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In-depth survey report: partnering to control dust from fiber-cement siding, Pebble Creek, Glenview, Illinois.

Qi C; Echt A
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 358-13a, 2014 Apr; :1-32
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% crystalline silica, and 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 Pebble Creek construction site in Glenview, Illinois on July 9-11, 2013. During the site visit, they performed industrial hygiene sampling which measured the exposures to respirable dust and respirable crystalline silica of five workers who cut and installed fiber-cement siding. Two different engineering control measures were implemented and tested separately. One had a dust-collecting circular saw connected to a regular shop vacuum. The shop vacuum provided local exhaust ventilation to remove the dust generated from cutting fiber-cement siding. The other control measure was a prototype circular saw with a built-in cyclone dust collector and an air filter. 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 crystalline silica showed that on all three days, the 10-hour and 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) exposures to respirable crystalline silica for the installers and the two cutters who used the shop vacuum control measure were in the range of 0.001 to 0.013 mg/m3 and 0.002 to 0.016 mg/m3, respectively, which were considerably lower than both the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 0.05 mg/m3 TWA, for up to a 10-hour workday in a 40-hour workweek, and the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 0.025 mg/m3 TWA for an 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Their exposures were also considerably lower than the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for respirable dust that contains greater than 1% crystalline silica, with the 8-hour TWA exposures during the survey in the range of 0.02 to 0.12 mg/m3.
Region-5; Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Construction-materials; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Dusts; Silica-dusts; Fibrous-dusts; Respirable-dust; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Quartz-dust; Cements; Concretes; Cutting-tools; Sampling; Vacuum-equipment; Ventilation; Exhaust-ventilation; Control-equipment; Control-systems; Dust-collection; Work-practices; Air-samples; Air-sampling; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Cyclone-air-samplers; Permissible-limits; Author Keywords: Respirable dust; Respirable crystalline silica; Fiber-cement siding; Engineering control
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
EPHB-358-13a; M042014
NIOSH Division
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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