individuals employed in the business of reducing residential radon exposures. During a study of occupational exposures of workers employed at six radon mitigation companies, NIOSH investigators measured real time concentrations of RDP during 21 mitigations using a radon working level meter with data logger. The six companies were selected using state radon concentration data reported to the Environmental Protection Agency from states participating in the State Residential Radon Surveys. Exposures to continuous noise, organic vapors, and respirable dust were also measured. For two mitigations, the average concentrations of RDP over the mitigation jobs were 106 milliWorking Levels (mWL) and 437 mWL, respectively. These levels, if experienced by workers on a 40 hour per week basis throughout the year, would exceed the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) of 1000 mWL Month (1 Working Level Month) per year. For the remaining 19 mitigations, average RDP concentrations ranged from 2 mWL to 66 mWL. Study data indicated that ensuring adequate preventilation prior to commencement of the mitigation can reduce unnecessary exposure to RDP. Exposures to short periods of continuous noise ranged from 99-112 dBA. Maximum organic vapor exposures, sampled from 1/2 to 4 hours, were 23 ppm of acetone, 67 ppm of methyl ethyl ketone, and 32 ppm of tetrahydrofuran Respirable dust concentrations were below the limit of detection. Based on the limited exposure times, these levels were below the applicable 8-hour NIOSH RELs and Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limits.
Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Lung; Lung-cancer; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Lung-function; Cancer; Mine-workers; Miners; Uranium-ore; Uranium-mining; Uranium-miners; Vapors; Inhalants; Dust-exposure; Dusts
10043-92-2; 7440-61-1; 109-99-9
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division