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Evaluation of existing technologies for the control of exposures to hexavalent chromium-containing mists and dusts.

Blade-L; Wallace-ME; Khan-A; Topmiller-JL; Yencken-MS; Catalano-JD
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :44
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted 20 field surveys in selected industries, to characterize workers' exposures to hexavalent chromium-containing airborne particulate and evaluate existing technologies for controlling these exposures. This substance is a respiratory irritant, and chronic inhalation may cause lung cancer. Primary evaluation methods included collection of full-shift, personal breathing-zone (PBZ) air samples for hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]), measurement of ventilation system parameters including face velocities, and recording of descriptive information about processes and work practices. This presentation summarizes the findings of selected field surveys. One field survey was conducted in a chromium plating facility. PBZ exposures as high as 16 micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air ug/m3) were measured, exceeding the 1 ug/m3 NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) despite several engineering controls on the plating tanks. A field survey also was conducted in a painting and coating facility which utilizes Cr(VI)-containing products. Some of the painters' exposures exceeded the REL, ranging up to 55 ug/m3, but the lack of full exhaust enclosures at some painting workstations limits exhaust-system effectiveness. Another survey was conducted at a printing ink manufacturer, where some exposures in excess of the REL, as high as 3.2 ug/m3, were measured. A variety of correctable deficiencies in exhaust ventilation and work practices were documented. At a chromium sulfate manufacturer, one exposure (1.4 ug/m3) slightly above the REL was measured. Other operations evaluated include welding, cutting, printing, foundries, and the manufacture of refractory brick, colored glass, and Portland cement. Based on results of these surveys, NIOSH researchers have concluded that, in some operations evaluated, hexavalent chromium exposures less than the NIOSH REL are achievable with good exposure-control measures, while in others, it is unclear if exposures below this level are achievable with existing technology.
Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Exposure-levels; Hexavalent-chromium-compounds; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-fibers; Air-contamination; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respirable-dust; Inhalants; Lung-cancer; Lung-irritants; Cancer; Ventilation; Chromium-compounds; Exposure-limits; Dusts; Dust-particles; Particulates; Airborne-particles; Exhaust-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Welding; Foundries; Printing-industry
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division