alexa Excessive exposure to silica in the US construction industry


Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs


Abstract Share this page

Exposures to respirable dust and silica were investigated among 36 construction sites in the USA. Personal measurements (n = 151) were analyzed from 80 workers in four trades, namely bricklayers, painters (while abrasive blasting), operating engineers and laborers. Painters had the highest exposures (median values for respirable dust and silica: 13.5 and 1.28 mg/m3, respectively), followed by laborers (2.46 and 0.350 mg/m3), bricklayers (2.13 and 3.20 mg/m3) and operating engineers (0.720 and 0.075 mg/m3). Mixed models were fitted to the log-transformed air levels to estimate the means and within- and between-worker variance components of the distributions in each trade. We refer to the likelihood that a typical worker from a given trade would be exposed, on average, above the occupational exposure limit (OEL) as the probability of overexposure. Given US OELs of 0.05 mg/m3 for respirable silica and 3 mg/m3 for respirable dust, we estimated probabilities of overexposure as between 64.5 and 100% for silica and between 8.2 and 89.2% for dust; in no instance could it be inferred with certainty that this probability was <10%. This indicates that silica exposures are grossly unacceptable in the US construction industry. While engineering and administrative interventions are needed to reduce overall air levels, the heterogeneous exposures among members of each trade suggest that controls should focus, in part, upon the individual sites, activities and equipment involved. The effects of current controls and workplace characteristics upon silica exposures were investigated among operating engineers and laborers. Silica exposures were significantly reduced by wet dust suppression (~3-fold for laborers) and use of ventilated cabs (~6-fold for operating engineers) and were significantly increased indoors (about 4-fold for laborers). It is concluded that urgent action is required to reduce silica exposures in the US construction industry.

This article was published in The Annals of Occupational Hygiene and referenced in Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

  •  24th World Congress on Dentistry and Oral Health
    June 12-13, 2017 London, UK
  •  36th Cardiovascular Nursing & Nurse Practitioners Meeting
    July 10-11, 2017 Chicago, Illinois, USA
  •  10th World Congress on Healthcare & Technologies
    July 17-18, 2017 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 6th International Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Health & Safety

    September 13-14, 2017 Dallas, Texas, USA
  • Global Experts Meeting on Public Health and Nutrition
    October 09-11, 2017 Dubai, UAE
  • 13th International Conference on Occupational Toxicology and Industrial Health
    October 16-17, 2017 Dubai,UAE
  • 38th International Conference on Nursing & Healthcare
    October 16-18,2017 New York, USA
  •  46th Global Nursing and Healthcare Conference
    Dec 06-07, 2017 Sao Paulo, Brazil

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri, Food, Aqua and Veterinary Science Journals

Dr. Krish

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Clinical and Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Katie Wilson

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science and Health care Journals

Andrea Jason

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics and Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Informatics Journals

Stephanie Skinner

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Material Sciences Journals

Rachle Green

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Mathematics and Physics Journals

Jim Willison

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

John Behannon

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version