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J Occup Environ Hyg. 2005 Sep;2(9):462-73.

Exposures to refractory ceramic fibers in manufacturing and related operations: a 10-year update.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH 45267, USA. alerdilr@uc.edu

Abstract

Refractory ceramic fiber (RCF) is a man-made vitreous fiber used for its insulating properties. Since 1987, the work environment of approximately 800 persons employed in fiber manufacture or production operations directly related to manufacturing has been monitored to evaluate exposure levels. Samples were collected quarterly from the breathing zones of randomly selected workers. The measurements from those working in areas of similar activities and exposure controls (dust zones or homogeneous exposure groups) were used to calculate a mean exposure during identified time periods. Persons who spent all of their work time in one zone/group were assigned this mean exposure; those with responsibilities in more than one area were assigned an exposure based on a time-weighted formula. A total of 3213 measurements were used to estimate exposure for 130 job titles; because of the mobile jobs, many samples contribute to the estimates of exposure for multiple job titles. The majority of exposure estimates (53%) have remained stable over the operational history of the plant reported here. For 32 job titles (25%) exposures have decreased, and for 28 job titles (22%) exposures have increased. Of the 122 job titles active in 2001, 97 (79%) exposures were estimated to be at 0.25 f/cc or lower; 8 (7%) had an exposure exceeding 0.5 f/cc (range 0.51-0.80) and 17 (14%) of these exposure estimates were in the range of > 0.25 f/cc to 0.5 f/cc. The continuing program to measure exposure supports a respiratory health surveillance program in these facilities.

PMID:
16091350
DOI:
10.1080/15459620500240659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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