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Crystalline Silica Exposure Assessment

Characterizing airborne concentrations of respirable crystalline silica during the manipulation and use of silica containing products

  • United States

    United States

Creating a strategy to assess the risks of silica containing product use by workers and consumers

Silica containing materials can be found in products such as tiles and pavers, countertops, concrete additives, mortar and grout, and concrete blocks, to name a few. The handling, manipulation—cutting, grinding, drilling, etc.—and use of such products can result crystalline silica particles being dispersed in the air. Our ChemRisk team developed a strategy for assessing the concentration and particle size distribution of crystalline silica that may be inhaled, i.e., respirable, in such situations.

We designed an exposure assessment strategy that presents a reproducible approach aimed at characterizing the particle size distribution and concentration of respirable crystalline silica. We based our approach on the current state of knowledge in the field of industrial hygiene and relied on a combination of gravimetric and real-time monitoring methods.

In addition to characterizing the risks associated with inhalation by workers and consumers using a wide range silica-containing products, this approach can be modified to characterize other particulates such as titanium dioxide, carbon black, or other metals.

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