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In-depth survey report: partnering to control dust from fiber-cement siding, Villas of the Valley, Lincoln Heights, Ohio.

Qi C; Echt A; See M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 358-11a, 2013 Feb; :1-18
Background: Workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, a progressive lung disease marked by scarring and thickening of the lung tissue. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is found in several construction materials, such as brick, block, mortar and concrete. Construction tasks that cut, break, grind, abrade, or drill those materials have been associated with overexposure to dust containing respirable crystalline silica. Fiber-cement products can contain as much as 50 percent crystalline silica. Cutting this material has been shown to cause excessive exposures to respirable crystalline silica. NIOSH scientists are conducting a study to develop engineering control recommendations for respirable crystalline silica from cutting fiber-cement siding. This site visit was part of that study. Assessment: NIOSH staff visited the Villas of the Valley construction site in Lincoln Heights, Ohio on July 18, 19, 23 and 24, 2012. During those visits, they performed industrial hygiene sampling which measured the exposures to respirable dust and respirable crystalline silica of one worker who cut fiber-cement siding for the construction of two single family houses. The NIOSH scientists also monitored the wind speed and direction at the site, and collected data about the work process in order to understand the conditions that led to the measured exposures. Results: Air sampling for respirable dust and crystalline silica showed that on three of the four days, the worker was exposed to respirable quartz (the most common form of crystalline silica) at concentrations that exceeded the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 0.05 mg/m3. The one day in which the worker's exposure to respirable quartz was lower than the NIOSH REL was probably due to shortened work time due to rain. The air sampling also showed that on one day, the worker was exposed to respirable dust in excess of the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit for respirable dust that contains greater than 1% quartz. Conclusions and Recommendations: The concentrations of respirable dust and respirable crystalline silica measured while the worker cut fiber-cement siding indicated that the potential for overexposure exists when no dust controls are used. The measured exposures indicate that dust controls should be used for the power saws cutting fiber-cement siding. In the absence of dust controls, respirators should be used to reduce exposures. NIOSH recommends (and it is mandated by OSHA where the use of respirators is required) that respirators in the workplace be used as part of a comprehensive respiratory protection program following the OSHA standard.
Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Demolition-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Dusts; Silica-dusts; Fibrous-dusts; Respirable-dust; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Concretes; Cements; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Author Keywords: Respirable dust; Silica; Fiber-cement siding
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
EPHB-358-11a; B20130403
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division